Better Late Than Never..
Almost a week has gone by since my last post! How many updates do I have? Not that many. How much fun did I have over the weekend? A lot! Lucky for you, I am happy to share the little amount of health-related updates as well as a brief synopsis of fun-related events that took place over the weekend.
Last week at this time I thought I had complete understanding of my treatment plan such as what parts of my body would be undergoing treatment, when my treatment would start, etc, but today I am waiting for another update to hopefully ultimately determine the previously mentioned items that I thought I was sure about. Here is a snapshot of last week to make sense of what I am explaining:
Monday: had my second MRI of my neck & spine to see if the highlighted areas on the MRI two weeks ago had changed either for better or for worse. The results would determine if I would need radiation on my spine as well as my brain. I met with my doctor to review the scans and he explained that he wasn't too happy with an area on my thoracic and lumbar spine, therefore I will be getting radiation.
Tuesday: had an appointment bright and early for a simulation/mapping session for my radiation treatment. During this appointment, I had a mold made for my body and head which ensures my body is in the same spot for every session, the doctors use my positioning and CT scans taken during this session to align the radiation beams that will be in that position for the 6 weeks of treatment. As of this day, Wednesday July 7th will be my first day of treatment.
Wednesday: My doctor called me with some news. After speaking with other radiologists and having them review my MRI results, it is determined that the aren't entirely confident that what is highlighted in the MRI results is tumor cells. There is a possibility that these may be blood vessels in my spine. How do we make a more accurate determination? The two terrifying words no one gets excited about...SPINAL TAP. The reason a spinal tap (aka lumbar puncture) is necessary is because a sample of your cerebrospinal fluid is gathered and tested for those tumor cells. Note to readers: don't google a procedure you're scared of before you get it.
Thursday: My friend Monica was generous enough to take me to the hospital and hold my hand during the spinal. The doctors, as always, were so great and calming. When the time came to have the procedure, I can honestly say it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. You are numbed up quite well and can't even feel when they put the needle in you to collect your CSF. At one point I did become hot and nauseous, but had an ice pack placed on my neck which helped. Once the doctor was done, I laid down for an hour then was able to leave the hospital. I can happily say I did NOT get a headache from this procedure :) Once I left the hospital, I got lunch and then laid down and rested for the remainder of the day. For the next day or two my lower back was sore but only in the area the needle went in. I feel great today!
Now I wait for the results. My treatment is supposed to start tomorrow, so if I don't hear from my doctor by early afternoon, I will call and find out what the deal is. Let's hope for good news!
As for the weekend, I went to Mio, MI with a group of friends and it was amazing. So great to get out of town, get my mind off the day-to-day worries and relax in a tube while floating down the Au Sable river. I even went on a rope swing into the water...and yes my upper body was sore for 2 days after due to my lack of physical activity over the last month. I may have also split a 12 egg omlette at Tony's I-75 and over a pound of bacon. If you don't stop at Tony's on your way up north, you're crazy and haven't lived. The holiday weekend ended with a great tradition of a party at a family friend's house that's on a like which puts on an amazing fireworks show. Pictures to enjoy below!
Something that also happened last week that I can't forget to mention is the story I participated in for Fox News finally aired on national television! I got so much love for this from friends, family, and even strangers! I am so honored to have been part of such an amazing story that will spread so much awareness and education! If you missed it, you can view the story here.
You will hear from me again today and I am confident that it will be with good news :) Just have to wait for the official word from the doctor.