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Tori Tomalia is a two-time cancer survivor currently living with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer since May of 2013. Her first cancer experience was childhood osteogenic sarcoma, for which she received chemotherapy and curative surgery, and had been cancer-free for over 20 years prior to the lung cancer diagnosis. Along with cancer, Tori juggles life as a mom of 3 small children, a wife, a theatre artist, writer and lung cancer awareness advocate.

Adventures in Brain Metastases

A glimpse into stereotactic radiosurgery for lung cancer spread to the brain.
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Lung Cancer CURE discussion group.
At noon, they had me take a dose of dexamethasone, a steroid to reduce any swelling from the radiation to my brain. The treatment was scheduled for 1:30 p.m., so at 1:00, they had me take another Valium and norco. By the time they wheeled me back for treatment, the duo was kicking in and I actually slept through the whole process. I remember them clamping my headpiece into the machine, and asking a few times how I was doing, but the next thing I knew they said, "OK, we are all finished!"

They removed the headpiece and sent me on my way. By now, the Norco-nausea was pretty bad and I promptly threw up upon getting home. Yay, narcotics. I slept most of the afternoon and evening. The next day, I felt groggy and had a pretty intense headache, but I decided to go the Tylenol route (no more Norco for me!) and that actually helped take the edge off quite a bit. By Wednesday, I was feeling much more like my old self, just a bit tired, and I still have patches of my scalp that are numb, which is a bizarre sensation.

I will have a follow-up MRI in January. Radiation keeps working for many weeks, so they won't know until then how it went. Fingers crossed that this is just a little bump in the road and I can keep going along with my targeted med Xalkori. I continue to marvel at modern medicine!

Tori Tomalia is many things: a mom, a wife, a theatre artist, a mediocre cook, a Buffy fan, a stinky cheese aficionado. She is also, unfortunately, a repeat visitor to CancerLand. Stay tuned for her continued adventures.

     Facebook: facebook.com/lungcancerblogger

     Twitter: twitter.com/lil_lytnin

     Blog: "A Lil Lytnin' Strikes Lung Cancer" lil-lytnin.blogspot.com

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Lung Cancer CURE discussion group.
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