Day 144: October 11th, 2016

Hey there! Long time, no talk! I guess I’ve kinda fallen out of touch, but really this is kind of a good thing – the Ritalin gives me energy so I actually do stuff and  don’t just sit around depressed and complaining all day. 

So I had an MRI last Wednesday, October 5th, and then Brandon and I made the trek to Iowa city the next day, Thursday, October 6th, to see my doctors for the MRI interpretation and for a routine check-up. Just to clue you all in, unless something bad happens, I will be getting my blood drawn routinely every 4 weeks as well as getting an MRI every 8 weeks for the foreseeable future.


When we got to IC (Iowa city) I first got my labs drawn (so doctor Monga can monitor how chemo is affecting my blood and such), then I went downstairs to see Dr. Smith (my radiation doctor) for a routine check up since I’m done with radiation. He just asks how I’m feeling (just fine), if I’ve had any headaches (I haven’t), check on my scalp to see if I have any sores or post-radiation burns (I don’t). And then we look over the MRI scans and discuss it. Very little of what we discuss makes sense to me, it’s all very confusing, but the gist of it is that there is no progression. There is still a little spot, but it is stable. So if you’re wondering what to pray about, pray that there is no brain swelling and that the spot shrinks and shrinks. 


After seeing Dr. Smith I was pretty encouraged, because he seemed very happy with the results and my progress. After that, I went back upstairs to see Dr. Monga. He asks the same questions, gives me the results of my labs, and gives his interpretation of the scans. Dr. Monga is always less encouraging than Dr. Smith, but Brandon says it’s because Monga just finished his residency whereas Smith is a professor and has been in this a lot longer and has that confidence that comes with experience and time. I choose to believe Brandon on that because otherwise I get scared and discouraged. 


So to clarify, there is a small spot next to the spot where the tumor was removed that on the scans appears half white, half black. The white is solid, the black is fluid. This could be scar tissue, a small tumor, or pseudo-progression. This spot appears to be stable but raises some concern in Dr. Monga. Dr. Monga is presenting my MRI scans today, Tuesday October 11th, to the tumor board at IC. (The tumor board is a bunch of doctors who specialize in this and have a lot of experience with tumors.)

The results we got were all in all, pretty good. They said everything was stable and I am obviously gaining my strength back and losing weight – all good things. To celebrate, Brandon took me out to Olive Garden which was a special treat!


I am continuing to slowly taper my steroid – I go down 1/2 a pill each Tuesday. So I am tapering at a snails pace, but that’s because my adrenal glands are literally having to regrow. 

I continue to go to therapies, try to eat healthily, and try to maintain a peace and happiness in Jesus. I don’t want to sound fake, but I’ve learned and am still learning that I can only achieve true peace and happiness through Him and not through other means – I’ve tried.

  

I get my blood drawn tomorrow, October 12th, and then again on the 18th. Dr. Monga checks my blood work and makes sure I’m ok to start chemo, so really, I’m not sure when I start round 4 but it should be coming up soon. Let’s pray that it goes as smoothly as it has been.

The last weekend in October Brandon and I are going to Georgia to visit Brandon’s parents, sister and her wife, and our niece, Emma. We’re also going to a Packers game! Go Pack Go!

Mom went to the hospital this past Sunday because she was in so much pain; she goes to see her doctors tomorrow and Friday. Also, there is a woman at our church, Fern, who also has cancer, I’m not sure what type, and she starts her chemo soon. Please pray for Fern and her treatments, for my mom and her pain, and for me and that I be healed and can live a long life with my family, serving God.


 If you have any questions for me (because this post is kind of confusing), feel free to ask!

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