We were able to catch a 440pm flight out of Houston to Dallas leaving MD Anderson at 3pm. We were very rushed! We are now settled in on our flight to Detroit, and we will be home much sooner then we anticipated. I cannot wait to see Andrea and the boys – with them, life just makes sense no matter what is thrown at us.
As for me, it’s always a mixed bag of news. First and foremost, there are no new visible lesions. Obviously, this is amazing news! We thank God with everything that we have that nothing new has shown up. Please continue to keep that a constant prayer. It’s hard enough fighting this intruder without more issues arising!
As for the previous GammaKnife treatment, there were two lesions that were irradiated with gamma – both in the frontal lobe – smaller one more posterior on the right side of the brain near the motor strip and the larger one more medial.
The smaller one has decreased in size slightly which is indicative of an appreciative response to treatment. The larger one, unfortunately, has increased in size. However, this can mean many different things, and it was somewhat expected as this lesion was actively bleeding prior to radiation and treatment can and does cause subsequent swelling/inflammation.
Put another way, it’s not necessarily tumor growth. The area surrounding the lesion has grown or increased in visibility on the scan, not necessarily the tumor/disease itself. With the contrasting techniques on the MRI, our medical team is more convinced it is bleeding and swelling from treatment then progression of disease.
Unfortunately, as with everything in my case, only time will tell. Our plan for now is to watch it closely. Surgical removal of this area of concern is a real possibility, but it was deemed secondary to watching and waiting for now. According to our doctors, the first month follow-up of GammaKnife is very hard to judge the efficacy of radiation treatment. There are many variables in treating a site as the disease can swell from inflammation, internal bleeding, external bleeding, and/or disease progression. It’s very hard to tell at this point. Obviously, shrinking is the best scenario, but many cases have grown and then disappeared as time passed due to the biology and very nature of radiation treatment.
Chemo will continue, and we are still trying to get Temodar added to my chemo regimen with Taxol. We will plan to rescan with an MRI in about a month. Unfortunately, this will be the same time to rescan the entire body with a PET/CT scan. It will be one extremely stressful week come mid-October. Please pray for us, as you so selflessly continue to do.
Thank you for your love and dedication to my family. We could not do this without you – not for a single second. There is strength in numbers, and we are never alone in this world. You mean the world to my family and me, and I couldn’t do this without you all by my side.
I love you all.