I went for my 3-month scan in June. Another hour in the MRI machine and another big shot of gadolinium juice in the arm. I like to think it’s a bit like the glow-in-the-dark green stuff from the Simpson’s but it’s probably not that fun. Interestingly (*too strong a word?), gadolinium build up from repeat contrast-MRIs is a bit of a concern in the brain tumour community but I suspect that’s the least of my worries right now.
I have been especially lucky (once again!) that Mr H is trialling a new set-up for some of his patients, especially those of us travelling a distance. I was able to get an MRI scan in the morning then my review with him in the afternoon. Most patients have a scan one week then the review around two weeks later, this not only entails two boring trips to Liverpool but also waiting around anxiously for two weeks knowing that somebody knows how I’m doing, but it’s not me.
Good news first, they let me in the fancy scanner this time! I think I got lucky. There was music of the not too bad variety and a little periscope to see out. It’s almost as if someone decided to put themselves in the position of the patient when designing the machine and work out how to make it a bit nicer. There wasn’t much to see with the little mirror but it certainly made it feel a little less claustrophobic. I’m debating with myself whether I can request this machine next time by claiming distress and claustrophobia but I’m ethically torn – it was much nicer but I can cope perfectly well in the old one and wouldn’t want to bump and genuinely terrified person down to the scarier scanner. Am I selfish or am I moral? Find out next time…
The scan results were as good as it was likely to be. There appeared to be very little change in the residual tumour so that’s good. After the scan I’d remembered that the first scan result is quite an important prognostic factor, it’s the first chance there is to accurately measure the growth rate. Mr H discussed some weird glowy bits on the scan that they couldn’t work out. Seemingly it looked a bit cancerous but it was entirely symmetrical on both sides of my brain, essentially too perfect. So either I have an almost too perfect lumpy bumpy cancer growth or there’s something else going on. Fortunately, the radiologist, the surgeon and all the people in the MDT (multi-disciplinary-team) meeting all agreed that it almost certainly wasn’t anything sinister. Also, I’m quite excited as my key SMAB member and radiologist is coming to visit so I’m going to quiz her on see if she might speculate on my glowing brain. I’ll let you know how it goes!