Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I believe that today we will find out the extent of the invasion of the cancer in Meagan's spinal column, and elsewhere. We have a meeting with Dr. Kaplan at 11am. He will have sufficient data to be be able to tell us where the disease is and what are the implications.

She had the CT scan last Thursday and yesterday she had the bone scan. The bone scan was easy - you get an injection of radioactive material and then come back in an hour and lay down for a hour and fifteen minutes (and snooze) while they run you though a silent machine. They covered her with heavy warm blankets, so she was thrilled. We walked down to the Seattle University campus during the break and sat in the shade (we no longer consider the sun quite as friendly as we once did) and enjoyed the beautiful landscaping.

She's prepared for bad news. We've talked a lot about what involvement in the spinal column could mean. It's scary and throws off her vision of a lovely and peaceful ending. Because it could involve pain and she is very fearful of losing her mind (either to administration of pain medication or additional tumors in the brain that may or may not be treated).  So we have had discussions about what death with dignity looks like.

It's difficult stuff, and it's also challenging because she is definitely experiencing side effects from the Gamma knife radiation treatment (confusion, speech difficulties, memory challenges) that make it hard for her to track exactly the issues and consequences. We are hoping it is temporary while her brain rewires, but as she sorta jokes in her maudlin way - "let's hope it happens before I kick the bucket".

Pat, optimistic reassurances do little these days except provoke negative responses. So I am resorting to simple agreement and acknowledgment. Because we are on the same team.

More later today...

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