Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Results - Feb 13, 2008

One of my fears lately is that I will not be able to express myself to the standards I have come to expect from myself. Some days I feel like what I write is concise, entertaining, informative, well prepared, etc. Other days, what I write is simply brain babble - mindless drivel coming from my fingertips. I fear I will write in this latter manner on days when I really want to say something - days when I have something important to relay about Brian and his health which is the reason I created this blog last April. I want to be most effective during those moments, but some days there is nothing else to do than simply get to the point, to write conversationally, and to ask for forgiveness with respect to grammar and creativity.

Brian’s results day was today. I hate this day. I try my best to occupy my mind and time, but what I find is that I am generally short with my children, ineffective with my time management and overall sick-feeling all day. Today was no different, except that this appointment was late in the afternoon, so I got to experience my shortcomings all day.

I was extremely nervous when the doctor came in and made idle chit chat for the first 5-10 minutes. He asked several times how Brian was feeling and to me those questions coupled with the lack of divulging information could only mean one thing. Finally, he read the MRI results:

The Spectroscopy (MRSI) results were inconclusive (again). On test day, the MRSI should add about 20 minutes onto the tail end of a standard 1 hour brain MRI. When Brian had the test performed, he laid on the table for 2-1/2 hours. They do not know how to administer this MRSI here very well nor do they know how to read it. At Stanford, they use this test often and effectively. Right now we only have this test performed because our follow-up is still part of the Stanford research study in which Brian participated in May. So, we will wait to see what Stanford says about the MRSI again.

The MRI showed minimal increase in enhancement surrounding the surgical cavity. This could mean slight growth. This could mean scarring. This could mean necrosis (dying cells). The Spectroscopy should show the difference to an extent, but it doesn’t really matter here in Peoria, IL since they don’t use, perform or read these tests much. Dr. G. does not recommend any change in treatment right now. The increase was very minimal. The *cringe at word* tumor board (group of neuro-surgeons, neurologists, radiologists and oncologists that review cases) will meet Monday and review Brian’s case to see if they think it warrants any change in our current protocol.

In summary, all in all, it is relatively good news. Brian’s pathology last April is one of the most aggressive types of *cringe at word again* cancer known. So no growth to speak of is encouraging. We, naturally, would like NO GROWTH AT ALL and shrinkage of what little enhancement is remaining, but we will take what we can get for now. We consider this continued testing of our faith, tolerance and reliance upon our Father. We will continue the fight and press on from here. Pressing on right now means another round of Temodar chemo and continued vigor in our worship, prayer and spiritual journey.

Thank you to all our friends and family and my newfound on-line blogging friendships for your continued support and prayers. We would be nowhere without you all.

I am most happy to report that we can, without feelings of hypocrisy, continue to live and write these words …



  1. Angie, I just love you. As much as you can love someone you haven't physically met, I do. We are along for the journey, admiring your courage and attempting to encourage you when you're down. But nobody ever judges or criticizes you. My thought is...go with it. Not to wallow it in, but to let today be what it is and not punish yourself for coping the best you know how. Prayers will continue to be lifted, and my prayer is for healing and joy and a sense of peace to carry your family. Much love.

  2. Angie, I am thankful to hear what you wrote about today...prayer is amazing and God listens to everything we share with him. We continue to lift you up in prayer at home and at LMO. I am so amazed at the strength that you have as you go through this everyday. Brian is so blessed to have a wife like you that supports him so strongly. Not only do I pray for Brian's health and your other requests, I also pray that the Lord will continue to sustain you as you incredibly fulfill your role as a wonderful wife and mom.

  3. I am thanking God for the relatively good news and continuing to pray for you and Brian.


  4. Oh girl, like no kidding. It's amazing that you can function at all on these days. Hugs.

    I'm glad that you're at least content with what you heard. I can't imagine how hard it must be just waiting from one test to the next. Keep strong and know that many people's thought's and prayers are with you and your family.

    Also, don't forget to be kind to yourself too. You're being very strong so cut yourself some slack once in a while, it's okay not to be the perfect spouse, writer and Mom all the time. Really.

  5. Angie, I love your faith, your hope, your courage. You are an amazing woman to whom I am so happy to have "met" via this line of communication.

    Hugs and Prayers to you and your family.

  6. Angie and Brian,

    Mains, Nothaus and I were just talking about you guys this past weekend on a guys trip to Miami. I knew results day was approaching and you were in our thoughts and always. I will continue to pray for a positive reading from your guys and gals at Stanford. Thanks for sharing in your journey (both the positives and negatives). It makes it seem even more real as one reads this even though one without these struggles may not ever comprehend. I love you guys!

  7. This sounds like relatively good news.

    My Mom has (NHL) cancer and has checkups every few months, and on the days of her MRI's I become a different person filled with worry and have a very short fuse.

    I am in awe of your strength. I will keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. I most certainly will keep believing.

  8. Angie & Brian,

    Ben described the two of you to me long before he found your blog. I pictured the two of you as dynamic, fun, strong people. As I've "met" you through your blog, I have been amazed by the depth of your commitment to each other, by your strength, and by your faith. I've enjoyed your sense of humor. I was happy to read about the relatively positive news that you were told today (thanks for explaining it). I'm sorry to hear that you have to wait longer to hear something from Stanford. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers, and we will keep believing.


  9. Even though I am a pretty new blogging buddy, I want you to know you are in my prayers. I cannot imagine what your journey is like, but I do appreciate that you allow me to share in your thoughts as you write them here and that I can be a supportive partner in prayer.

    Leigh Ann

  10. I celebrate your guarded good news. I really do.

  11. I will keep thinking of you often and hoping for more good (or at least not bad)news.

    Your strentgh and believing lifts us all up.

  12. I am not a praying person but I admire the strength and grace you show in dealing with such a trying, stressful part of your life. HUG

  13. You are so amazing!! I can only imagine the things you go though during testing time and results time. I am inspired!

    Keep praying and having faith. SOmetimes that is all you can do.
    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


    PS Happy Valentine's Day