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June 2016

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Abbreviated 18f-DOPA PET Results

It’s a long story, and I’m pretty pooped, but here’s a basic overview. The “scan was concerning for active disease”. It really isn’t the biggest deal, it could have quadrupled in size. There’s still questions surrounding imaging possibly being effected by treatments – not likely, but I won’t rule it out, I’m always hopeful. We’re trying to decide what our next step is (stopping treatment, skipping treatment, adding treatment, etc.). I’m surprisingly pleased with the results. It’s not the best news. As our neurosurgeon says, “It’s trending toward recurrence”(there are two “nodules” they’re watching). She wanted surgery, but we asked for a little more time. I’m not ready for the risk. I’m too scared. If the area is worse in October, we will revisit our options which include the usual suspects: surgery, radiation, chemo, or a combination. Apparently even my happy kitty socks couldn’t save the day, but they made me and my TSA pat down lady happy, so there’s that. Sorry that I won’t be letting people know individually, but as you can imagine, it’s overwhelming to reach out to all you lovely friends, I’d be on my phone for hours. I’m hoping to give a better explanation about the situation in the coming days.

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Early Call

With a 1:30 am wake up call, I’m in bed and it’s just past seven. It was easy to head to bed since I can’t eat much anyway because of scan restrictions. No dairy, legumes, animal proteins, nuts, seeds, soy products – I can’t even remember all the restrictions so I focused on what I could eat, which is fruit and veg. I’m not hungry though, just physically exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open because last night’s sleep was terrible – wide awake until 3:00 am. I had been fine for the last few weeks, my mental state has been a solid 8-10, but last night it hit me. It was inescapable. We have a scan in the morning that will show, with more than a 80% accuracy between necrosis, and recurrence or scar tissue. It’s a brilliant tool to have, but one that leaves little doubt, and really no denial either. At first, I thought this could go two ways. Tumor or no tumor. Then I started reminding myself that I won’t die of this tumor tomorrow, or next week, or even, heaven forbid this year. We’re playing the long game. It’s exhausting, but as you get to know the strategies, and learn from others, there are hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of different combinations of treatments. I’m certainly not at the end of my rope, even though, sometimes it feels that way.  I don’t really want to do the scan because I don’t want to have brain cancer, but since I do, I might as well get some answers. I have no expectations; I have no premonitions. I have hopes that this blob has a maxSUV of under 3.0 (which to my understanding will not be considered recurrence), but there are factors out of our control, variables…

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