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Brain scan results – the good, the okay, and the bad.

March 18, 2010

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”false” link=”term=good%2c+bad%2c+ugly&iid=2606016″ src=”e/a/4/e/Clint_Eastwood_9b52.jpg?adImageId=11415341&imageId=2606016″ width=”234″ height=”193″ /]The results are a mixed bag as things almost always are these days.

The good news is that there are no new lesions. This means that whatever tumor cells are floating around in my blood didn’t get into my brain this time to make any new tumors — at least nothing that they can see (they have to be bigger than 1mm to see). This means the chemo and supplements are doing their job.

The okay news is that the two lesions they treated with gamma knife in August have neither grown nor shrunk. At some point they just become scar tissue and stay the same size forever, so that moment might have arrived. I would have liked to see them continue to shrink.

The bad news is that the two lesions they found in January have both grown slightly. I was hoping they’d stay the same or start shrinking. There is one in the left parietal lobe, which increased in two months from 3mm to 4mm. The other, in the right thalamus, increased from 2mm to 3mm. They can’t treat with gamma knife until the lesion reaches 6mm, so we will continue to wait and watch. If the lesions keep a steady growth then the larger won’t be big enough to treat for four months. I spoke with the oncologist about this today, and this is not his area of best expertise, so I have a follow-up with the brain surgeon on Monday. I need to ask him what the margin of error is on the scans. Some of them have a 1mm margin of error, so this growth might be no growth at all in reality. Just pray I don’t have any symptoms before we can treat these or, better yet, pray they’ll go away.

The two affected parts of the brain are pretty important. Symptoms can include the following:
Damage to the left parietal lobe can result in what is called “Gerstmann’s Syndrome.” It includes right-left confusion, difficulty with writing (agraphia) and difficulty with mathematics (acalculia). It can also produce disorders of language (aphasia) and the inability to perceive objects normally (agnosia).

Thalamus: large, bilateral (right thalamus/left thalamus) egg-shaped mass of gray matter serving as the main synaptic relay center. Receives/relays sensory information to/from the cerebral cortex, including pain/pleasure centers

Also, my white blood cell count took a very fast dive from last week to this. This puts me at risk for infection, so I’ll be getting a shot tomorrow afternoon to boost my white count. The last time I had this kind of shot I ended up with major bone pain, so I’m NOT looking forward to this. Other side effects include headache and vomiting and possibly increased cancer growth. Nice, eh? So, it’s a tradeoff between opening myself up to getting a deadly infection like MRSA, or giving the cancer something new to grow on. So, I’ll do this once and pray that I don’t have to do it again. Meanwhile, I’ll talk to the naturopath about other ways to build while cells.
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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Sharon Lyda permalink
    March 18, 2010 6:07 pm

    Nice picture of Clint Eastwood ! The brain is a crazy place and I will keep you in my thoughts for lots of “lesion shrinkage” and “white cell boosting” I think its great you are also using a naturopath I believe natural remedies do hold many untold secrets to health yet uncovered. Take care of yourself!

  2. March 18, 2010 6:14 pm

    Praying.

  3. mom permalink
    March 18, 2010 6:50 pm

    Keep up those good prayers people. They do work and they do work long term. Beautiful people you are to stick to Jill like this. Thank You and tell God thanks too for all he is doing for Jill.
    Mom

  4. Maria permalink
    March 18, 2010 6:53 pm

    Hi Mrs. B,

    Justin is home for spring break and says, “Hi!” We’ll be praying together for you and your family.

  5. Bemused Boomer permalink
    March 18, 2010 7:38 pm

    You are ever in my heart. Yes, praying.

  6. March 19, 2010 5:49 am

    (((SEAJILL)))) Love you much much!

  7. March 19, 2010 5:50 am

    And why does the little pic next to my comment look like a meth head? ROFL!

  8. Gina (FAM from MI) permalink
    March 19, 2010 6:45 am

    Praying for you. Keep fighting!

  9. Lisa Welch permalink
    March 19, 2010 7:18 am

    Keeping you in my thoughts every day. Would you like a meal delivery on Monday or Tuesday? I can bring a couple of selections.

    Perfect little picture next to Cassie’s post! 😉

  10. Lisa permalink
    March 19, 2010 10:46 am

    Ahhh… is humor appreciated?! I can’t help, but think of the saying – “Of all the things I’ve lost, Iet miss my mind the most.” 😉

    Seriously though, of all body parts to have Cancer and to you of all people – your mind is a beautiful gift and I am sure you feel so many things. I’m sending extra prayers! I’m visualizing those nasty tumors just leaving!!!

    (((((HUGS)))))))))))) You and yours cross my mind so very many times each day ….

  11. Jakk(Kim) permalink
    March 19, 2010 11:20 am

    Always in thought and heart. The good, the ok or bad.

    xoxo Jakk

    (who loves Cassie, even though she’s a meth head)

  12. March 19, 2010 12:05 pm

    I love you, darlin’ – I’ll keep prayin’ for you!

  13. Sarahtee in Aus permalink
    March 19, 2010 2:36 pm

    Thanks for the update, Jill. Good to know there are no new lesions, and like Lisa I’m visualising those January lesions just shrinking to nothing. More prayers from here.

    Cassie, LOL at your avatar comment 🙂

  14. Babs permalink
    March 19, 2010 5:04 pm

    Jill…..thank you for your wit!
    What crap having to wait for something to get BIGGER!
    Please know I love you and will stand by you. If you need a FAM intervention – I’ll be on the first plane to WA.

  15. Sami permalink
    March 19, 2010 9:45 pm

    You are in my prayers (((HUGS))) Hopefully shrinkage will happen! Stay strong and know that you have all of us pulling for you.

  16. Sami permalink
    March 19, 2010 9:46 pm

    wow, that avatar is either really mad or really constipated….. where is the one that looks like a dodo bird, that would be more like me. *grin*

  17. March 20, 2010 12:09 am

    “…difficulty with mathematics (acalculia)”

    Pretty sure I have this one myself.

    db

  18. Ellen permalink
    March 20, 2010 7:30 am

    Let’s celebrate the good news! WAHOOOOO!

    As for the OK and the bad, well let’s just say “it could be worse” … you could be a meth head like Cassie, 🙂

    Praying for the bad to come to the good side!

    Ellen, the Canadian formerly known as Mame

  19. March 20, 2010 8:35 am

    Doesn’t Dave’s avatar look like it’s trying to cheer up Sami’s? Or it’s Sami’s avatar after success in the bathroom. 🙂

    My own MRI scan is on Tuesday the 23rd. Probably a tear to the Labrum, the cartilage cushion inside the hip socket. Jill said maybe I won’t have to have my whole body in the machine. Cool!

  20. Lisa permalink
    March 22, 2010 1:05 pm

    What is truly scary is my avatar seems too much like me?! *LOL*

    Back to my homework, but was checking in to see if there was any new news.

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