Today we spent a very long day at the University of Iowa for Kevin’s brain MRI and a visit with his oncologist. The brain MRI, origianlly scheduled for March 27th, was a follow-up visit to check on his 3 brain lesions which were radiated in early February.
I asked the oncologists to move the MRI up due to that, and they were in agreement. They found one more lesion which has gotten larger – originally thought to be a possible blood vessel in his brain. The other lesions are still there, but smaller in size from the radiation treatment. While it’s good the other lesions are smaller from the radiation, we were disappointed to hear they were still there, and also a bit horrified to hear there is yet another which will require radiation.
The good news is – no new lesions! We were keeping an eye on this fourth possible one, so now that it has been identified it’s time to radiate.
The meds have caused the melanoma to slow down. Kevin will have another PET scan to show how he’s responding systemically. However, siince these meds cannot fully cross the blood/brain barrier, they are not as effective with brain metastasis. This must be done with radiation.
Last week was very rough for Kevin and extremely concerning to me and his docs. He kept running a below-normal temp (68 degrees F) then very high once we warmed him up – 102 F. He was shaking so much from the chills he couldn’t open things or operate his phone. I didn’t want to leave his side. After 3 days of struggling to keep his temp within normal range, he was taken to the hospital for IV fluids since he was dehydrated. This prompted his oncology team to lower his dosage of Mekensit and Tafilnar – so after a 2-day hiatus from these meds, they put him on the lesser dose.
If not for blogging I would have a hard time remembering everything we’ve done in the past 3 weeks. So these notes are to add some order to the chaos. As I’ve said before, this whole turn of events is occuring at warp speed, much as life accelerated during our first meeting.
At the end of February we took our first trip to Nashville Vanderbilt for a second opinion. When we returned, Kevin’s sister Dawn was already in town – we enjoyed a really fun week with her with us – not to mention the awesome, custom curtains and shade she made for us! Dawn is an expert seamstress and sewing pattern designer. She spoiled all of us, and had a great time.
Only a few days later, I was spoiled by a visit from my longtime friend of 38 years, Cyndi. Through thick & thin she has been here. Cyndi survived not one, but two anuerisms, plus a stroke. Her amazing recovery was inspirational to listen to. She has had her fair share of brain MRIs and bouts of emotional behavior from a healing brain and meds. But mostly it was great to have her around. Naturally, it felt like no time had passed, even though we haven’t been in the same room for about 12 years or more.
Some time ago Kevin found this lamp shade while fishing – real antique stained glass in a craftsman style. He inverted it and mounted it on our ceiling. Beautiful!
Celebrating 20 years for Hannah’s bday!
Kevin sculpting his latest mug – super awesome! Below, at the oppositite side of the table, Nana, Cyndi and Amy. What a fun visit!
The show that kept us laughing all month: Doc Martin on Netflix! We caught up with all 33 episodes. Kind of funny while not in doctor’s offices we watched a show continously about a doctor!