Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Home-Cooked Meal, Spinal MRI Results and Brain Function

Our friend Mary and her dog Tony

Our friend Mary invited us for a home-cooked meal of grilled lamb last night, delicious and so nice to have a real meal after a steady dose of cafeteria food.

Today we saw the oncologist first thing. They checked him out, poked and prodded, then told me the spine was clear.

I asked them why it took so long and they didn't know, they just see the radiologist's transcribed report.

Once Steven and I were waiting to go into the MRI and he was delayed for over an hour waiting for the boy preceding him. Since we were waiting outside the MRI suite, we watched the radiologist go in and out and request more views from the technician, and in that case the news was bad.

We knew it before the boy and his mom did. When he finally came out the technicians apologized profusely for our wait, but I told them no problem and said a silent prayer for that boy.

There but for the grace of God...

Next was Steven's lumbar puncture, for which he is put to sleep. We'll get those results tomorrow.

Last for today was Steven's functional MRI. There are prism glasses mounted in the frame over his head so that he can see in the direction of the top of his head. At the end of the MRI tube is a computer screen that Steven can see with the prism glasses.

Steven responds to prompts on the computer screen by pressing a little button that he holds in his hand. He gets MRI scans of his brain while he's doing these exercises.

This MRI is not for diagnostic purposes, but is part of the research they're doing for his trial. This MRI shows changes in the white matter in the brain subsequent to craniospinal radiation, the amount of change is indicative of the amount of cognitive deterioration from the radiation.

We're finally done with the oncology portion of our visit. Tomorrow is endocrine testing and followup, where they see what, if any, issues he's having with hormones, thyroid, and growth.

These week-long visits we feel like we're running a marathon. At least now we're entering the home stretch...

- Kathleen


Anonymous Vincent Family said...

Steven we missed you at todays tournament at Balboa 9! I hope you are feeling ok and wish you well with your treatment. Best of wishes the Vincent Family (Roxanna, Gus, Austin and Louis). Keep playing golf!!!

August 19, 2005 5:47 PM  

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