Yesterday we went to the hospital for B’s monthly blood test and drug collection – chemo round 4 starts today. We also got the results of B’s first ‘meaningful’ MRI since the surgery, which he had just before Christmas.
We saw both the German and B’s oncology nurse this time. I got a response to my complaint about B’s experience as a Sutton outpatient. As expected they said they are very busy and don’t always have time to speak to all patients, but B should have been given an opportunity to see his key worker at each appointment. Yesterday was much better so hopefully it will improve from now on. No word on the other doctors being rude and dismissive, perhaps that is to be expected.
The German was as annoying as ever. When he came into the room B and I were holding hands, he said ‘no reason for hand holding!’ My response to this would have been ‘is affection only permitted when death is imminent?’ if not for the mantra that always runs through my head at these meetings: ‘Don’t provoke the doctor. Don’t provoke the doctor’.
Onto the MRI. The results are positive. There is a band of low grade tumour along the edge of the surgical cavity, which we knew. It is exactly the same size as it was right after the surgery, but is not lumpy or active. I don’t have a copy of yesterday’s scan but here is the post-surgical one. The remaining tumour is along the white line surrounding the egg-shaped (and egg-sized) void.
I still find it amazing when I look at this picture, that B has had so much brain removed and is still pretty much ‘himself’. The wonders of modern medicine.
We went over the usual facts with The German eg. B can’t have the remaining tumour removed as he wouldn’t be able to walk or talk. B confirmed that he’d like to retain those skills.
The surgical cavity is now smaller than in this picture as the amount of fluid has reduced. The brain ‘activity’ in the area following the surgery and radiotherapy has also settled down.
The German is hoping to see some shrinkage of the remaining tumour in the next MRI images to be taken in 3 months time, or perhaps the one after that.
Yesterday’s meeting was positive and didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know, but I still found it quite exhausting. I can see why B is a bit depressed after his hospital visits. Although the cancer is part of our daily lives now, we don’t constantly think about it – we’d go mad if we did. I suppose seeing the scan and talking about the tumour is a fresh reminder of how serious it all is.