Friday, July 22, 2011


That was the positive word of the day.

Dad's high school graduation
Marina High School
 After Dad's "inconclusive" MRI a few weeks ago, Dr. Coleman ordered some other tests and another series of MRI's to determine what exactly is happening to the Deathstar. 

First up was a PET scan.  The PET scan measures and determines the activity level of the brain tissue.  Active tissue shows up bright yellow.  The margins around the cavity where the tumor was removed showed up yellow, along with a little spot on the opposite of the brain.  In the final report from the technicians they determined that to be active tumor tissue.

Second, was a series of MRI tests which Dad did on Monday.  Not only did they do a regular MRI, but they also did a Spectroscopy MRI and a Profusion MRI.  The Spectroscopy measures the chemical composition of the tissue and the Profusion measures blood flow to the tissues.  The Technicians determined that there is nothing in the MRI results to suggest rapid new growth or an increase in concern.  They also said the results were consistent with necrosis, not new growth.

The two tests (MRI and PET scan) seem to be contradicting each other.  However, Dr. Coleman said that is actually really common.  He pulled up on the computer screen the "inconclusive" MRI from June and the one taken on Monday.  He went through them with us, comparing the two images.  And determined that combined with the PET scan he believes there is no evidence of new growth, that the tumor is STABLE.  That is the best news we could receive.  They will be watching more closely than we were originally told and will do another round of MRI's in the middle of August.

Dad has been experiencing some of the symptoms he had before surgery.  Sometimes the right side of his face droops.  He's bumping into things on that side again.  He doesn't feel as stable.  And he's also having a hard time staying asleep at night.  I have noticed a big difference in his symptoms when he actually gets good sleep, so the doctor gave him some medicine to help him stay asleep, and also suggested some melatonin.  They are putting Dad back on the anti seizure med to hopefully relieve some of the other symptoms.

Dad starts his 5 days of chemo, with a higher dose than last time in a few days.  When he's on the chemo he is extremely tired and doesn't eat much.  We feel that's a real blessing compared to what others go through when taking chemo.

When I think of the tumor being stable I see this image...

A good portion (in our case the majority) of the Deathstar has been destroyed, and treatments have been effective in preventing it from rebuilding!

Note from Dad:
Hello all of you blog followers, all of you friends and relatives. Abbie is just reporting on the latest update on my situation.  It is such good news we are pleased with the report!  I want to express my Thanks to each of you for your prayers on my behalf and the family.  And thanks for all the thoughts and kind words of encouragement THAT YOU HAVE EXPRESSED TO ME PERSONALLY.  It all makes a big difference.  It is hard to explain the feeling of knowing that so many people are pulling for you; it is a feeling of support that transfers to me as I have gone through this ordeal and is a real power that we can feel.  I express from the bottom of my heart my love to each of you.
Thank you all,