Mom, dad, Hunter, and I just wrapped up watching The Great Mouse Detective this evening. Hunter, home from Boston for Spring Break, bought home the idea that we should revisit dad’s most favorite movie from when we were growing up. For all those who haven’t seen this masterpiece, it was just as fun today as it was 10 years ago. It was also a huge improvement from dad’s rather dry choices of films.
Hunter brought a lot of energy into the house from Boston. Mom, dad, and I are so, so happy he’s here for a visit. When he was here last (January), dad was still in the hospital post surgery. Though we’ve been in touch with Hunter, I can only imagine the shock and surprise he encountered in his initial visit with dad. If I were to look at dad from Hunter’s eyes, I’d notice his mobility (he was entirely wheelchair bound when Hunter was last here), lucidity, big belly, hair loss (from the chemo), swollen face (also from the chemo), exhaustion, decreased energy, decreased agitation (due to reduced steroid doses), and overall contentedness (dad’s happy to drink coffee and read the paper for most of the day).
We met with Dr. Schiffner on Friday for an interpretation of dad’s most recent MRI. Though this is a *very* preliminary test (most tests are conducted 6-8 weeks after finishing radiation, but dad’s was performed 4 weeks after because of tentative interest in a clinical trial), the tumor had relatively less inflammation than prior to initiating treatment. This is good news for now: some GBM patients have tumors that barrel through the radiation and grow, others have tumors that show up in different places in the brain. Dad’s inflammation is reduced, and it’s likely that the inflammation will be further reduced 6 weeks from now.
With respect to the recurring alternative / additional treatment predicament: we have a consultation with UCSF on Monday where we will learn about the additional treatments UCSF has to offer.
Dad’s general state is precarious these days. After his MRI on Thursday, dad and Danny headed to UCSF to drop off the MRI CDs. On his way to reception, dad fell and hit his head. In addition to this incident, I witness him losing his equilibrium frequently. Dad, Lyle (one of our dogs), and I went on a walk around the neighborhood yesterday, and he struggled to walk in a straight line. Dr. Schiffner explained that dad’s reduced coordination may be explained by post-radiation fatigue. We hope that dad’s sense of balance and energy will recover in three to four weeks.
Other highlights: I found a 3 month old cucumber in our pantry from an incomplete organization post grocery. I’ll save you the trouble of conducting this experiment on your own: 3 month old cucumbers turn orange-yellow and the rank smell spreads through the entire house. Though neither mom nor dad noticed the smell, the house is happier with it disposed of.
Spirits are calm and positive.