If I Only Had a Brain
There is something deeply visceral about your brain… It is the center of thought… It is the center of your being… it is the center of who you are…
All of those aspects of the brain came crashing down around me late last week. I had gotten a PET-CT scan to see how my disease was responding to my current therapy and there was a surprise. A bad surprise. There was a bright PET spot lighting up against the background signal of my brain. A possible brain tumor.
This could be a false alarm (PET-CT is not a good diagnostic method for brains) but it was a significant cause for concern. A brain MRI was scheduled ASAP (9 PM last night).
Even with the knowledge that it could be a false alarm, this news hit me harder than anything since my initial diagnosis. My cancer has taken away a lot from me, and it could potentially take more in the future but…. MY BRAIN??? MY SELF BEING??? MY MENTAL LAST LINE OF DEFENSE & WEAPON TO BEAT THIS DISEASE??? It was too much for me to bear. I completely shut down in shock.
But after 24 hours of true shock, something amazing happened. My brain… under intense danger… came back alive. Self-preservation neurons began to start firing again. Self-preservation synapses were one by one brought back online.
New treatment flowcharts frantically began to be developed – done proactively because I was under tight timelines – this time incorporating the presence of brain tumors. How to beat them and how they would impact my overall plans. Colleagues near and far were consulted, I called in many favors for advice. I was truly heartened by the feeling of a true circling of wagons around me – it brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion. It still brings tears to my eyes thinking back to it now – I am truly blessed by the friendship, love and support that surrounds me!
The brain MRI results just arrived. It had been a false alarm. There were absolutely no signs of brain tumors seen in the MRI.
The adrenaline of the past few days is already starting to recede but impact of this experience hasn’t and I think it won’t.
I now know what it feels like to have your very essence of being under direct assault. I now know what it feels like to have my primary weapon and my life’s last line of defense – my brain – almost taken away from me when I needed it most. But… I also now know the incredible safety net, literal and emotional, that surrounds me from so many people near and far – I am truly humbled… From the experience of the past few days, I am a changed person.
In terms of the rest of the PET-CT scan findings, we are still working though ramifications on treatment plans and I hope to write up an update on that next week, once plans are decided and fully in place.
But until then, things are now looking brighter. A lot brighter! My brain is safe, I am surrounded by both love and support and for me, right now, that is all I needed to hear. I’ll get a good night’s sleep tonight, safe in that incredible knowledge.