Monday, September 29, 2008

MRI results

First of all, many of you have expressed concerns as to why I was at the doctor last week. It was just a new appointment to meet a new doc. I am on my 3rd doctor at this practice in 5 years. They keep leaving. I have a spot on my leg that looks sort of like a mole that I wanted to get checked out because it really isn't a mole. Anyway, it looks like a something or other cyst, only give it some Latin name and you got it. It is nothing. It is basically like a scar tissue that has grown inward instead of outward, but I wanted to be sure, so I also went to the dermatologist. So, LITERALLY 110 seconds and 110 dollars later I am sure. That is all. Now I am off to insure my life while it is still insurable for my kids' future.

Secondly, we had the best time evah! at the Cardinals game with Matt and Mindi on Friday night. The worst part of the entire evening was the fact that we had to get up at 8:00 the next day to leave by 9:00 to be at the wedding BACK in Peoria on Saturday. And I will say that Mindi made up for at least half nine months of sobriety during her pregnancy in THAT ONE NIGHT. Holy Cow! That girl has a hollow leg! AND she kept farting. At the ballgame! And it smelled like Mom and Dad's septic system after a large family gathering before they added onto it. Just sayin'.

Brian had an oncologist appointment today. He had his 8 week MRI last week and the results were read to us today.

There is a small area of change in the tumor bed, meaning the area that the tumor we treated with gamma knife is located- the area we watch closely each scan. The area grew from 29 mm (about an inch) to 35 mm, so a growth of 6 mm, from last MRI to this one (in 8 weeks). The area does not have any swelling around it which is good, but it is difficult to say what the change is from. With an MRI of the brain, tumor does not look very different from other abnormalities like dead cells or scar tissue. Typically, with radiation the largest changes of necrosis (dying cells) and scar tissue will show up at around 6 to 18 months. Brian is 17 months POST radiation (late April 2007 in California), so the changes COULD be from radiation induced scarring. USUALLY, tumor progression is accompanied with other swelling which Brian does not have. HOWEVER, the Avastin he takes as part of this chemotherapy protocol also reduces that swelling, so it is difficult to say for sure.

Clinically, Brian is doing well. He tolerates the chemo (Avastin and CPT-11) pretty well, and his blood counts remain normal. He is not deteriorating with respect to his neurological functions, but he does not improve. He has some difficulties speaking. His right side does not work great - his hand and arm being the worst. He cannot feel his right side the same as his left side. All these things are the same as post surgery and rehabilitation. They are stable from where they were several months ago, given that on any day he may do better or worse with any one of these functions.

Because he is doing fine clinically and his change was so small and cannot be identified exactly, his oncologist recommends continuing on this course of Avastin and CPT-11. He is getting treatment as I write this. The brain tumor board will review Brian's scans this evening at their meeting.

So, that is about it. Not exactly the news we wanted to hear, but whatever. I don't really know what to say. It is nothing earth-shattering, but it isn't devastating, either, so there you go.

Can you tell I don't really know how to feel about it?

Brian says he feels good, so whatever. Besides, we don't know what the growth is, exactly.

Anyway, please pray for Brian to continue to heal and to feel good.

Please pray for a miracle, because in the end that is what we need.

KEEP BELIEVING

26 comments:

  1. I will KEEP praying and KEEP BELIEVING.

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  2. As always you will be in my prayers. I guess not bad news is good news right?! KEEP BELIEVING !!

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  3. As always, you guys are in our prayers.

    And, just wanted to mention (don't know if it means anything or not) but when we saw you guys in P-town back in the spring, I really couldn't tell too much different about Brian. Yes, his speech was a little bit slower and yes he walked slower, but not much. I'm sure you see more because you're with him all the time and you know every part of him. But he's still just as sweet and funny as ever! He's got an amazing spirit and one amazing wife too!

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  4. Glad you all had a great time at your baseball game on Friday!

    And I was thinking about you this morning wondering how things were going. You both are always in my prayers, and I hope that things can be identified better at tumor board.

    Remember-Keep Believing!!

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  5. I liked your comment over on Vintage Thirty regarding mammograms:

    "Is that all, Brian works me over harder than that!"

    So I thought I'd come check you out!
    :-)

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  6. I'm keeping positive thoughts flowing regarding your husband and that item which should remain only in the smallest of lower cases.

    Weird I know, meeting someone virtually and then thinking positive thoughts for their family member... but the way I see it, we're all on this big blue marble together and we gotta hold on tight to one another while we're here.
    :-)

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  7. Your family has been in my prayers since I first discovered your blog.

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  8. I've never stopped since the first time I heard you're story. I'll KEEP BELIEVING.

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  9. I'm always praying for you guys and I always expect miracles!

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  10. anglophilefootballfanatic.comSeptember 29, 2008

    I'm glad you enjoyed the game. I'm sorry the news wasn't better - but clinically good is better than bad, right?

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  11. I can tell that you don't know what to think.
    I think y'all are both friggin' awesome, and I'd be worn out and emotionally exhausted each and every time this process rolls around.
    However, I will pray. Never will I stop.
    Much love, Angie! Much love.

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  12. I'm glad you had some fun (and farts) at the ballgame. Laughter is the best medicine - or so they say. I hear you on the busy week...sometimes I wish I could crawl into bed for a week!

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  13. I'm so glad you guys had a great time at the baseball game, Angie! Everyone needs those days.

    I will say many more prayers for you guys with all you have going on...

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  14. Just catching up after some time away....
    LOVED you miracle Monday letter to Gavin.
    Just Beautiful. Just remember that God is STILL watching out for you just as closely.
    Blessings, E

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  15. Praying and thinking about all of you, like always.

    Hugs.

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  16. Wow - Your sister got called out on that one! That is pretty fricking funny - I was dying at your description. I miss the cardinals and STL.

    I check back frequently - I like the one you posted about your mom - very sweet

    Always in my prayers - Keep fighting

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  17. Thanks for updating. We will continue to pray.

    Janell

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  18. Believing and praying in Maryland.

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  19. Hey you guys---just wanted to let you know how much we love you both and pray and thank God for bringing you into our lived each day. You two are such an inspiration as to how you keep a marriage going--through all kinds of circumstances---with faith and love and HOPE!!!!! You are a blessing to ALL those who have the priviledge to know you, but I get to call you friends---and that is priceless to me, and I know I can speak for all of your gals at MnM---We love you!!!!!!
    Kris

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  20. Brian and Angie - We are praying a lot here in Oklahoma. It's a long way from Peoria, but about the same distance from God. We talk about you a lot out here. Just remember, you have friends everywhere!

    Kimberly White

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  21. I think it is important that Brian is feeling good. That can't be minimized.

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  22. well now, I haven't been by cuz I lost all my bookmarks in a virus from the antivirus software issue. and you've been a bit busy and haven't stopped by. :-)

    it sounds like Brian is doing very well, for that I'm glad. The only one who knows the future is He who holds it. (you know that though, huh.)

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  23. I have been praying for Brian, and will continue praying. {{{{lots of hugs for you}}}}}

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  24. You got. I'm a good little pray-er.

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  25. I am praying. I am sending hugs. I am sending happy. :)

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