Wayward Tumor. What Do I Do Now?

It was almost exactly a year ago that I was faced with some hard decisions. After four years of complete stability, one tumor in my supraclavicular lymph node had decided to go rogue and quit responding to the immunotherapy I was on. I named it “Wayward Tumor.”

From one clinical trial to another

When my oncologist told me that I was being taken off of the clinical trial because of tumor growth, I wasn’t particularly worried. That’s just how much confidence I had in him having something else for me to try.


Cancer, Insurance, and You

Did you cringe when you read the title of this article? I did when I wrote it. Dealing with insurance is one of the things I hate most about being sick. I want to share some tips that might make this odious task a little easier.

1. It isn’t as simple as just picking one plan over another one

There are so many things to consider when choosing an insurance plan. We don’t simply see one specialist. Most of us have a medical oncologist, possibly a radiation oncologist, a surgeon, a pulmonologist, radiologists to read our scans, internists, and the list goes on. And, even if they all work in the same hospital or clinic complex, they may not all take the same insurance plans.


Deciding on Radiation Treatments

“Your tumor is growing. I am sorry, but I am pulling you out of your clinical trial,” my oncologist said. And, with that, my world came crashing down all around me.

I was in the trial for four years. I loved it. I felt comfortable in the trial. I didn’t want to leave it. But, it wasn’t my decision. And, honestly, it made no sense to remain in it if at least one tumor was no longer responding to the treatment.



Everyone Needs Support Sometimes

When I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I didn’t know anyone else who was still alive and fighting the disease. I started searching around and ultimately landed on a group where I feel totally at home – it is called WhatNext.

I am going to post two links below that will help you know if you think WhatNext will be a good fit for you. I go to a lot of different lung-cancer related forums, but I spend most of my time on WhatNext. It feels like home to me.

On WhatNext, there are caregivers and loved ones, survivors, and people from the medical field for all kinds of cancer from skin cancer to liver, lung, or lymphoma cancers. Take a look at the information below and please join, if it sounds like a place you’d like to be a part of!

This link tells you a lot of the benefits of the group in an advertising way:  https://www.whatnext.com/ilp/lungcancer/?campaign=AMLC

SandiA is a Stage 4 Melanoma survivor who is active on the site. She tells you why she loves WhatNext so much!

Let me know if you joined the group because you saw this post! I look forward to seeing you! I think you’ll love it there as much as I do!



You guys!!! This girl just passed her FIVE YEAR cancerversary!!!

When I was diagnosed back in 2012, my first oncologist thought I might live four months. And, yet I recently celebrated FIVE years of life after diagnosis!!!

Donna, December 20, 2017

The year 2017 was an eventful one for me. After four years of immunotherapy treatments with every CT scan showing tumor stability, a tumor in my supraclavicle lymph node (on my neck, near my collarbone) outsmarted the drug and began to grow.

I had to quit my clinical trial after treatment #98. I was so looking forward to getting my centennial treatment. I wonder how many people in the world have received 100 infusions of nivolumab (aka, Opdivo)? I wanted to be among the first.

There were decisions to be made after we got that fateful CT scan back. Initially, I was going to just move into another clinical trial. But, by the time I completed all of the requirements (ie., a biopsy to see how much PDL-1 was present), someone else got the spot I was hoping to fill.

My oncologist suggested that I go on chemotherapy for a time while we waited on something better to come along. I had done chemotherapy. I wasn’t anxious to do it again. To say the least.

I pondered on the idea for several days. I cried … and I rarely cry. I started getting depressed … and I am rarely depressed. I thought, I prayed, I researched other options, including potential clinical trials available in Dallas or Houston or anywhere within driving range.

And, one day I decided radiation might be a viable option. The tumors in my lungs were still stable. Only the one tumor in my neck was growing. It seemed to me that it would be an easy thing to radiate that bugger. (I wasn’t a candidate for radiation when I was first diagnosed because of the location of my tumors in my lungs.)

I spoke to my nurse practitioner about the idea. She said if I really thought that was the route I wanted to go, she would make a referral to a radiation oncologist.

My radiation mask and a wonderful
“lung cancer”
cross my cousin sent me.

My husband and I had an immediate connection with the radiation oncologist. We liked him a lot. And, we completely trusted that he would get the job done on that errant tumor, that I had nicknamed Wayward Tumor.

