Posted on November 8, 2017
I wanted to write to tell you some good news that we received at my latest doctor visit. After the surgery, having a six-week round of chemo and radiation, and a four-week break from that initial round, I had my first MRI evaluation. That scan came back completely clear. Dr. Nabors, my neuro-oncologist, was quite pleased, as were we.
Since that scan I am in the "maintenance" phase of chemotherapy, where I take five days worth of chemo every month roughly. I will continue to have MRI scans every two months for the foreseeable future, and probably for the rest of my life. Hopefully I will be cleared by this time next year to end treatments altogether, until a recurrence of course.
My diagnosis of grade 4 Glioblastoma was initially explained to me to be an "aggressive" and "incurable" cancer, which I have noted here before. But thanks to evolution in medicine, particularly studies with genetics, drug trials, and potential cures, it may be that my condition might turn from a terminal illness to a "chronic condition," to use the doctor's words. My radiation oncologist explained to me that even the diagnostics are changing. He showed me a particular set of results, which he might have diagnosed as grade 2 Glioblastoma instead from those results alone. Long story short, this disease and its treatments are rapidly changing for the better, it seems, and I hope to come out on the positive side of these changes.
I am so hopeful to live a long life, so willing to spend it with my wife and daughter, and so wanting to live in a meaningful way that contributes to a larger sense of community. While I want to engage totally with this idea that all will be well eventually, chances are I will have some sort of recurrence whether in the form of more cancer cells or another tumor. It will come sooner or later, but I refuse to believe that this disease will end my life, however naive that may be.
Perhaps I will live a long life, but that life will probably require further cancer treatments, trials, or brain surgery. I welcome these things. It is, in fact, a small price to pay, especially if it gives me more time with my family, to touch more lives, to perpetuate ideas of equality, fairness, and charity, and to have more time to shape my daughter's life in complete cooperation with my wonderful wife.
I'm probably wandering here, but wanted you all to know how much we have appreciated your support. Erica, Hazel, and I have been making the most of our time in Birmingham, and your contributions, cards, and support have done so much to fill our spirits. Please continue to share our story and we will continue to attest to your love.
All the best,