At about 5:30pm I got a call from the oncologist. He said that based on the new images, he is confident in saying that what he saw earlier is not any new tumor growth. So that finishes it all up! I'm done with treatments!!! In searching for a celebratory thing to post alongside the announcement, I found that in the Philippines, there's something called a "Pyromusical" competition.....I must investigate this further!
I really want to express my thanks for all of the support from so far and wide...I've been told that there was a mass dedicated to me in Branson, MO, that my name was put on the Western Wall in Jerusalem, TWO(!) independent musician instigated fundraisers, visitors, assistance with lawnmowing and other yard work, and the truly humbling amount of support of family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, people I've met only once, and people I've never even met at all wishing me well. I am glad to say that it worked wonders for me and I am greatly appreciative.
The future looks good. There is still the close monitoring: I'll have another MRI in about 3 months to see if anything else has started. I guess (and this is my medical opinion as a musician) that I'll have another three months after that and if those are good, than another six months after that. We'll see. This time, I am most happy to wait three months before having another MRI done. It feels good to know that barring any sudden weird stuff, I don't have to worry about the availability of those three months of living!
Here's my cello piece entitled "Happy Dance" as played by Arnold Friedman!
(The artwork below was done by Kathleen Elmore!)
I went to the follow up of the follow up MRI today. I lived through it! YAY! It apparently had a wider area of radio frequency spread than the previous ones, so I guess it was a little riskier, but everything was fine. I was told that in other even larger facilities, this is a standard practice, but that they were just beginning to do this at OHSU. I'm expecting results by Tuesday, if not before. Fingers crossed again!
I got a call from the doctor this evening. He said that the results of the MRI are mixed and even contradictory. Some of the images showed that everything was just fine while others showed an increase in size that typically indicates a recurrence of tumor. He conferred with my neurosurgeon and she saw no reason to go back in, which is where I'm deriving some relief from the news. (However, the recovery from the surgery was cupcakes compared to recovering from the radiation.) Apparently part of the apparatus that makes it possible for a pacemaker person to have an MRI makes the images a little less clear than your usual MRI.
So the plan is that there are two other kinds of MRI things that can be done. The doc had already checked with the MRI folks about doing these with a pacemaker and they said it's a go. So, and this is my own personal estimation, I expect that I'll be going back for another MRI next week. Hopefully later this week, but there are several doctors that have to say it's ok - cardiologist, for example - before it's ok. My poor cardiologist has to ok each MRI. I hope I'm not just turning him into a signature factory..... hehehe!
Below is the song I was listening to (here's where I was hearing it) and then he starts talking about an epidemic disease that now has a vaccine. While a cancer vaccine is pretty much out of the question due to the widely various types of cancer, hopefully some sort of cure is either around the corner or is happening and just under serious scrutiny before going public. Here's hopin'!
It's me, Kevin, but with a brain tumor. Disclaimer: I have a very dry and twisted sense of humor. This is a scary situation. The jokes ("tumor humor") could be a little dark from time to time. I intend to keep this rather interesting for you, but if I get a "how could you SAY that?!?" response from you, know it's just, well, I hesitate to use "gallows" humor, but I don't have better phrase for it. Enjoy, and thanks for your support through this time.