I had fifteen treatments. I will be blogging about those treatments if I will ever sit down and finish them. The treatments were easy enough. I was a little surprised by the severe fatigue that came around after the treatments were complete. It has taken several months to begin to regain my energy and even so, I tire and stay tired very easily.

Nevertheless, when I had my first CT scans since the discovery of the growing tumor, we got great news! Not only was the tumor in the supraclavicle lymph node gone … yes, for the first time in five years, that baby was no more!!!! … the one tumor in my lungs that the radiologist doesn’t call a scar shrank by half. That tumor had been completely stable for over 4 years, not shrinking or growing, just being.

I have been okay with those results … I’ve often said I was completely willing to carry the tumors around with me as I live my life as long as they just sit there nicely and don’t interfere. So, I wasn’t prepared to hear that it had shrunk significantly. Wow!!! You gotta love a CT scan like that one!!!

We didn’t do anything special to celebrate my five-year cancerversary. In a lot of ways, it was just another day. But, in my mind, crossing that magical line in the sand – it seems many stats are done for one year and five-year survival rates – was special. Very special.

I am well aware that people can and do get to fight the beast again after crossing the five-year mark. The fact is, I am still in active treatment. I have been in active treatment for the entire five years that I have known I had lung cancer. But, it is still celebration-worthy to cross a milestone that has been looming in front of me all of this time.

Next milestone in sight? 10 years, of course!!!!

Lung cancer is a bitch, y’all. It just is. But, it isn’t stronger than we are. If we keep a smile on our face, a song in our heart, and let hope consume us … we beat it. Every moment we do not dwell on cancer, we beat it. I am resolved to be happy and content every day that is before me. In that way, no matter what happens, I have beaten the beast.

Merry Christmas, Y’all.


Number 100!!!!

When I went to a consult about joining a clinical trial at UTSW back in 2013, I never, ever dreamed I would still be here, writing this blog!! Remember, I was only supposed to live 4 months. I had already outlived that prognosis by several months in July 2013.

When I first started the clinical trial in August 2013, the drug I received had only numbers for a name. I had no idea what kind of drug I was receiving. Immunotherapy was not a word I had ever heard.

As time went on, I participated in a number of surveys conducted by pharmaceutical companies. The companies were seeking feedback from cancer patients about upcoming advertisements. I began to connect the dots … and realized that the test drug I was receiving was the newest and latest therapy – immunotherapy.

Not everyone has the same results as I do. In fact, my medical oncologist has said that the biggest side effect of immunotherapy is disappointment. Because it is touted these days as the “cure-all,” patients whose cancer doesn’t respond positively suffer great disappointment. Sometimes, they also live with side effects they hadn’t bargained for, such as pneumonitis or impaired liver or kidney functions. No drug is completely safe and immunotherapy is no exception.

But, for me … and for many like me … immunotherapy is a true miracle drug. The drug I get is Opdivo, aka nivolumab. Another was introduced at about the same time, Keytruda (pembrolizumab). Both of these drugs received FDA approval for use against non-small-cell lung cancer like I have at about the same time. Both had already been approved for treatment of metastatic melanoma prior to being approved for lung cancer. Other immunotherapies have now been approved by the FDA for treatment of various cancers, including lung cancer. There are other drugs currently in trial. This field of research is exploding!!

That’s good news for those of us with cancer. Five years ago, immunotherapy wasn’t considered a viable option for treating cancer. Today, it is offering great hope to researchers, physicians, and most importantly, patients and their families and loved ones.

But, this is not really an advertisement for immunotherapy. I do encourage you to speak to your oncologist about the possibility of being treated with this miracle drug, though. It might not be the right treatment for you, but it just may be!

Plugging Along

Opdivo is infused every other week. That’s a lot of doctor-going, especially for a person like me who avoided doctors like the plague prior to being diagnosed with lung cancer.  Every visit required extensive blood tests. At first, I had to have CT scans every 6 weeks. As the years went by and my tumors remained stable, we were able to extend the amount of time between scans to three months. I had so many CT scans that I learned to drink barium without gagging. That’s too many scans!!

At first, no one knew what in the world I was talking about when I said I was getting immunotherapy. These days, I imagine most lung cancer patients, and possibly patients with other cancers, are familiar with the term, if not with how it works.

