Thursday, September 28, 2006

MDA concurs...A Few More Brain Mets

MDA finally called. I have 2 possibly 3 more small brain mets. Too small for SRS at this time. MDA is recommending WBR (whole brain radiation). WBR doesn't thrill me, but if needed I probably will do it. But, the neurosurgeon's nurse (whom I truly respect) said I could wait another 4-6 wks and mets would have grown enough by then, we then can do SRS. I have more questions b-4 I'll have a decision.

My guess is that I will down the road have to have WBR, but for now, I'd like the other option again to become the "Halo queen" for the 3rd time. WBR is much more debilitating.

I hope to have my questions answered by early next week.

KimFromIowa

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Still Waiting to hear from MDA... ARG.

I've had a few friends concerned that I haven't updated my blog for a mnth. Last week, I overnighted my brain MRI films down to Houston, they arrived Thurs pm. I've called and left vm's, and emailed as well. I was certain I'd hear from my neurologist by Friday. Well, it's Tues and no word yet.

The only worrisome notation is from my home interpretation from the scans. Des Moines noted two new "spots", lesions, mets on brain. Des Moines has been wrong before, so I'm not fretting terribly. Patience has never been a great virtue of mine, but I've learned that stewing doesn't help anyone, especially me.

After I learn more about the brain, I need to follow up with my onc down at Houston to discuss chemo options as well. My 2 cycles (4 mnths) of T & T with Lomustine is done this week. Not sure if they'll recommend the same, or something different.

I'll post soon, hopefully sooner than later.

Kim

Thursday, August 17, 2006

They're SHRINKING, they're SHRINKING !!

All 3 brain lesions (melanoma mets) are still shrinking!! The chemo (T & T) along with the two SRS treatments I had done down at MDA are working and doing what we had hoped.

No news is good news....again and again!

KimFromIowa

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

CT Results...All Good from Des Moines

My recent CT scan showed one of my lung mets decreased in size by 50% (awesome). Other lung met showed stable and unchanged. This is good news! The chemo is working on shrinking the lung mets. The chemo was an 8 wk cycle and we'll do it again for another 8 wks.

Another hurdle we have made. Of course I'll send my films down to MDA but I suspect they'll be in agreement with my Des Moines oncologist.

My next hurdle is my brain MRI the middle of August. We are definately happy and very pleased to say the least. You must celebrate with every piece of good news. Today is a great day!!!

~KimFromIowa

Thursday, July 27, 2006

MDA - All 3 brain tumors are shrinking !!!

I assume the folks that check my blog know that I have Melanoma. Melanoma is only skin cancer...NOT! My melanoma has spread to my lungs and brain. I've had two SRS (stereotactic radiosurgery) treatments down in Houston at MD Anderson (MDA). My brain lesions (mets) are reacting and shrinking from the SRS treatments. MDA called me yesterday from my brain MRI films and they're very pleased. The brain mets are shrinking and reacting the way we had hoped. The chemo is also working, keeping new mets at bay!

I'll have a full CT scan next week which will show how the lung met looks and will show any new activity.

I appreciate all the support and help I've received from friends and family. Never give up, never give in (quote from Stan on the MPIP board)!

~KimFromIowa

Friday, July 14, 2006

No News is Good News

Well, no news is usually good news! Nothing new except I've completed my first 30 days of chemo. I take the chemo pills orally every night, 24/7. It's not fun, but tolerable. Reminds me of the old interferon year from hell. I probably take approx 50 pills a day. Fatigue is my major complaint along with dizzyness and headaches.

My next brain MRI is next Thurs 7/20th. I'll send the films down to MDA for their interpretation. Hopefully nothing new will light up.

I'll post again the end of the month with my MRI results.

Kim

Friday, June 30, 2006

Houston - SRS Round 2


Well, another successful round down at MDA. The new lesion was zapped like before. Everyone at MDA feels the SRS is doing the job it's intended to do. My MDA onc said I'm one "remarkable" person! I'll take that.

I'm on my 20th day of the chemo. I'm a little embarrassed to admit, that I don't even know the names of all the drugs I'm taking for the side effects. All I know, I have a slight itchy rash, I've gained weight (to be expected with one of the chemo cocktails), I'm bloated and bags under my eyes. I might not look like a Million Bucks......but I'm remarkable *wink*. I have 10 more days to complete cycle 1, then cycle 2 begins. We hope the 2 cycles along with the SRS will show improved results with the brain lesions as well as the one lung met. This fall we'll know more.

All in all, I'm handling the chemo probably better then the average Joe. I'm still recovering from the SRS, headaches are pronounced, but very tolerable with the morpheine patches etc. After I take my chemo in the evening, I'm zonked out and hit the hay early.

Later ~ Kim