Tumors, Necrosis, and Brains…Oh My

It’s test result time. My latest CT scan, from the neck down, came back stable. The biggest concern that I had going into the scan was my hip, but the pain has diminished and the scan found nothing except arthritic changes (welcome to my 50s).

However, my damn brain is not cooperating. The MRI revealed that seven of my remaining eight metastases have grown in size since my whole brain radiation. Number eight has stayed the same size. It’s impossible to determine from the MRI whether the growth is new tumor or radiation necrosis (or a combo of the two). Both can cause the problems I’ve been dealing with (i.e., nausea, short term memory loss, balance problems, etc).

The next step for me isn’t clear. One treatment my doctors have suggested is to add Avastin (bevacizumab) to my current treatment regimen. It works by starving the blood vessels that feed the tumors. In clinical studies it has also proven to be useful in treating cerebral radiation necrosis for some women. Avastin does come with the possibility of nasty side effects, and this particular use is considered off-label (it is not FDA approved for use in treating breast cancer metastases or radiation necrosis). But a lot of treatments for MBC are off-label, so that doesn’t deter me.

The other option is yet another surgery, which would also allow us to remove one or more of the largest of the tumors. They can then biopsy the brain tissue and a pathologist can determine what is tumor and/or necrosis. We see my favorite neurosurgeon on Monday to discuss the surgical option and what it would entail so we can weigh the pros and cons.

On the good news front, we have booked our bucket list trip to London for the end of July, and have been mapping out our adventure. It makes a nice diversion from medical tests and tumor talk. I’ve wanted to visit England since I was a kid, so I hope my brain calms down and doesn’t derail our plans.

Once we have a “brain plan,” I’ll post again to update everyone. In the meantime, please keep thinking good thoughts for us all.


10 thoughts on “Tumors, Necrosis, and Brains…Oh My

  1. I am so happy that you and Tim have booked your trip to London. Good for you two. On the other hand those damn tumors are the devil himself. I pray that the doctors can do something to stop their growth without causing you unneeded memory lose or balance 0rrrrrrrrrrrrr more pain. I think of you every day and look at the partial family picture in the kitchen from the wedding. I see your bright smiling face and think how much I admire you. I need to remind you that you are the most positive person I know and in the wake of so much to deal with. I know that it keeps you with us. I love you so much. Hugs from your Dad and I.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Darn Artie, he just finds us all no matter what doesn’t he!! Make sure you have a good mattress for that hip!
    I am SOOOOOO glad you’ve book your trip to the UK! Now you can finally walk in your Dicken Village like your cat has been able to all these years lol!!!!
    Thinking of you always xoxo
    Annette, Mark & Joshua 😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t get your London link to play on youtube! Curious to know what you chose. 🙂 Sorry about the crappy scan results, but thank you for so articulately explaining everything for us. Good luck this week. Sending tons of love. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll be praying about Monday for sure, but yay! London! Sending loads of good thoughts and positive vibes and buckets of prayers that your dream will not be deferred and you’ll at least feel good the whole time you’re in vaca mode. Maybe all those nasty side effects will want to at least take a vacation too! (Just don’t tell them where you’re going so they don’t follow you!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Damn on the scan results. So excited for you to be going to London! You’ll have a great time. Sending lots of happy thoughts and love your way sweet friend. Xo

    Liked by 1 person

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