In this post I’ve tried to condense how I post health updates with the goal of making these posts shorter and thus likely to get posted more often in the future.
Things went pretty well through Oct. and Nov. with the good Oct. 7 scan under my belt. October’s chemo was another ass kicker, but November’s was a little better because my doc let me know I could take more anti-nausea meds than were originally recommended. This past Monday (Dec. 7) I had my next scan, but the results are iffy. A roughly 1/2cm x 1/2cm spot showed up near the surgical site in my brain. This spot could be one of two things. It could be a lovecraftian tumor progression that GBM is known for. However, it could just be radiation necrosis, which is much preferable. My doc has me scheduled for another MRI in 4 weeks instead of the standard 8 week interval. This upcoming scan will show if there is any tumor progression. Even though we’re worried, right now we’re trying our best to not stress out so much. I also have started chemo round 5 as of yesterday.
Due to a very new approval from the FDA, I’m most likely going to be able to use a medical device called Optune, which is something I’ve wanted to do from the start. Optune is a device that GBM patients wear on their heads as much of the time as possible. The device emits an electrical field that disrupts cancer cell division without harming healthy brain tissue. A large clinical trial has shown that using Optune is as effective as chemo for GBM patients with the added benefit of no horrible side effects. When I was diagnosed with GBM, Optune was only approved for use on recurrent GBM patients. Since I didn’t have a recurrent tumor yet, I didn’t have access to the device for treatment of my GBM. And without insurance the device costs about $17,000 per month. Now that a) I may have recurrent tumor growth and b) the FDA approved Optune for new, non-recurrent GBM treatment, I will soon get to look like a character from a sci-fi flick (which I’m totally down with and excited about) on my insurance company’s dime.
Here’s the gear:
Here’s someone with it on:
This is how I’d really like to look ^_^:
I’ve also begun the enrollment process for a 3 year UF research study focusing on a drug treatment for GBM. The study will be conducted in the UF building where Alex works :). I have to have some kind of special protein in my blood to be admitted to the study, so I gave a blood sample last Monday and will find out if I can participate in the study in a week or so. I’ll post an update once I hear back from them.
Well, that wasn’t short. But hey, I got a post up! Hope you all are doing well! One thing that continues to be very important for me is finding new music. Music is something I’ve always turned to in order to feel good. Each month I try to research new musicians so I’m not stuck too long on a single act. Recently I have been bad about posting up my mixes, which you may or may not listen to. My goal is that before Christmas I will put up a hefty one that contains the mixes I’ve made for Aug., Sept., Oct., Nov., and Dec. A couple of those months had more of a theme instead of the traditional mixed bag of new finds. Hope to talk music with you guys soon.