Opdivo gave me back my life. I was very sick when I underwent traditional chemotherapy. With Opdivo, I suffer a bit of fatigue on the day of the infusion and some minor tiredness on the day after the infusion, but that’s about all. (My thyroid no longer works properly, a common side effect, so I have to take levothyroxine every day … That means I constantly fight a weight problem, but that’s comparatively minor (and I do have to remind myself of that quite often!).)

When I reached treatment #75 or so, I began to look forward to a big centennial celebration!!! How many other patients are out there who can say they have gotten 75, much less 100, immunotherapy infusions? I wondered about that then. I still do wonder. How many of us are there who have basically been with the drug since inception?

When I finally reached treatment #90, it was a forgone conclusion that I soon would be joining the centennial club. And, I looked forward to it with relish. I’m not really quite sure why it seemed so important to me to get to that 100th treatment, but it was a goal I really wanted to reach.

A Bump in the Road

Imagine my shock and distress when I went to see my oncologist prior to receiving my 99th treatment and learned that I was being pulled out of the trial and I would not be getting any more Opdivo! After over four years, a tumor in a lymph node in my neck finally outsmarted the nivolumab. The drug was no longer controlling it. My doctor could not and would not continue the treatment.

What????!!! I cried. I rarely ever cry. But, I cried.

Most normal individuals would have cried because their cancer was once more on the move. Not goal-oriented me. Oh no! I cried because I was just two treatments away from reaching Infusion #100. My heart was set on it. It had been a foregone conclusion that I was going to be celebrating #100.  I was nearly frantic in trying to figure out how I could still get those two additional treatments (I never looked past Treatment #100. Treatment #101 held no awe for me … just that #100 was important.)

I’ve already blogged previously about this bump in the road. In short, after much consideration, I decided to have the growing tumor irradicated. I am slowly blogging about the process, if you’re interested in reading about the experience.

Sooooo … How did I Reach #100???

So, if I was pulled from the trial, a tumor was growing, and I went through a different course of treatment, you may be wondering how I managed to reach Infusion #100. Well, it is really simple!

My medical and radiation oncologists both agreed that I should resume Opdivo treatments after completing radiation. The drug has controlled the tumors in my lungs for about 4-1/2 years. The logic of the oncologists is that it would be foolish to abandon a protocol that I have responded to so well. The tumor that outsmarted the drug, the tumor I called Wayward Tumor, has presumably been killed with radiation so we only have to worry about the tumors in my lungs at this time.

I resumed Opdivo treatments at the end of September after a break of several months. My blood test results remain perfect. I continue to feel great after a treatment. We’re back in the saddle again!!!


Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the doctor to resume my Opdivo treatments and my oncologist, his nurse, and my nurse practitioner came in bearing a 100th Infusion gift. If I haven’t said it before (I have), I will say it now: I have the most awesome medical team ever!!!

Shine is perfect! The lady who designs the sculptures says this about Shine:
“Shine could be a congratulatory piece for a milestone reached, or a healing piece to show support and belief in someone. I wanted the form to be visually uplifting… a little reminder of personal goals, met. I embellished the surface with gold to suggest inner light and energy.”

Enough said! There’s absolutely nothing more I can add except, “Isn’t she beautiful?”




A New Doctor, A New Treatment

When Wayward Tumor, a lung cancer tumor located in my right supraclavicular node, began to grow after nearly five years of stability, decisions had to be made about a new treatment plan. I had to go off of the clinical trial I had enjoyed and that had kept all tumors stable for four years.

It was traumatic to go off of the trial. I only knew being in a trial. And, trust me, when you are in a trial, you are treated like a star! At least at my facility, all appointments are made for you. You have a researcher that takes an active part in your treatment, along with your doctor and nurses.

I didn’t even know to whom I turned for an appointment! I was very, very spoiled. And, I liked it!

I was only two treatments away from marking #100 when I had to quit the trial. I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to celebrating my centennial treatment! That had been a milestone I had anticipated for many, many months. I was getting especially excited with the day coming in only two weeks!

But, the growing tumor meant that the immunotherapy was no longer working like it had been. One tumor, Wayward Tumor, had reconfigured itself and was outsmarting my immune system again. As much as I wanted to reach that 100th treatment, it made no sense to continue a treatment that wasn’t controlling an active tumor.

