I have a spine tumor. It's right there with my nerves, which accounts for the intense pain when I sit or lie down or sneeze. I was halfway through the magic "5 years of remission" that insurance companies like to hear, when a new challenge was thrown my way.
Dr. Fink called me on Saturday, not wanting to wait until this Thursday to meet with my neurosurgeon. She knew a good neurosurgeon and was arranging for him to meet with me today.
I met with the neurosurgeon today, and he showed me in no uncertain terms that there is a tumor on the spine; one that is perfusing and lighting up on the MRI. (It looks like an ugly caterpillar woven among the nerves.) He also saw that the resection cavity in my brain included the ventricle that made for easy access for GBM to escape out of my brain and down into the spine.
He will meet with Dr. Fink at a tumor board meeting on Wednesday morning, to discuss next steps: whether to do an open biopsy to get more information about the cells, or whether to proceed imediately into cyber knife and possibly chemotherapy. Cyber knife therapy would be delayed if they did an open biopsy, so I'm hoping that won't happen. Now the suspense is not what I have, but how we will proceed to treat what I have.
Although the news was shocking and very disappointing, I felt an amazing sense of calm, and a feeling that this was going in the right direction. I continue to pray that the doctors will be inspired to know what to do for me, and I continue to be buoyed by the prayers of many who continue their faithful vigil on my behalf.
The neurosurgeon didn't discuss prognosis, and I'm glad about that. I decided to be the Mary Kay bumblebee. Mary Kay loved the symbol of the bumblebee, because bumblebees are not aerodynamically built to be able to fly. However, because no one told the bumblebee, it still flies. Maybe if no one tells me that I can't live more than a few more months, then maybe I'll just still keep on living.