Friday, September 11, 2009


Today's trip to the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland is over. Mom had her blood work done and got her MRI done, all without any major hitches... unless you count the traffic backup that suddenly appeared when we crossed into Maryland, and the car accident that blocked the entrance at NCI, almost forcing us to drive to another entrance until one of the two drivers decided to move his car out of the way.

We've put in a request for a CD of the MRI images from today; we'll be picking them up when we go back to NCI on the 16th.

Mom was a trouper about the whole affair; getting up at 5AM couldn't have been easy for her, given her tendency to wake up around 11AM or noon (or sometimes even later than that!). It turned out that we had worried needlessly about Mom and needles: many medical professionals call Mom a "hard stick," i.e., it's difficult for them to find a viable blood vessel in her arms, but today the phlebotomist got in there just fine, causing only a minimum of wincing on Mom's part. On the down side, Mom had difficulty remembering her own birth date, something that hasn't happened before.

I'll be curious to see today's MRI shots during the consult on the 16th, and to hear what our options are, based on what the NCI docs see. We'll pick up our CD that same day, and I'll probably display some of those images here.

In fact, I'm currently prepping a series of images from some of Mom's previous MRIs, to allow you to see the progress of Mom's cancer, her subsequent surgeries for tumor debulking and infection, and the cancer's rapid resurgence. When I eventually show you frames from this latest MRI scan, we'll have a chance to see whether the in-tandem radiotherapy and chemotherapy that Mom had received did, in fact, do something useful for her.

So later today, expect some older MRI shots to appear on the blog, and sometime next week, the most current shots will be up as well, providing you a visual chronology of Mom's progress. Up to now, you've had only my word about what's been happening inside Mom's head.


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