Today is a pretty slow day as all we have is a quick radiation treatment at 5:30 this evening.  There is plenty to update you guys on though.  I’ll start with Mom’s experience with her first treatment of full-brain radiation.  As you can see from the image to the right showing a mask similar to what Mom has to wear she is tightly bolted down to the radiation table for the duration of each treatment to limit exposure to undesired areas.  Mom said the tight pressure on her nose and not being able to move at all did get to her and they may have to calm her nerves medicinally for each treatment.  She did make it through and has yet to report any side-effects.  She also wanted to go shop at the local Super Target for supplies for the week and walked the entire store like a champ.

We also have much more details on the results of her CT and MRI scans.  The reports have been posted, in full medical terminology, for us to view.  I will do my best to summarize what the very detailed reports say.

I’ll start with the MRI of her head on 12/29/2013.

  • Her first small lesion is in the left posterior frontal-parietal lobe and is 0.5 cm ( less than 1/4 inch) in size.   It is noted that there is “very minimal surrounding edema” (very little local swelling) and the lateral ventricles of the brain are normal and there is no mid-line shift of the brain.
  • A second lesion of the same 0.5 cm size is noted near the atrium of the left lateral ventricle also with very little edema noted.
  • Also seen is a “tiny” 3mm ( less than 1/8 inch ) lesion in the left anterior-inferior frontal lobe.
  • The report also goes on to mention the possible existence of even smaller “dots” that may or not be more lesions.  This is consistent to what the resident doctor told us yesterday that there may be microscopic lesions in the brain and after the full-brain radiation and also after the chemo for the rest of the tumors in the body that MD Anderson will look at another MRI and decide whether to do local high-dose focused radiation on spots in the brain or hopefully see that the full-brain radiation and chemo has taken care of the visible lesions.
  • …and her tonsils were swollen. Thinking this was due to her ongoing sickness and RSV she was battling hard at the time.

CT scan of her chest, abdomen, and pelvis 12/29/13.

  • Lung Bases: Numerous pulmonary nodules ranging in size from 2-3 mm to a bit over 10 mm are new since 2010 and are consistent with metastatic disease.” – Small nodules up to 1 cm ( ~ 3/8 inch ) in size in the lungs.
  • Liver:  Several new hypodensities located in both lobes are suspicious for metastatic disease… …The largest is in the left lobe near the hilum and measures 19 mm.” – Spots in the liver with the largest being 19 mm ( 3/4 inch ) in size.  I assume this is why they decided to do the biopsy from the liver after these findings.
  • The report goes on the say the spleen, gallbladder (absent), adrenal glands, pancreas, kidneys, bladder, bones, bowel, and reproductive system (what’s left of it LOL) are all “unremarkable” – AKA they show no signs of cancer.

CT scan done in Lake Charles on 12/23/13 done to determine the cause of her voice problems and found the cancer for the first time.

  • Bilateral nodules found in the lungs with it estimating the maximum size with a 1.3 cm (~1/2 inch) nodule in the right anterior chest wall.  This is consistent to the more recent scans above.
  • Adenopathy is seen in the bilateral paratracheal” – This is most likely what is paralyzing Mom’s left vocal chord as it would be blocking the signals traveling on her laryngeal nerve.
  • This scan also found the largest lesion in the liver.

That’s my attempt at translating the raw data and inter-stitching with knowledge of what the doctors have said.  If you are a medical professional and want the full copy of the reports let us know and if Mom OKs it I will send them to you.

Thanks