Friday, February 19, 2010


posted by Mary Lello, Friday, February 19, 2010, 1:30 PM

The results are in. And it's not real cut and clear. Dr. Weisburg walked in and asked us very pointedly how we were doing. Good? I said with a question mark. And, I continued, I'm assuming the MRI is fine since we didn't hear anything from you. Well, the tumor is bigger according the radiologist who looked at the scan here in Portland. BUT, Weisburg continued, this makes no sense to her at all and she was very surprised to hear this. She wants to send our MRI down to Dr. Wen and get his professional opinion.

The brain doesn't allow much space for growth. If this tumor has grown even a centimeter (for those out of the metric/scientific loop, a centimeter is really, really teeny-tiny) then we would be seeing some change in Jim's behavior; headaches, speech problems and/or his balance would be off. But Jim's speech is actually improving - Thursday he looked at our pregnant neice and said "baby?" as in how is that baby. And Wednesday when out with Todd around 5:30 he motioned to the view outside the car and said "light", as in it's still light out. These are ALL words he has retrieved and spoken perfectly on his own! So there is NO decline in the speech. NO headaches. Balance is great and he's getting stronger. Weisburg did a few tests on him to see how his strength is as well as his proiferal vision and announced with a huge smile "He's really improving!"

Weisburg thinks it might be easy to mis-read the MRI due to how this mother-alien (my scientific speek, not hers) sits and she also wonders if it's the "avastin effect", which means the avastin could simply have good growth blood vessels happening in this area of the brain and it looks like the tumor has grown.

Thus, we are not convinced the tumor is growing and has enlarged. We'll wait to hear what Dr. Wen says about it. IF, and Weisburg feels this is a big IF, the tumor IS growing then that is change and we may look at the XL184 trial again or add CPT-11 (chemo) in with the avastin. None of us really wants to go to these other therapies unless it is absolutely necessary.

And now you know all that I know. I shall keep you posted regarding what Dr. Wen says wen he tells us (couldn't resist that one, sorry).

Enjoy this amazing weather. I am ready for spring and would really worry except the birds are even acting like it's spring - a woodpecker has been drumming out his heart's song on some dead tree up back, the LBB's (Little Brown Birds) are flittering and fluttering as they flirt with one another, the crows are doing some amazing acrobatic flight patterns that they have not demonstrated during the winter months and it looks like the buds on the trees are swelling. And the sap will start to run in March. All signs of spring and I'm buying it! So get outside this weekend and enjoy the northern warmth!

Loving you all right back,


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