Surgery has been scheduled for November 30th. The doctor is pretty sure it is a new tumor. He did say it could be from the radiation last spring, but he doubts it. They will be able to go in the same way they did last time so they won’t have to make a new incision in his skull. They are planning on putting radiation wafers in his head that will give out a constant dose of radiation and eventually they will disintegrate. As of right now the plan is to keep him on the Temodar, steroids, anti seizure medication and add Avastin to it all. They will do another MRI in the middle of December to see if the surgery was able to get all of the tumor and if it growing again. My sister and I will go down for the surgery.
I feel very blessed a the quality of care my dad is getting. The Huntsman Cancer Center is amazing. My dad’s oncologist is so personable and caring. He hugged my parents when they left his office last week. Not many doctors do that these days.
My parents are on their way up to our house today to spend Thanksgiving. I am looking forward to the quality time we will have together.
Wishing you all the best. Thank you for your emails and comments. It means a lot.
I have been procrastinating writing an update. I am still having a hard time dealing with the news we received. I have spent the past 3 days crying and popping Xanax, and yelling at people. I haven’t been a very good mother, employee or wife. My boss knows I like chocolate and brought me a big box of chocolate cupcakes yesterday afternoon (after I had yelled at 2 people on the phone. One being one of my best friends I work with.) I told him he must have thought I was REALLY grouchy to bring me so many cupcakes.
My dad’s MRI shows a new tumor growing adjacent to the original one. It is about 3-4 centimeters. ( The original tumor was about 7 centimeters.) His satellite tumor that is farther back in his brain has grown also. My husband and I went down to the appointments with them. First we sat and waited while he had a spectroscopy. This type of MRI actually looks at the metabolic changes in the brain. It took almost 2 hours. After that appointment we went over and met with the oncologist. He said that yes there was a new tumor, but that he thought it might be operable considering the location. I asked a lot of questions. Got answers, but not any that I was hoping for. If my dad ends up not being a candidate for surgery then he may be a candidate for Gamma Knife surgery/radiation. If he is not a candidate for the Gamma Knife then he will just be given Avastin and see if that works. I have read a lot about the Avastin. I don’t like what I have read, but the oncologist says that he has seen in help many patients with minimal side effects.
My dad is on steroids right now. A very low dose. They are helping immensely. They came and visited last Sunday for my daughter’s birthday and my dad slept the whole time they were here on the couch. When he was awake he was very confused. When we saw him Wednesday (3 days later) the difference was night and day. He was alert and back to himself again. I know the steroids are not a cure. I know the longer he is on them and the higher the dose gets that it is very bad for him. But I am happy that he is doing so well right now.
My parents have an appointment with the neurosurgeon on Tuesday. I have a feeling that since they did not get him in immediately that the chances of surgery are pretty slim. We are hoping and praying for the best. I am looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family and eating lots of food and making great memories.
My dad had another MRI yesterday. The doctor decided to do it a month earlier than originally planned. I asked my mom why, but she didn’t have an answer for me. She hadn’t asked. I am wondering if they have been seeing some changes in his blood work that prompted them to do it earlier. I am seeing changes in his behavior the past few weeks. He is having a hard time bouncing back after this last round of chemo. He is sleeping a lot more and has a real hard time with his short-term memory. He still has his sense of humor and isn’t having any problems with his motor skills. So that is good.
They gave us a disc again with the pictures from his MRI. I have compared them, and really don’t know what I am looking at. They look pretty much the same to me. We will find the results out on Monday.
Thinking happy positive thoughts, or trying to at least.