September 13, 2019
Today was Friday the 13th and a Full (Harvest) Moon
I was having some minor vision issues again last month, so I asked about moving my MRI up. The scheduler called two weeks after my request and the oncologist’s request to move it up. I had the scan yesterday afternoon. I got the results this morning.
No surprise. There’s something going on. The systemic treatment (chemo) doesn’t really cross the blood-brain barrier, so it’s effectiveness is limited.
I had an appointment this morning with my oncologist. There is no surprise to me that it appears there is something going on in my brain. I am at almost exactly 10 months to the day from when I had my first brain tumor surgically removed. The neurosurgeon told me prior to the surgery that the average time for regrowth is 10 months. So here I am. A little scared about what this means if there is new tumor growth in my head and hoping that the current chemo is actually doing something and what we’re seeing is still the same treatment after effects we’ve been watching for the past 7 months.
I tried to talk with my radiation oncologist after my appointment with my regular oncologist, but the radonc was super busy. Knowing that there were spots we were watching, and that the report didn’t outright say there were new lesions, I’m not freaking out yet. I’ll save that for later, if it’s even warranted.
Monday, September 16, 2019
I heard from the radiation oncologist this morning. I asked her to explain the enhancements noted in the radiology report for my brain MRI. There are areas where the contrast dye is leaking out of my blood vessels, which means there is inflammation, which is expected after high doses of radiation therapy. She also said it’s hard to tell from this type of MRI whether they’re seeing scar tissue or new tumor growth. So the plan for now is to do another scan in a month that will look at my brain in a different way To me, it’s like when they found the skin calcifications in my breast tissue just before the lumpectomy surgery last year. The way they determined that it was a “normal” skin calcification vs new tumor growth was to get different angles from the mammogram because the cells show up a different way at different angles. This is also similar to the CT scan not long after radiation showing some radiation after effects in my lung tissue on the right side.
She’s also taking my case to the tumor board this week where they’ll decide the best course of action in determining next steps, which could include another surgery or possibly whole brain radiation once the new MRI scans are done.
Where’s that leave me? I little less stressed for now. Still praying for some sort of miracle that all this stops long enough for me to go do some of the things on my bucket list before it’s too late/hard to do so.