Friday, September 9, 2016

Stable

In trauma or on-set of illness or medical issue, "stable" is just the first step in treatment and recovery.  In Brain Cancer, "stable" is more on the other end of treatment, as it refers to lack of growth or change in brain tissue.

After a grueling wait, Thursday we had a follow-up MRI and Dr.'s appointment regarding a possible new tumor.  Turns out, it looks to be gone without any treatment needed at all...at least, that is the preliminary results.  "Stable" is great, really.  Now back to scans every 6 months!  Now if I could just get my finances "stable".

Monday, June 20, 2016

Weight of the Wait

All cancers are different, but brain cancer is in a league-of-it's-own, in both treatment and diagnosis.  The initial diagnosis, for most brain cancer patients, comes as a result of a side-effect due to the brain cancer (seizure, vision issues, nausea, dizziness, etc.), meaning that the cancer had time to grow and develop.  Mature tumors can often be scanned (via MRI w/contrasts) to determine what kind of tumor it is, which helps direct what kind of treatment it will require.  That entire process happens very fast with the first diagnosis, for most.

The second diagnosis is the absolute opposite.  See, after brain cancer is treated, you have many, many MRI's...first stage is monthly for a year, maybe two...then every 3 months...then every 6 months...then every year...then every other year...you can see the pattern.  You might think that if/when they do find something on these scans, you would be rushed back into treatment (of some kind), but that is not the case.  Because doctors are actively looking for abnormalities in the brain, any occurrence is caught early on, and in some cases, so early that it can not even be treated until it grows and matures to a stage where scans reveal the cancer's make-up.  In cancer in other parts of the body, even the smallest tumors can be sampled and biopsied to determine make-up and the corresponding treatment...this is where brain cancer is very different.  Brain cancer can not currently be sampled without major surgery (in most cases, becomes complete resections, if operable at all).   Recently, after almost 3 years of remission, the neurologist called my wife and said the words we dreaded to hear..."There is a spot."  Then we are told that it is very small, not of much concern yet, and will need to be watch closely.  An MRI was scheduled for three months from now.

Fact is, there is really very little it could be other then cancer.

That means, for the next three months, we wait.  Hoping for the best, dreading the worst...we wait.  Trying to work, live, parent, and be...we wait.

Life in burdening, enough, without cancer...without the weight of the "wait".

Monday, May 9, 2016

I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me....

Doctors are vague by nature.  They don't want to "candy coat" things or scare you away from treatment....and that scenario almost always leave the patient short on information.

Check THIS out...it has some priceless Q/A on Cancer.  You will find survivors answer these questions quite candidly.






Friday, April 29, 2016

Tissue Alert!

Sometimes, I think kids do not get the credit they deserve when it comes to being ultimately compassionate...something we, as adults, can learn from them.

This story...wow...so brave!  Bless his little heart...

Click HERE to read...