Monday, October 24, 2016

UCLA Tumor Board Results

Dang it if brain tumor life isn't confusing. At least in my world! I can't be the only one who has these types of yoyo results. I mean, it's better to have differing results than a truly horrible, obvious situation. The ups and downs, though are insane. 

If you don't want to watch the whole video (3 min 44 sec), the short is: tumor is growing, albeit slowly. (Think millimeters.) I believe the two treatments I added in the past two months, are helping - who knows, maybe the tumor had grown more in the interim, and now they're even shrinking it? Who knows! I rule out nothing.

My neurosurgeon at UCLA offered a brain surgery to remove whatever she can, or she said she is "comfortable" waiting 2-3 months for another stealth (pre-op) MRI. I opted for the latter, and agreed that if I had furthering symptoms, I would move up the scan.

Some people might think I'm crazy to push-off brain surgery, since I have a growing tumor in my brain, but there are inherent risks involved. Remember when I had to learn how to walk, talk, read - learn the alphabet again?! I do. We will never know for sure if the decisions that we make are the best ones, but a decision is what we have before us. For now, we try to do the least invasive approach. If that isn't enough, we will evolve as we always have.

It's confusing because the symptoms of my seizures are the same symptoms that tumor growth would cause. The main take away right now is that it's important for me to stay the course on exactly what I'm doing treatment-wise, and perhaps even add a few non-toxic, whole body health boosting things. And I really need to lower my stress levels. They directly cause extra seizures, and that makes diagnosing possible tumor growth, very difficult.

With all that being said, I should go to bed. I have a big day planned with a bunch of friends tomorrow. We're doing a nature hike in an old growth forest. I'm so excited! I'll be sure to hug some trees for all of ya. ;-)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Half of the MRI Results (Swedish vs UCLA)

Basic update about our current and upcoming results for treatment.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Neurosurgeon, New MRI Scheduled

Just snuck and took a video in my first neurosurgeon's apppointmet at Swedish, in Seattle. At the end of the video you can see a slice of my brain, which includes the brain tumor. Yuuuuck!!! It's gross. Every. Time. I. See. It. The image is from back in April, so it's not even current.

On this Thursday, I have a MRI and cerebral fluid scan to evaluate the growth, and see how much blood is going to the tumor. The fluid scan tracks the metabolic activity which requires more blood than regular tissue.

Will meet with a new neurooncologist after the scan. Then I will upload my images to UCLA's system and hope I get in for next Wednesday's tumor board. It's frustrating that they only review cases once a week. If there's a backlog it can take weeks, even a month, to get results on treatment recommendations.

Big day today, but an even bigger one on Thurs. Fingers crossed that all of my little issues are treatment effects, not tumor growth. I believe in miracles. And in my opinion, it only takes one to change your life.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Introduction to My YouTube Vlog

I'm getting lazy in my old age, and resorting to video blogs to keep in touch.

Okay, I was just cracking a joke, but truth is, I'm having a harder and harder time expressing myself with written words. I can't even think straight these days. I'm truly bone tired, and that's why I barely write anymore.

Please note: My YouTube channel will have all the videos, but the BLOG will have all the various posts: video, written, guest, etc.

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