Not 45 seconds after the side effects of radiation started to subside, Mat got a dose of bad news to go with his biweekly round of chemo.
A lump (the technical term for tumor) has been lurking on Mat's first rib for at least several months now. This fact didn't really hit home until a week or so ago, when it started growing at such a rate that we're now busily trying to select a name for it. Three weeks ago it existed only on the pretty picture of Mat's skinny body on Dr. Ryan's computer; today it's the size of a LEMON.
Clearly, the 5-FU (chemo) is getting the stuffing knocked out of it, at least by the bone-related tumors (first the hip and now the rib). We're hoping that it's still holding its own in the soft-tissue tumors (liver, abdomen, lungs, etc.), but can't even really consider the possibility that it's not, so we'll move on from that topic right now.
So it's back to radiation, this time for probably three weeks. The staff at MGH is now constructing a computer model of the upper left section of Mat's body that will ideally help them avoid radiating his lungs while they're treating the tumor. Things like lungs react to radiation like hot dogs in a microwave. In other words, they don't like it.
This next phase of the wonderful adventure that is cancer should start Wednesday or thereabouts. Stay tuned for the next episode.