MRI … check!

Leane is worn out (that would be “plumb tuckered out” in these parts) right this minute, so she asked me to post a little something about the latest news — mostly because even though there’s bad news and good news, the good news is so good that the bad news is irrelevant.

The bad news is that the 1.8cm tumor in her brain is still mostly there — it has not shrunk by much after 10 days of radiation treatment focused on it.

The really good news is that, looking at her MRI from July right next to her MRI from today, it’s easy to see that the tumor has changed for the better, and indeed it has shrunk visibly. More importantly, though, the new MRI has led both the radiologist and the radiation oncologist to draw the conclusion that the tumor IS NOT A METASTASIS OF HER BREAST CANCER after all!!!!

They are now calling it a schwannoma, a BENIGN cancer of schwann cells that cover and protect nerve fibers — what they call the nerve sheath. She probably had it when she was born, albeit it very tiny, and it has taken 60 years to grow to 1.8cm. (Think: “It’s not skin cancer, it’s a freckle”.)

So the plan now is to run another MRI in two months, and another one probably two months after that, to see if this tumor continues to shrink due to the radiation treatment (which is what the oncologist expects it to do, because that’s what radiation treatment does).

That means — this is the second best bit of the awesomely good news — that she does NOT need to go to Tulsa for that draconian “cyberknife” treatment. That treatment would have been almost as risky as surgery, because the tumor is right next to a critical piece of  her optic nerve. Too much radiation (or surgical damage) to that and Leane would be blind.

So the oncologist wants to avoid using the cyberknife if at all possible. Right now he’s very pleased by what he’s seeing on the MRI, and sees no reason to even contemplate the cyberknife unless he sees something surprising in subsequent scans.

Oh yeah, he also gave her the green light to start driving again (pun intended). That was a relief.

Speaking now for myself, I want to thank everybody for all their prayers and good thoughts through this whole ordeal. Prayers and good thoughts accomplish what they are intended to accomplish, and we would be much worse off without them.

Thank you.


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