You know you have brain cancer when...
...Meningitis sounds like good news! I received news today that the lab work came back with absolutely no indications of any kind of infection. And I received clarification that the main reason the MRI was ordered was not really to look for signs of meningitis, but because of the strange ache & dysesthesia (vocabulary word of the day) in my upper back. They want to be cautious and hopefully rule out tumor progression into other parts of the central nervous system. Chances are, they say, it will be negative. But to me, the idea that it came up as a prudent course of action in response to this mystery feeling in my back, makes me more than a little worried.
The thing about brain cancer is that it doesn't metastasize to other parts of the body (it just makes swiss cheese out of your brain), but it can definitely spread to other parts of the central nervous system, like the spinal column, the meninges, and cerebral spinal fluid. They are fair game, because they are all part of the same general group of body parts.
When faced with worrisome things, my inital reaction is to play through all the possible scenarios (kind of like that computer on the movie Wargames). So I'm already thinking through possible positive results and the treatments that would follow. Would a tumor on the spinal cord be inoperable? Would I risk paralysis? Would radiation be tried instead? Does it become possible to spread elsewhere, once it is outside the brain? Is this a tumor recurrence that makes me eligible for experimental treatment?
And what I really wish I knew...with all this thinking a few steps ahead of the game, why am I not a better chess player?
Meanwhile, the fever and chills continue. Because there is no sign of any infection, the latest theory is that it is some kind of reaction to my anti-seizure medication. The timing makes sense, because this started after the first week of tapering down on my radiation steroids. Those steroids may have been masking any earlier reactions. We're thinking about that, and we may have to change to a different medication if the fever continues.
But seriously - I was almost rooting for meningitis. Meanwhile, we will pray and pray and pray and pray (and we know that others will, too - THANK YOU), and hopefully we'll just be ruling something out instead of reaching a grim diagnosis. No matter what, though, those prayers will be helping me in many ways. All will ultimately be well, I continue to remind myself. What I will have to endure until then is probably going to be rocky at times. But I will always be blessed with what I need to endure all things, and the prayers of others really help unlock those blessings for me.