Saturday, December 10, 2011

We met Friday with Dr McDonald at the Proton center for my first follow up exam.  He his happy with everything at this point.  We were a bit worried the last few days after we read the Peoria radiologist’s written report of the MRI I had taken here on Monday.  He noted “probable residual meningioma” which had us a little scared.  Dr McDonald had the following explanation.  First, whether or not the area of concern is tumor or not is not easily discernable.  It is an area in the MRI which is slightly lighter in color, which could be caused by the radiation itself.  This area was radiated during my treatments, so it is not tumor that was missed.  Meningioma tumors are different than many other types of tumors, in that they do not shrink or disappear during treatment.  If this area was tumor, it would still show up on the MRI even if it is now “dead”.  The only diagnostic with meningiomas is by comparing their relative size to see whether the tumor is growing or not.  The Peoria radiologist did not have the pre-treatment MRI taken in Indy to compare with.  When comparing the current MRI with the pre-treatment MRI (late June), this area looks the same.  Dr McDonald has a weekly review of his cases with the radiologist in Indianapolis who would have done my June MRI and he is going to review this further with him next week.  At this point Dr McDonald feels really happy with my progress and is not concerned.  He said the next MRI from his standpoint could be done in 6 months, which is good news to us.  Previously they had said every 3 or 4 months for a year, so we take this as a good sign.
There is a little area at the very back of my head where my hair has started growing back.  He said this is normal that some of it will come back but there will still be a big area around and closest to my ear where it will never come back.  This normally happens 3 months after treatments stop, and mine started about 2 months after treatment.
Mom & Dad Sauder went along with us, so we had a really nice time catching up with them.  It turned out there was so little snow that the roads were not an issue at all.  The kids stayed with Mom & Dad Stoller and had a great time there.  Next Tuesday Mom  & Leann & I are headed to Mayo’s for Wednesday morning appointments with the surgeons and neuro-oncologist there.  We are thankful for the good report so far and prayerful that the good news will continue next week.  Thanks everyone for your prayers for us this past week.

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