Finally heard yesterday from the radiation oncologist who ordered my follow-up MRI. For those of you keeping count, the one questionable maybe-tumor has not changed at all and therefore his hunch was right–it’s scarring, not a met. Both actual tumors have grown (they are both around 5mm now…didn’t they get my message to be indolent?) and are a good size to target, and his gut feeling was to just get the zapping done “next week” rather than wait until the end of the month. Even though by the end of the month if they kept growing they’d be 7-8mm which is just as curable. But hey, gut feelings.
So we’re waiting for insurance approval and if that comes through very amazingly fast, my first planning appointment for the zapping procedure will be Friday, and the procedure itself will likely be a week from Friday, or maybe Thursday. Chemo will be put off for a week so I don’t have chemo and zapping in the same week. This messes up my chemo schedule, which felt threatening to my March vacation plans (to go away during my “off” week), but my oncologist said family vacations were more important than one week’s change in the chemo schedule so we would just put off chemo that week in March as well.
So I wondered, is there more wiggle room in the chemo dosing schedule than I think? Because that would mean delaying chemo a week at Thanksgiving, a week in January, and a week in March (basically every other month). I thought if the chemo is working we shouldn’t risk taking that much time “off.” He said if a week here and there over six months made it stop working, it was close to ceasing to work anyway. Gee, thanks for reminding me about that eventuality…
Meanwhile I now believe I can, indeed, cure cancer with my brain! Here’s the story. I was having really bad sciatic pain, kind of out of the blue. So that earned me a lumbar-spine MRI to make sure no new metastasis was pressing on the sciatic nerve in my spine. The MRI showed “two very small spots” in my vertebrae that the oncologist, reviewing them with me over the phone, said were of unknown cause but “given your history” were probably metastatic spread, just too small to show up on the latest surveillance CT scan. Or they could be benign–they certainly weren’t the cause of any sciatic-nerve impingement. So we wouldn’t worry about them, but they were probably more bone mets. OK, so now I have two more mets.
Me: “Did you check my April 2013 spine MRI to see if they were there then? Remember, when you ordered the MRI I said we could compare it to that one if we had questions.”
Oncologist: “Oh, yeah, forgot about that. Let me check….hmmmm…pulling it up now… Yup! One was there before–‘benign hemangioma,’ it says, same vertebra, same location, size. That’s the bigger one, 5 mm. Same as before. So never mind about that one, it’s nothing.”
Me, thinking: So I just cured myself of 1 out of 2 metastases with the power of my BRAIN! Go, brain!
Then to even things out, here is this interchange from yesterday:
Oncologist, reviewing MRI results with me over the phone, with report hot off the press from radiologist: “So the cerebellar lesion is nothing, just scarring, and the parietal lesion has grown to 5mm, which is a good size to target now. So we can treat it next week, if you want.”
Me: “What about the other met, the left occipital one?”
Oncologist: “What other met?”
Me: “The one in the left occipital lobe. It was in the November MRI report. There were three, but one was questionable. You just told me about two of the three. One is scarring, one is real and grew; what about the other one?”
Oncologist: “It wasn’t in the radiologist’s report…let me look at the images…”
Me: [hopes it has VANISHED miraculously…waits…]
Oncologist: “Oh, yes, there it is. Yes, that one grew too. We can target that one as well now. Don’t know why the radiologist reading the MRI missed it.”
Me: “Well THAT certainly doesn’t fill me with CONFIDENCE!”
Me, thinking: Whoops, I just gave myself another brain met with the power of my BRAIN.