The image, above, does a pretty good job showing what’s been bugging me the last couple months. The amoeba-shaped light grey stuff on the left side of this image (which is a slice of my brain looking up from my heels) is something called edema, aka ‘swelling’ that has been erupting in my brain, intruding onto both my motor strip, and lately into cognitive areas in the prefrontal lobe (compare to MRI from this past March, left).
Oddly, seeing this image helped me feel a lot better, mentally, about what’s been going on in corpus meum lately. That said, after a long day at UCSF yesterday, and a morning in physical rehab today, I’m pretty wobbly, not to mention exhausted.
My glioma (brain tumor) is the ghostly oval thing in the middle of the edema that kind of looks like the face on Mars (or is it the Virgin in a toasted cheese?).
The tumor is quiescent, and has been for the better part of 3 years. As you can see, the edema is a bigger intrusion on the brain as I write, and it’s the cause of the recent decline in my left side.
Given this, and research that suggests angiogenesis blockers like Avastin are effective against edema, I decided, in close consultation with Neuro-oncologist Susan Chang, to resume Avastin infusions, in the hopes of halting or reversing the edema. Losing pieces of two years of rehab work on the left side has been no fun…