Part 3 – In the search for the best cancer therapy option, “knowledge is power”

Life was a swirl for Becca and Nick as August concluded.

The ugly side effects of chemotherapy were taking a toll on Georgia, their 3-year-old daughter. Their 7-year-old son, AJ, deserved some quality attention apart from the day-to-day cancer care that consumed his parents. And they were packing up their household to move to a new neighborhood in Manila.

Then, the medical team at St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines surprised Becca and Nick with the choice of several radiation treatment options to continue Georgia’s care.

“…We finally heard back from our radiologist,” Becca reported on her blog, The Helping Georgia Fund. “I had emailed her lots of questions on Monday regarding SRS and Proton Therapy. However, she replied saying that after looking at G’s scan, she now had concerns about SRS and so would not confuse us by trying to explain the technicalities of a procedure that G might not have!

“She failed to tell us what her concerns are and so has left Nick and I feeling extremely worried as we just don’t know what to think and are more confused than ever. She went on to explain that she has to consult with other pediatric radiologists which of course we want her to do but to give us nothing and just leave us hanging has left me with a knot in my stomach.

“So in some ways it is good that our lives are utter chaos at the moment as I have so many things to do with the house that I have just had to get on with that.

“I have emailed back requesting that she fill us in on her concerns. We are hoping to have G’s case summary by this evening so that we can start sending it off to experts.…Of course we have to wait and see what our radiologist says as to why she thinks SRS is no longer an option. Everything I have researched seemed to suggest it is often used in combination with chemo for Ewing’s sarcoma patients so now we are worrying that it might be the size or placement of Georgia’s tumor. But we can’t really second guess at this stage but just have to wait for her feedback!”

Less than two weeks after settling in to their new home, Becca reported on the latest discussion with Georgia’s radiologist: “During our first meeting, our radiologist suggested SRS which tends to be one high dose (no more than five); but now they are saying it needs to be fractionated doses probably over 31 sessions and… they have never done this [before].

“Nick and I had already reached the decision that we would have to move G for the next stage of her treatment but now we just have to work out what is the best form of radiotherapy for her and where to do it. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a very rare form of cancer and we really need experts in this field. Hopefully the doctors in London will be able to advise us once they have studied G’s case.”