In case you haven’t seen me mention it on Twitter or otherwise heard me talking about it already, I got to speak with my oncologist (finally!) on Friday evening regarding the results of my most recent MRI. The radiologist’s report noted a “slight concern for progression” which had me a little freaked out for a bit. Well, the tumor board has recommended more “waiting and watching” of my brainstem tumor for now. So my next MRI will take place sometime in April.
The January MRI showed some change in the tumor that looked like a section of recurrence in my medulla (I talked about this briefly in my last Tangled Talk video), but because the change is so small, there is no treatment recommended at this time, especially considering I am not experiencing any new or more disabling neurological symptoms.
My doctor did say that because the recurrence is in a part of my brain that was previously treated with radiation, more radiation in that location is not an option down the road. Other treatment options, including clinical trials, would be considered if needed at some point in the future. But there’s no point in putting the treatment cart in front of the cancer horse, if you will.
So if you’re reading this update like, “What should I feel about all of this information, Emily?” I’d say feel what I feel—relieved. This thing is still slow growing, and knowing that makes it much easier to do more living and less worrying.
While I was waiting to finally speak with my doctor, I filmed and edited a couple of YouTube videos for my channel. Though I can push myself too far if I’m not careful, digging into those things keeps me distracted from anxiety and tires me out that it’s a little bit easier to sleep at night. Both videos I post are heart-themed for Valentine’s Day. (I’m trying to post some timely content to feed the masses and grow my channel.)
Zentangle Class and CZT Scholarship
In other news, I have signed up to take an online class in March from certified Zentangle teacher Holly Atwater. I already have my supplied, and I am really looking forward to it. (I’m doing the Monet 3D workshop on March 6 if you’re curious, and it looks like there are still some openings.) Since my birthday is in March, the class is a present to myself.
Another thing I did this past week was apply for a scholarship to participate in Zentangle’s upcoming CZT training. It was a little scary even just filling out the application, because committing to a multi-day anything with chronic illness can be pretty stressful. But it’s something I really want to do. I might not get a scholarship, and that’s fine, but if I do it would be nice. The one bizarre upside to Covid is that they are doing virtual training again. If travel were required, becoming a CZT would basically be out of the question.
Anyway, I’d appreciate some good luck vibes from everybody out there.