Last Friday, I had my one-month post-radiation follow-up. The Tuesday prior, big R and I had a lovely date night in Waltham (shout out to Balani!). Of course, we capped it all off with a 9:30pm MRI (my first since radiation ended) at the MGH facility there.
Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous. It didn’t help that I had to sit in a waiting room for 35 minutes with an IV in my arm. By the time the nurse pushed the contrast (midway through the MRI), my arm was aching. I was ready to get the hell out of there.
Well, it turns out my patience paid off. To the utter and absolute surprise of everyone at the follow-up (me, big R, my mom, and even my neuro oncologist), my scan was clean. Clean. As in, they could not definitively detect evidence of tumor!
Here, check it out:
All of the above images are looking “up” from below my head. The tumor was in my right temporal lobe but appears on the left in the images. The first image on the left shows the largest cross section of the tumor and is from a slice about 10mm “higher” than the images on the right. The second image is from one day post-surgery. Look how ridiculously swollen my face and brain are! The last image is from last Tuesday. That little bit of anatomy in the middle of all the images is the brain stem, and it’s nice that it’s not all squished (technical term) by the tumor and/or the swelling any longer.
All of this is certainly cause for celebration, but we are still talking about an incurable cancer. So, there remains a crap-ton to do to fight to prevent recurrence and progression. On the other, other hand, my radiation oncologist actually said “We couldn’t have hoped for it to look any better.” Hell yeah!
Onward and upward!