Dear Dhamma Friends,
On Monday, May 2nd., U Osadha, Kung and myself accompanied Sayadaw for a consultation visit with oncologist Dr. William Huang at the Kaiser Medical Center in South San Francisco. Dr. Huang explained to Sayadaw and us the options for the treatment of tumor and their benefits and side effects. The first option is the radiation treatment only, the second option is radiation treatment combined with chemotherapy pills, and the third option is not to undergo any treatment. Dr. Huang further advised that the standard prescribed treatment for this kind of tumor is the combination of rediation and chemo.
The following is what Dr. Huang told us in private. Sayadaw is having a very aggressive type of malignent tumor (cancer) called Glioblastoma Multiforme, or GBM in short, in his right temporal lobe area of brain. The tumor has been removed successfully by surgery, however, because of it's very aggressive nature, it will grow back quickly. Without any treatment, Sayadaw's condition will deteriorate rapidly and can survive only 3 to 6 months. With radiation treatment alone, the survival time could extend up to 10 to 12 months, and with the combination treatment with chemo pills it could extend another 4 to 6 months. These are the average survival time frame, some patients have survived shorter length of time and some lived longer, and 2% of the patients have lived more than 2 years. The sad news is that this type of tumor is uncurable.
Dr. Huang finally asked Sayadaw if he wishes to go through the treatments and Sayadaw's answer is a firm "Yes". Dr. Huang referred Sayadaw back to Dr. Dale Young, radiation oncologist, at Sequoia Hospital. As I have informed you in my previous update mailing, Sequoia Hospital has the state of the art radiation machine and Dr. Young has been trained in UCSF (University of California at San Francisco) for this profession.
Sayadaw will have to undergo radiation treatment 5 days a week for 6 weeks and take chemo pills for the same period. Dr. Huang will monitor the progress on regular basis for Sayadaw. Dr. Huang cautioned us that during the treatments, Sayadaw would show tiredness and his hair would fall out which is normal for this kind of treatments.
I am sharing this information with you not to discourage or disappoint you but to inform the truth to all Sayadaw's devotees. Let us not lose hope and please keep on praying for our beloved and revered Sayadaw. We never know, with Sayadaw's good kamma and strong spiritual qualities, a miracle could happen and Sayadaw would live for a full life.