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Final Day of Radiation

by on December 29, 2010

We arrived at Orange County Radiation Oncology a few minutes early.  It was raining lightly and we didn’t want to rush.  We took everything slowly.  Satomi was bundled up and comfortable in her wheelchair.  I had already given Satomi her first 5 mg dose of Decadron for the day so the effects of brain swelling should be minimized.  Kiyomi joined us so we had an extra set of hands.

We took Satomi down to the lower level to the treatment room and rolled her through the hall, past the lead-lined door and up to the table.  We moved very slowly.  Satomi grabbed the edge of the table and stood up slowly.  After a second of stability, her knees started to buckle and her core started to shake.  I bear hugged her and lifted her up on the table.

We removed her gait belt, rain coat, zip-up sweatshirt, and head rag.  We slowly lowered her from a sitting position onto the cold hard table and lifted her knees with a pillow.  As soon as her head touched the positioning device, she had another seizure.  This time her Mom and sister were in the room and saw it first hand.  Her Mom had to leave.  Like last time, I held her hand and head while her body contorted.  Her pupils were huge black pools.  This seizure seemed longer than on Monday.

The Radiation Oncologist joined us and I explained the circumstances and how Satomi was already on the previously prescribed anti-seizure medication and elevated Decadron dose.  This should not have happened and was a bad sign.  The doctor added a second anti-seizure medication.  We discussed the complicated dosage plan.  The doctor gave me specific instructions:  If Satomi had another serious seizure while on both oral medications, the only other option was to take her to the hospital for an IV anti-seizure medication.

We took her positional mask with us to signify the end of her whole brain radiation treatment.

We immediately went to our Walgreens to fill the new prescription.  In the waiting area I spoke to the palliative care RN and discussed the situation.  I proposed delaying the Portocath procedure and she agreed wholeheartedly.  There are many dangers for Satomi in her present condition.  Satomi needs rest and recuperation.  Everything else is a secondary consideration.

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