The first MRI was the functional MRI. As Amy stated previously this MRI was done to map where exactly Dad's speech and language center is in relation to the Deathstar. I got to sit in on the instructions the doctor gave Dad before the MRI began. We went over a few of the tests (or stages) they would be doing. The stages rotated between periods of activity and rest. Some of the stages included:
- Dad was asked to tap his tongue on the top of his mouth making a "T" sound for 20 seconds, then the word REST would appear for 20 seconds.
- During another stage over the headphones Dad would hear a descriptive sentence like "Something cold you eat on a cone." Dad was instructed to say in his head what the sentence was describing. Next he would hear scrambled language.
With only about 15 minutes of resting with me in the waiting room, they called him back to do his second MRI. This was a regular MRI. Combining the functional and regular MRI, the doctors will be able to determine what parts of the Deathstar they will remove and what parts they won't. The hope is that when the two are combined Dad's speech and language center won't be intertwined much with the Deathstar. The surgeon will only take what he can to preserve Dad's ability to communicate.
After the MRI's we had to take a trip up to the Huntsman Cancer Center for Dad to have some blood draws. These are for the study Dad has elected to be in (we'll write about that later). But for now, know that the study has nothing to do with Dad's current treatment plan. It's additional work to hopefully help people in the future.
Dad crashed on the way home (as in slept, not crashed his truck because I was driving). And pretty much slept the rest of the evening and most of Saturday. He was sick to his stomach that whole time too. Saturday afternoon Dad got up and milled about the house as Mike, Amy and Mom rearranged the bedroom and moved his new recliner in. He's got a sweet set up now.
It has been two long days... and I'm sure there are many more of those to come. We are counting down the days to surgery because that is when we hope healing and some improvements will come. Thank you all for your phone calls, emails, comments and prayers, they give us strength to carry on.