josh: Hey everybody
I got another MRI last Thursday. I very recently changed the operating system on my 11 year old Macbook Pro to Ubuntu linux (I was stuck on an older Mac OS that stopped running some of the stuff I wanted), and I haven't yet installed MRI viewer software so I can't post pics right now, but I'll work through that soon.
The short of it is that the third tumor has grown, and that the second tumor is back and growing as well. The good news was that the area around where the first tumor was is stable, and that there does not appear to be a 4th (or 5th, etc.) tumor, as I think some people had feared there would be by now.
Currently looking at radiation options -- my main hospital has reconsidered using "focal" radiation treatment in the areas of the two active tumors, but doesn't see attacking the tumors directly with radiation as an option (this is much more encouraging than completely ceasing treatment, which kind of had happened earlier -- the change was nice). None of that yet, though - the two tumors are still symptom-less.
But I *think* the new hospital I have been talking to will treat both the tumors (directly and with a lot of juice) and the surrounding areas. Even though it's aggressive to do that, it's more attractive to me, because I feel like it could have a longer/better result -- and, to be up front, maybe be more likely to spare me from the right temporal lobe cancer-necrosis symptoms. I fear these based on the symptoms I got from the first tumor in the left temporal lobe - not fun.
This bolder approach could have worse side effects than just sticking to focal treatment of the areas, but I'm leaning toward risk-taking, given the dismal survival rate of disseminated glioblastoma. (And, I admit, abject fear of those symptoms -- think like if Franz Kafka and H.P. Lovecraft wrote a short story together, and you're in it.)
The breadth and strength of the medical community in Houston really stands out to me now -- the size has always been hard to miss :) -- I'm extremely grateful to be looking at so much medical horsepower so close to where I live.
I'll post again soon with images and with more information about where I'm going with the radiation. And another song.