Treatment- Proton Radiation-June 2017
6/1/2017- Teagan got three weeks off, before beginning the next phase of treatment, which is proton radiation. She will receive radiation daily (Monday through Friday) for 6 weeks. For each session, the care team will sedate Teagan and then place her on the table so that the 196 ton “rocket ship” Proton machine can meticulously deliver protons to the back of her head, where the tumor bed was prior to when they removed it. The radiation is actually not painful; she needs to be sedated to make sure that she doesn’t move at all during the treatment. Each session will last about 2 hours, though the radiation treatment is quite short. The extra time is spent making sure the radiation is aimed correctly and waiting for Teagan to wake up from anesthesia.
Teagan’s radiation will be localized to the location of the original tumor. Localized radiation is preferred to the full spinal/cranial radiation she would need to receive were there evidence of disease. Next week, the radiation team will take measurements to determine the correct angles for aiming the radiation beams and the proper dose of radiation. Teagan will also be fitted with a plastic mask that she will wear during treatments so that the radiation can be aimed more accurately.
The immediate side effects from radiation are much less than those she experienced from chemo. Teagan will likely have low energy and may have trouble walking, but hopefully she will be home every day. As we’ve learned, plans are always subject to change. But the plan (at least for today) is that Teagan will begin radiation on June 19th.