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Update from the brain guy.

March 23, 2010

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=brains&iid=230516″ src=”0226/aa254947-bb0e-4698-8c58-3eb35f6da8a9.jpg?adImageId=11591201&imageId=230516″ width=”234″ height=”312″ /] If you remember from my last post, the oncologist admitted he wasn’t an expert on brain scans, but he was concerned about the potential 1mm growth of the two lesions. The good news is that the brain guy said the margin of error on the brain MRI is 1mm, and both showed growth of 1mm or a little less. In brain-guy land, that means that both lesions are considered “stable” as in they technically didn’t grow at all.

So, this is a good lesson for me to look at the bright side more often and try to remember the margin of error on each scan.

The plan now is to scan again in two months to see if there’s any more growth or if they remain stable. It could be that I’ll have to get my brain scanned every two months for the rest of my life, but if it keeps these things in sight and under control, then it will be worth it — maybe not to my insurance company, but to me.

I asked about how many lesions they can treat at once. The answer is up to 10, but I’d have to go to a fancy-pants machine downtown for that.

I also asked when the breaking point is for doing whole brain radiation versus treating the lesion with SRS or gamma knife, and the answer is four lesions. This is a little confusing because they can treat up to ten at once, but they advise going with whole brain radiation if you have four at once since that many at once indicates some underlying disease that might spread quickly and cause seizures. We’re not at that decision point yet, so I’m not going to worry about it.

The disadvantage of whole brain radiation is the potential for early dementia. So, should we come to that decision point I’ll likely ask for lots of prayer in making the decision. But again, we’re not there yet.

I’m on chemo break right now and will start back again a week from Thursday. Meanwhile, I’m suffering the after-effects of the Neulasta, which is the shot I had to have last week to build white blood cells since mine took a quick dive to below-normal-land in a week. The Neulasta causes bone pain, nausea, headaches, and so forth. Right now I’m having pretty bad shooting pains in my hip bones, and my lower back is reacting by going into spasms.

Hank taught me a great breathing exercise that is dealing with the pain since I can’t take most pain meds (they interact with the chemo…). I’m also going to blast it with an hour of yoga this morning. I’ll be the one in the back of the room trying not to scream, but it should help. Sitting on my

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 23, 2010 9:57 am

    That explains why I was having back spasms out of the blue this morning — sympathy pains! I feel for you. Yoga is a great help, especially if it’s the slow, meditative method. (I signed up for one yoga class that was more like aerobics and hated it. I quit after two sessions. Repetitive motion gives me back spasms.) Good luck, and break on through to the other side. 🙂

  2. March 23, 2010 4:26 pm

    I’m so glad to hear the news that the lesions are not growing! Woo hoo!

    I’ve read where people used high potency arnica montana, a homeopathic remedy (not a med), for pain after surgery. Do you have access to a homeopath?

  3. Maria permalink
    March 23, 2010 4:39 pm

    Yeah! So glad you got clarification – and some relief, too – from the brain guy. I hope you can enjoy your “spring break” with a little R&R. We’re praying for you!

    Oh, Justin got news today that he was approved to begin the first course in the Creative Writing sequence at D, so he was quite excited. The spark you fanned is still burning…

    Happy Palm Sunday! – Maria

  4. March 23, 2010 8:55 pm

    I am relieved to hear that you have gotten some good news. Hopefully there will be lots more from now on.

    I found myself wincing as I read of your current discomfort. I hope that your physical symptoms alleviate soon.

  5. March 24, 2010 5:57 pm

    Great news from the brain guy!! YAY!!!!

    I hope your pain goes away soon, Jill (((HUGS)))

  6. Deb permalink
    March 25, 2010 6:16 am

    As always you’re in my thoughts and prayers. Give yourself a hug for me! Love, Deb

  7. Sarahtee permalink
    March 29, 2010 1:23 am

    Thanks for the update, Jill – hoping you have some time without pain and feel better before chemo rolls around again.

  8. Lisa permalink
    March 29, 2010 7:22 pm

    Healing thoughts headed your way! If there is any other ‘pain management’ technique you are interestedin — there are some great pain specialists out there! I have had to learn how to do meditation for the past few weeks as part of an “assignment” by a professor — been awed how it changes how I look at the pain that is part of my CFS and life in general. I tried yoga — I couldn’t focus 😉 I may try again some day with some Hatha yoga.

    Good thoughts and continued prayers!

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