I have to tell you. I was heartbroken. Not so much because I had a tumor smarter than my immune system, but because I had dreamed about and already begun to celebrate that milestone 100th treatment. Strangely, I never thought past that particular treatment. I wasn’t looking forward to the 125th , the 110th, or really, even the 101st treatment. But, I was definitely greatly anticipating the 100th infusion of nivolumab, aka Opdivo.

As I described in “A Bump in the Road,” we considered several options for the new treatment. My oncologist first recommended a Phase 1 trial for a new immunotherapy. I was prepared for that, but the trial filled before I could meet all requirements. Next, he recommended I go on chemotherapy for a short while. He thought that giving my body a break from immunotherapy while we waited for another trial to become available would be a good plan.

Chemotherapy wasn’t an option I wanted to take. I had been there, done that … and I didn’t want to do it again. I had become spoiled to feeling great and enjoying my life while on Opdivo. No matter how many ways I considered it, I just couldn’t convince myself to go back to the point where I was throwing up, rolling on my bed in pain, too fatigued to walk 10 feet. So, against my doctor’s better judgment, I refused that plan of action.

Next, the doctor recommended that we just continue on with Opdivo. Ah!!! Maybe I would make treatment #100 after all!!!

But, no. I could not justify asking my insurance company to pay for a treatment that was allowing one tumor to grow. The fact that the growing tumor was in a lymph node and near my head convinced me even further that it was time to try something else. Cancer in lymph nodes can easily travel anywhere else in the body … and it was close to my brain. No, continuing on for a few months while we waited for another trial to open up just didn’t seem like a viable plan to me.

Advocating for Yourself

Now, I realize that I do not have a medical degree and I am not as smart as my oncologist is. I cannot determine the right treatment plan for anyone else. But, I am studied enough and know myself well enough to be able to help plan my own treatment. If I make a mistake, I am willing to own the consequences. But, I have to do what feels like the best course of action for me, regardless of what the professionals might recommend.

I attend a lot of conferences or patient summits or seminars … whatever name they go by … where we have experts come and speak with us. I am by no means the most learned patient around, but I do try to keep up with what’s going on in the field of lung cancer so that I am knowledgeable enough to be part of my own care team.

Here’s the thing. I have no ulterior motives except wanting to stay alive while maintaining the best possible quality of life. I don’t mind participating in clinical trials at all. In fact, I enjoy them. But, I don’t consider clinical trial participation the end all. I have no real motivation to be in a trial at this point except to (1) help advance science, but more selfishly, (2) to keep myself alive under the best possible circumstances.

Doctors, no matter how objective they try to be, may still be influenced a bit by their own interests. Some doctors may go the easy route – the tried and true route. Other doctors may wish to be so cutting edge that they fail to realize that on occasion traditional treatments are the best choice.

And, while doctors are quite learned, they are human. They may make mistakes. They may be overworked. They may have other factors influencing their decisions. They may feel more comfortable with certain treatments than others.

Patients owe it to themselves to be aware of what is happening in the world of cancer treatment. It could be their own life at stake sometime. Go to conferences, participate in online forums, monitor cancer-related websites. You don’t have to be an expert, but you need to have a working knowledge of possible treatment options.

When I decided that I wasn’t willing to subject myself nor my family to a return to chemo, I started doing some research on my own. I tapped into friends who could help me understand what was beyond my pay grade of understanding. And, I banked on information I had gained at a recent LUNGevity regional HOPE Summit when trying to decide just what I wanted to do next.

Considering the Options

I knew I didn’t want to go on a chemo regimen, but where did that leave me? What options were there?

From the LUNGevity conference, I knew that research is showing that combining radiation with immunotherapy is proving to be very effective. When I was first diagnosed, I was told radiation and surgery were not options available to me due to the number and placement of the tumors. But, immunotherapy had controlled the tumors in my lungs. Only the one Wayward Tumor was causing issues. And, it was in my neck. It seemed to me that radiation could be a very viable option.

I know that some people have had significant side effects from radiation, but I have always had a positive attitude about radiation. I am sure that stems from the fact that when my dad had it way back in the 1970s, he tolerated it quite well.

I also began to research other clinical trial options. While I love my medical facility and every single doctor I have seen within that system, my life was at stake. I don’t love them more than I love life. So, I went to ClinicalTrials.gov and started looking at options.

