I haven’t sent out an update on my health since May, and in the last month something changed, so I want to share an update with those of you interested.
In June I finished my eighth round of chemotherapy, and in July had my every-two-month MRI. The MRI showed what we expected – no change in the tumor. So at this point I’ve been on chemo since December, through eight rounds, and the tumor hasn’t grown or shrunk. With those results, there isn’t evidence that continuing chemo beyond eight months would produce beneficial results. We don’t know how much of the tumor is alive, or how much it would have grown without the chemo. It’s not considered a failure by the chemo, but we don’t know what we got from it exactly. (Though I’m learning you can never be too exact with this stuff. There’s so much variation, and so many variables.)
As I shared in my last update, the plan if this MRI showed the tumor being the same was to take a break from chemo and move to monitoring the tumor with every-two-month MRIs. After this most recent MRI we did take a serious look at radiation at the request of my doctor – she wanted to make sure we thought it through and got as much as information as possible before making a decision about what to do next. So I talked to a few more doctors, including a very well-known and respected neuro-oncologist, and we ended up with the same decision: take a break from treatment and monitor the tumor.
If and when it grows again (statistically speaking it will grow again, it’s just a question of when – months or years) we will start radiation treatment, or possibly something else if something else has been developed. We want to put off radiation because the size of my tumor and its location means that radiation will lead to some serious, permanent side effects. As of now there is only chemo and radiation, and chemo has taken its best shot for now.
It’s been almost two months without chemo and I feel noticeably better physically. I have a lot more energy than I did. I know I’m still recovering, but I feel better now than I have since before my surgery. I also don’t miss having to go in twice a month for blood tests. I know there is more fighting to be done, but I am happy for this reprieve right now.
I also want to say I am so grateful for the way so many of you continue to pray for me and my family. Many of you are more faithful in praying for my healing than I am. Thank you for the way you remind me that we are loved by others, and by God.