19 02 2010

Frustration.  That’s the “F” in title.  MRI’s are not the most clear-cut tool but it’s better than the alternative: opening one’s head up and poking around with a knife.  I can tell my doctors are getting frustrated with me as well — they don’t like working with ambiguity either.  My doctors clearly want me to have surgery to cut out the “enhanced” (MRI lingo for “questionable”) parts of my brain so that they can examine it more closely.  I’ve been through brain surgery hell before, and I’m not about to go through it again — only as a last resort and my doctors know that.  With that said, here’s my latest MRI results.

1) The “tumor” continues to regress, two doctors have told me this.  I’m putting the “tumor” in quotes because as the “tumor” regresses the doctors seem to also be changing their diagnosis to “radiation necrosis”.  You see in their experience cancer just gets worse, not better.  If the “tumor” regresses then it must be “radiation necrosis” from my radiation treatments 8 years ago.  And yes, “radiation necrosis” just goes away on it’s own after a time.

2) There’s a new area of “enhancement” about 1cm wide and .5cm deep directly across the old tumor bed.  This the doctors suspect as “tumor” or “radiation necrosis” and they’d like to have surgery on me to figure out what it is.  Not so fast, I think I want to wait for another scan for three reasons: 1) there’s no inflammation (a sign of cancer), 2) there’s no blood leaking out into old tumor bed cavity (a sign of cancer) and 3) I’m not having any symptoms.  If two out of three were true, then I’d definitely think it was cancer.

If you haven’t been following along in this blog, the “tumor” regression started as I started transitioning to a vegan diet.  I have to say after 7 months going vegan, I haven’t felt this good in at least 10 years — before the original brain tumor.  My blood pressure is perfect.  I’ve lost 20 lbs.  My strength is great and my energy is good.  I feel healthy and happy and I have a difficult time believing that what the MRI is showing is disease progression — maybe what we’re looking at is simply the body healing itself. Hopefully, the next MRI in two months will be a bit more definitive.