I guess I should know better than to start worrying about things before they actually happen. However, in this case, expecting the worst paid off. We just got back from our meeting with the radiation oncologist - which was re-scheduled to 2:00. He wanted to talk about long-term side effects of the first phase of radiation - it'll be 17 days of treatment to the entire scull and spine. Then there will be 13 more days of focussed treatments to the head area - which hasn't been completely planned yet. We'll learn more about that later. However, at this point, the doctor said he doesn't anticipate that there will be any damage to the optical nerve - however, since the treatment hasn't been planned yet, he can't say for certain.
There are three main areas of side-effects that Kolbjorn will be facing as a result of the radiation.
- They need to go through part of the eye globe (the doctor's phrasing) for the first phase of treatment, which will cause cataracts in a few years, but he can have surgery for that when the time comes.
- All of the bones in his spine will be affected, which will cause him to not be as tall as he should be. The bones will not grow to be as large as they should. However, because they are all being treated, they will grow uniformly - he won't have some larger, or some smaller vertebrae. The ribs won't be affected, so his torso will be just as wide as it is genetically intended to be.
- There will be damage to the pituitary, and the thyroid, and the entire endocrine system. However, because they are aware of this, Kol will be closely monitored so that when they are needed, he will receive replacement hormones.