There weren’t a lot of open trials in Texas for which I seemed to qualify, but there was one that was really interesting to me. It combined a type of radiation therapy, gene therapy, and immunotherapy. It sounded perfect for me. Its only real drawback was that it was being conducted in Houston, 200 miles away.

Nevertheless, I sent a quick introduction email to the researcher to see if my case might be interesting to them.  For the first time since learning that I didn’t get into the clinical trial that was recommended right after I was removed from the trial for nivolumab, I began to feel some hope. And, I felt like I was finally making some progress on finding a way to treat this cancer.

There were lots of other trials available, as well. Unfortunately, I didn’t know if I qualified for any of them because they were for specific tumor mutations. I had repeatedly requested that my new biopsy tissue be tested for mutations, but I had never heard back that it was being done. Having tumors tested is very, very important. If you happen to have certain mutations, specific drugs are available that work best on those types of tumors. You might never have to submit to chemotherapy. In general, targeted therapies are much more easily tolerated because they are designed to attack tumors, but not all living cells. Learn more about tumor testing here: Lung Cancer Tumor Testing (ALA).

Nevertheless, I wrote them down. I could ask my doctor or nurse practitioner about them at my upcoming visit. We were meeting to determine the next course of action.


After much discussion with my nurse practitioner (my doctor was out of town) about the various options, I learned several things:


  1. My tumors had been tested and I had none of the common mutations. So much for many of the trials that I thought might be options… I wasn’t eligible for them.
  2. Radiation could be an option. It hadn’t been previously considered by my medical oncologist or his staff, but it was something that could be explored further if I desired.
  3. There were not currently many options available to me at my facility. Some were coming, but they weren’t there yet.
Well, I don’t know about you, but when I KNOW I have a cancer growing in me, I want treatment sooner rather than later! I imagined that tumor was exploding in size. I don’t know if it was truly growing by leaps and bounds or if my mind was playing tricks on me, but I began to be able to feel it – both with my fingers on my neck and internally when I swallowed. My husband could see where it was on my neck. All of these were new developments since we learned it was growing again.
Right or wrong, in my mind or real, I felt the need to get something done and to get it done quickly. Waiting for any length of time felt almost like suicide. I decided I wanted to have radiation. I specifically wanted SBRT, or Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. I wanted this treatment because it was done over a very short period of time (at the time, I thought it was done only once). Some radiation treatments go on for weeks and weeks and weeks. The patient has to go for a treatment every week day.
My hospital is about 45 minutes from home. I didn’t want to make that daily drive any more frequently than absolutely necessary. I had quite the plan in my mind!!!
My awesome nurse practitioner agreed to send a referral to the radiation oncology clinic. She realized I would never rest until we at least explored whether or not I was a candidate for radiation. (I had never considered that I might not be qualified for the treatment I had decided upon!)
That same day, I got a call to set up an appointment with a radiation oncologist. And, I was able to get in to see him the very next day!
I got on the Internet and began to research the doctor as soon as I was given his name. And, I was elated by what I found. In his biography, he wrote,

I try to be direct and honest with my patients while at the same time balancing their need for hope. When patients ask me about lifespan, I honestly tell them that any patient can be the exception to the rule and every situation is different. I want them to have just as much hope for themselves as I have for them.  (emphasis is mine)

Wow!!! This doctor was perfect for me. Upon meeting him, I quoted back his statement to him. And told him he had met his match for Hope in me. We were going to be a great team. I just felt it from the very beginning. I was also impressed that he realized and accepted that every single patient is unique. There is no need to start quoting statistics about lifespan. No doctor is God. And stats are meaningless on a personal level.

It is vital that you know and trust your doctor. If you do not feel comfortable with him or her, find another. If you don’t trust them, find another. If they won’t allow you to be part of the team making plans for your survival, find another. And, if they aren’t willing to work within your timetable, find another. (Some doctors let things go for way too long. Cancer doesn’t wait around. My friend Bud is a prime example. While his doctor waited around, his cancer was taking over his body. By the time something was finally done, it was too late. This is not the time to be patient. This is not the time not to make waves, if needed. You should feel a sense of urgency as should your medical team. I say again, cancer doesn’t wait around. Neither should you.)


I left our initial meeting with our radiation oncologist nearly floating on air. I loved him as much as I expected I would. From the beginning, I felt like I was talking to a friend. My husband was as comfortable with him as I was.

