josh: Hello - here's a quick update: My treatment schedule has been changing a bunch recently, and I've been choosing not to post until I felt comfortable that I could say for sure what was going to happen. Since it has been a while since my last post, though, I decided I would go ahead and post about what's going on.
After getting home from the surgery for my second GBM tumor a few weeks ago (which went really well), the initial plan was for me to get focused radiation treatment and chemotherapy again with respect to the area of the second tumor (which was pretty far away from the first one, but both affecting the left side of the brain).
After some thought, though the doctors decided it was still a little too close and too soon to use the more standard approach, so the radiation was canceled and instead I was scheduled to have a similar but more focused treatment using a "gamma knife".
Today was pre-op, including a new MRI that would give the doctors the latest on my brain, followed by gamma knife "surgery" early tomorrow morning.
The surprise twist was the result of today's MRI (isn't it always :) ), which shows something unusual in the right side of the brain (boo!), but again not really in the brain -- rather in a sort of water supply area. I got this info on the phone and I didn't hear the name of the brain part very clearly - I'll update when I do.
The radiation oncologist let me know that what they saw was odd enough that they want to get a few doctors to look at it and decide what to do. So my appointments for tomorrow are cancelled. It's possible that it's a third tumor, but again, it's still pretty early to make that determination. And in this case, it has been very little time since my previous MRI, which I believe did not show this new issue (there were two months between a clean MRI in January and the second tumor showing up in a March MRI). This time it's more like two and a half weeks between MRIs.
Anyway, I admit that I wasn't looking forward to the gamma knife, so I'm sort of relieved that it is canceled (or delayed).
It is somewhat discouraging to hear about what could be a third tumor (and on the other side of the brain from the first two), but I will wait until I hear more from the doctors before getting freaked out.
Even though these MRIs are sort of like the "all bad news all the time channel", I get constant reminders of how lucky I am to have the medical treatment I'm getting. I feel great and I'm still pretty optimistic about things.
I will post again when I get more definitive news from the doctors. Normally I would have waited for that before posting at all, but since it had been awhile and things were sort of happening, I thought it would be best to post this update. Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers!
edit: I talked to my neuro-oncologist this morning, and she mentioned that the new thing on the MRI really doesn't look like cancer. The same was essentially true of the two tumors when they were just getting started, so we have to stay wary, but that was nice to hear. I will update more soon.