Evaluation of my 6th chemoJuly 7, 2009
During the 5th evaluation (Evaluation of my 5th chemo) we received some very confusing news. Today we heard why there was so much confusion between all parties: the International Standard for grading tumors has changed. The spectrum of grading tumors has shifted towards lower grade tumors: what used to be called a grade three tumor may now be called a grade four tumor (if it is a ‘bad’ grade three). If you’re confused I have probably explained it the wrong way. Just let me know (send an e-mail to Cranius).
In fact the neuro-oncologist explained that it also depends on where you perform the biopsies. If you perform a biopsy in one part of the tumor you may see a very different grade tumor than if you perform the same biopsy in the same tumor but only a few millimetres away. Very reassuring of course. Not!
They asked how I was doing and I told them that the headaches (in the left side of my brain) are regularly quite severe and that the skin covering the hole where the boneflap used to be formed a bubble (instead of the normal slight hollow formed by a much softer skin).
I had a (minor) seizure on the 24th of June. Then I felt the seizure start at my right hand to slowly ‘invade’ my right arm, my right leg and the right side of my face (subsequently) until my right side was completely paralized. I even couldn’t speak. The previous time I had a (minor) seizure was on the 27th of February (2009). That (low) frequency they thought was good news.
We are left with many questions, mainly because of the discrepancy between various bits of information: they just don’t match. We can’t believe that they are telling us porkies so that our only conclusion can be that they don’t know. We can only rely on ourselves and on filtered medical information (by the medical staff or ourselves). Such as the results of my MRI scans. Now that sad conclusion brings us onto a happy topic.
My blood values (bone marrow: good, kidneys: good and my liver: good), no fever, insignificant high blood pressure (max 150/99) together with my good condition (I still visit the RCA twice per week) guarantee optimal conditions for a longer life. The neuro-oncologist and neurologist compared three MRI scan results for us:
- just before the first chemo (MRI 09JAN2009, evaluation 14JAN2009)
- after the third month (MRI 27MAR2009, evaluation 08APR2009)
- after the sixth month (MRI 28JUN2009, evaluation 01JUL2009)
The bright white tumor tissue on the MRI scan has not only not grown but has also slightly reduced in size!! So we can’t predict how much longer I will live but for sure it’s longer than what we thought before.