However, when I wrote to my medical oncologist to tell him how the meeting had gone, I came back down to earth. Radiation wasn’t the preferred treatment plan, in his opinion. Unfortunately, my doctor was out of town and I couldn’t actually discuss reasons with him.

I hated to do something that my medical oncologist didn’t approve of, but I was comfortable with going forward with radiation. Why would I want to walk around with a growing Wayward Tumor for one moment longer than I had to? Why wouldn’t I want to get radiation and obliterate that nasty thing? My attitude then and now was, “Let’s take care of this bothersome blip in the road and get back to living.”

I worried and fretted about going against what my medical oncologist recommended, but I never wavered from my belief that radiation was the right option. I continued on that road. I hoped then and continue to hope that I haven’t harmed my relationship with my medical oncologist. I love him. I trust him. But… I felt a deep conviction that radiation was the right path for me to take.

The Plan

I left my initial consult with far more information than I had when I arrived. First, I learned that SBRT was not going to be an option for me. I was way over-simplifying the whole radiation thing!

First of all, SBRT isn’t done over one treatment, but over several. And, it consists of very high doses of radiation to get the job done quickly. My tumor was located in a spot where high doses of radiation could cause more damage than I was expecting.

Based on its location, the doctor had to be sure that he didn’t damage my esophagus or nearby nerves that controlled movement in my right arm and hand. Oh. I had no idea! In my mind, it was a simple task to direct the radiation rays at the tumor. Zap it. Be done. Laughing now at my simplistic thinking! It all seemed so easy the way I envisioned it.

In short, I wasn’t a candidate for the SBRT that I had decided I would get. But, I was a candidate for radiation. The doctor thought we could do 15 treatments. I would need to drive back and forth to the facility for three weeks. (It is funny the things that I dread the most. I was unconcerned about the treatments themselves. I dreaded having to make that boring drive over and over again. Priorities, right?)

The doctor thought it best that I wear a mask during treatment. I grimaced at the idea. He said he would think about whether we could do without the mask, but he felt like that was the best route. The mask keeps you immobile so that the radiation beams hit their target. There’s far less chance of damage to good tissue or organs.

We decided that I would return to the radiation center the following week. I would go through a process called Simulation which would prepare me for treatments. A firm decision, however, was not made on whether I would begin radiation right away or wait for awhile, in hopes of getting into another viable clinical trial.

In the Meantime

While all of these discussions are going on, I can feel the tumor in my neck. I don’t know if it was truly growing by leaps and bounds or if I was imagining it, but I could feel it. And, I was envisioning it becoming larger and larger and larger while we were waiting on a treatment plan. I’m not much of a worrier, but I do believe in taking action! The weeks that were passing with no treatments and no real plan were beginning to frustrate me. A lot.

To add to my frustration, my medical oncologist was not available because he was out of town. I couldn’t discuss my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or inclinations with him. All I knew was that I felt like radiation was the best plan and I knew that he thought waiting for an upcoming clinical trial was the route to go.

This was the first time in four years that I had different notions than my doctor did. It was an uncomfortable place to be. I love and respect my medical oncologist. And, as I have stated before, I am well aware that I am not a doctor. But I had a deep conviction that radiation was the way to go.

My thought process went something like this:

I have a tumor. It feels like it is growing by leaps and bounds. There are several routes that I can go:

  • Radiation. Let’s obliterate that tumor. Get rid of it. Be cancer-free. (The tumors in my lungs are either scars or completely stable … cancer-free might be a bit of a stretch, but at least there would be no growing cancer.)


  •  Go back to Opdivo and wait on a clinical trial to open up in a few months. Opdivo was no longer controlling Wayward Tumor. The tumor that I feel like is growing by leaps and bounds every single day. Why would I want to continue on a treatment that is not controlling the tumor? I want rid of the tumor. Now! A clinical trial is just that – a trial. While my oncologist feels that I am a good candidate, we don’t know (1) if I will even get into the trial and (2) whether I will respond to the trial drugs.

As I said, I wasn’t able to discuss these thoughts with my medical oncologist. In my mind, there was only one route to go: the route that potentially obliterated the tumor; got rid of the offender NOW!

With trepidation, but only because I feared making my medical oncologist mad at me, I made my decision. I wanted to go with radiation. I was and am willing to live with the consequences if I have made the wrong decision.