My Routine Inspection

Another day, another cliffhanger.

But let’s put this particular one to a quick end (because god knows we want to prolong the Big One as long as possible):

The results of My Routine braInspection this week were…

GOOD!

It's good! Chad 38, Brain Cancer 1.6

Chad 38, Brain Chance 1.6

NFL SuperRef Ed Hochuli was unfortunately not there to weigh in on the results, but Doctor Who was, and he was enthusiastic (although his biceps are not quite as impressive as Hochuli’s).

The short of it is this:  things have looked stable in there, and if anything the signs of tumor have been regressive.  (As opposed to progressive, which in the case of slots is good, but in the case of brain cancer is very, very bad.)

The long of it is:  you can never remove every last cancer cell through surgery (even two surgeries), which is why you hit yourself in the face (and inside the face) with all that chemo and radiation and chemo again.  In my case, as I went through all of that treatment there was a bit of stuff appearing on the scans that looked like it could be cancer.  But it could also have been healthy healing tissue.  No way to know unless you have brain surgery #3, or you wait and see what happens with it.  If it grows, it’s bad.  If it doesn’t, it’s good.

I chose to wait and see.  And as we went from each 2 month MRI to the next, the ghost in my brain continued to shrink in size.  Which is good.  Which means it was probably just inflamed healing tissue the whole time.  Not cancer.  Or not a lot of cancer, at least.  Which is good.

If this all sounds familiar to you, good– that means your brain is working.  Even better, as I was typing it it started to sound familiar even to me, and so I went back to see if I’d already explained the above already.  Turns out I had, in September.

I mention this to point out (to you and myself) that my memory seems to be working a little better again.  And my brain, in general.  I’m a little clearer, a little less forgetful.  Which is great.  Really, really great.

This isn’t to say I’m going to stop using the “I have a hole in my brain” excuse– because I am definitely not going to stop using that excuse.  I still have a hole in my brain, and I still am some kind of a shadow of my former self (which is very luckily starting to resemble my former self.  Just a better version of him.)  I still forget who I had dinner with last night sometimes, and the entire  last 2 years seems like it all happened in one day, 89 years ago.

And please don’t be the 9,457th person to tell me “Oh that’s normal, my memory is getting shitty too, we’re all getting old, Chad!”  Because if you are  the 9,457th person to tell me that, then you are going to have to trade me your totally non-cancerous brain for my totally-cancerous one.  Deal?  Deal.

Which brings me to another point (that I’m also sure I’ve mentioned before, if only because I trust that I’m getting repetitive):  There are all sorts of things that people say to you when you have brain cancer that don’t always ring the way they want them to.  These things are usually said with the best of intentions (or at a minimum slightly above average intentions), but when you’re the guy or gal with the cancer in your brain they sometimes sound funny.  Or weird.

One such example that many of you have already heard me go on about:

“Good luck with your MRI!”

If you’ve said this to me, thank you.  This means you are a nice person (or at least nice-ish).

Since I am very possibly not as nice a person as you, this particular phrase always gives me the creeps.  I’ll tell you why.

Wishing somebody good luck on an MRI is like wishing them good luck opening a birthday present.  Whatever’s in there is already in there– they just don’t know if they’re gonna like it yet.

I’m not saying this to be a smartass (even though I definitely am a smartass).  The point is only that the test itself is meaningless.  Time spent worrying about it is time wasted.  And if you’re the kind of person who is having MRI’s every 2 months, time is probably a pretty valuable commodity to you.  Fretting isn’t your best use use of it.

I’m again getting the sneaking suspicion that I’ve already written about all of this, but maybe that’s because I’ve talked to a few of you about it already.  Or maybe I have written about it before.  I have absolutely no idea– I don’t remember a damn thing that’s on this blog besides that Lincoln thing and the fact that I wrote “glioblastoma  in rainbow letters.

If I have already written about this, somebody please be a smartass and tell me where and when?

Anyway, to continue on the repetitive cliff hanger streak… next MRI in 2 months!  At that point it’ll be 2014, and I’ll be 38.  Unless I get hit by a bus.

Ooo!  Yeah!  One more thing!  Please don’t be the 945,768th person to tell anybody with any kind of cancer that “we could all get hit by a bus tomorrow”.   Cuz trust me, that kind of philosophizing about death when you’re not actually so deeply and profoundly faced with it is not going to help them.  It’s like a rookie telling Satchel Paige to “walk the guys with the big biceps.”  Well intentioned, but… you’re only really saying it to yourself.  So say it to yourself.

See what a pain in the ass I am?

I blame my mother.

😉

Pressing the “PUBLISH” button and waiting for the phone to ring…

PS:  Mom don’t worry, God punished me for writing that last line: I forgot about the soup I was reheating while I was writing this post, and I totally burned it.  (I can hear your voice right now saying “See? He did!”)

PPS:  Yes, it’s the same chicken noodle soup I made with that roast chicken you and Linda picked up for me that I complained was too small.  See what an ungrateful pain in the ass I am?

PPPS:  Now that I’m eating the soup, it actually tastes better than it did before… reduced, a little more flavorful.
See how funny life can be?  Burnt soup, even better than the original.  Go figure.

8 thoughts on “My Routine Inspection

  1. I’m happy the MRI was good.

    Thank you for the public service announcement about the bus comment. I have used that saying with my husband multiple times. Generally with regard to unpleasantries that need to be dealt with, and i say that we both need to deal with them (not just him) because i could get hit by a bus tomorrow. So after i read this, i asked him what he thought. He said, “Not too many people get hit by a bus tomorrow, right?” Ouch. I get it now.

  2. Ha Ha At your age, you can’t blame your mother for anything. BTW, were you getting the vaccine or the placibo. I can’t remember….

    • I wish I knew, Gail. It’s a double blind study, so neither myself nor my doctor knows. Might not ever find out. Happy to be participating, whether I’m getting it or not. And if I’m not getting it, I totally blame my mother.

  3. The amount of unhelpful things people have said since my diagnosis and surgery is unbelievable. I don’t need to know whatever story about whatever person they knew/know who has/had the same thing. Don’t need their advice on treatments??? Someone asked me if I had gotten a second opinion? Why would I when I am at one of the best hospitals in the country for this and my doctors are some if the best? Most unhelpful, that it’s “in God’s hands”…that somehow implies God does this to people…

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