Grade II Ependymoma
According to Cancer.gov, Grade II Ependymomas are low grade tumors and can occur in either the brain or the spine. The cause of these types of tumors are unknown. Ependymomas can form anywhere in the central nervous system (CNS). But Ependymomas can spread to other areas of the CNS through Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF). Symptoms related to an Ependymoma depend on the tumor’s location. For me the symptoms I experienced varied from headaches, nausea, blurred vision, vomiting and dizziness, and bowel problems.
The first course of treatment for an Ependymoma is surgery. For my particular case and based on the location of the tumor, I needed to have surgery first before any other course of treatment. The goal of my surgery was to remove the tumor entirely without causing more symptoms. My neurosurgeons also wanted to obtain tissue for a pathologist to determine the tumor type.
After surgery, there is usually no standard treatment for Ependymomas. Many people won’t need other treatment after surgery. For me, my situation was quite unique. Due to my malignant tumor, I was required to have treatments including proton radiation. Depending on the tumor some may require radiation, chemotherapy, or clinical trials. Treatments were decided by my healthcare team based on my age, remaining tumor after surgery, tumor type, and tumor location. That remaining 1% of the tumor and eliminating occurrence was the primary goal of my treatment plan.
Proton treatment has proven to be a less invasive therapy and is a clear directive treatment to the site of cancer. Proton treatment for me involved 45min-1hr sessions of proton therapy once a day, M-F for 6.5wks. There were side effects associated with this form of therapy based on my cancer site, some consisted of being nauseated, lack of appetite, fatigued, and more, but I persevered.
June 8, 2018 Routine eye exam
June 8, 2018 Follow up eye exam
June 10, 2018 ER visit
June 18, 2018 Neurology consult
June 22, 2018 Neurosurgeon consult
July 19, 2018 Brain Surgery
August 6, 2018 Incision revision Surgery
September 10, 2018 Proton Treatment (6.5wks)