Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What a great day!

For the past 8 weeks, our family has been in 'denial' mode. With Matthew's break from treatment, it's been easy and wonderful to just pretend our life is 'normal'. Without constant appointments, MRI's, and chemotherapy, we haven't talked a lot about the whole cancer/brain tumor thing. We did fish, canoe, swim, hike, play, have 4 birthday parties, vacation in Chicago, begin school, and otherwise fully enjoy the rest of our summer.

Monday afternoon we started up again with a nice refreshing dose of reality. Matt had a follow-up MRI at 7:00 Monday night (really, our appointment was at 7:00p.m. - isn't that weird?!?) Then, Monday morning he had his MRI of his brain, followed by a visit to Oncology, and finished up with a visit to his Neurosurgeon. We had an overwhelmingly positive day. First, the MRI of his brain showed the tumor was a bit smaller than it had been immediately after surgery. This, apparently, is because his brain was so swollen the day after surgery. Secondly (and this is HUGE, so brace yourselves), there were NO TUMORS IN HIS SPINE!!!!! We feel like this is a true miracle. His spine has shown marginal improvement with each spinal MRI, but to say there are no tumors is just amazing. Perhaps they were just the residual blood from when his tumor initially bled, perhaps the chemo really attacked them, but whatever they were, they are gone now! The report came back saying something about 'fatty tissue in the bone marrow' that is typical after a patient receives radiation treatment........ but Matt's never had radiation. We are so grateful for this amazing change. Lastly, his Neurosurgeon was very pleased with how well he is doing. We are so very lucky that with the size and location of Matt's tumor, coupled with 2 extremely invasive surgeries, Matt has virtually no side-effects. Some common side effects might be extreme weakness in one side, seizures, foot drop, personality changes, cognitive difficulties, etc..... Matt has none of that and our Neurosurgeon was really happy - as are we.

We know we are so blessed to be at a current 'up' in our roller coaster ride. On Monday, we learned that a friend (Karen) just hit a 'down' with her son Marcus. After a year of being 'cancer free', his tumor has returned with a vengeance, and is now tumorS. So, even in our happiness, we are sad for children who are backsliding. This disease is so awful. The ups and downs take a tremendous toll on children and families. So, as you pray and are thankful for Matt, please remember to pray and bless Marcus and his family as they continue another really difficult part of this journey.

13 comments:

MoziEsmé said...

Glad you've been having a good summer, and yeah for Matt's good news!

mileshudson said...

What a great blog! I'm so glad things are going well for Matt!! Sending P&PT that he continues to do well with his treatment.

((P&PT to Marcus and his family))

Sarah (sarschro)

The Uffens Family said...

We are so glad to hear the great news. Mom said the reunion was a lot of fun - and that Matt seemed to have a blast too. What a blessing a carefree summer is for kids (and parents!!) Sorry we didn't make it to see you guys! Thanks for keeping us updated. We think of you often.

stimpsonfamily said...

I am so glad to hear that things are getting better! I went to a party last night and it made me think of your family. It was a detox party, learning about the importance of detoxing your body. One friend uses it for her R. Arthritis, and another's father had what they called a fatal brain tumor, and he is now cancer free! These are girls in my ward, so I believe them when they say that they believe that the detox thing makes a huge difference! Thinking of your family always!

amanda said...

What great news Allison. I am sure there was no better way to start out the school year.

Anonymous said...

That is such great news!

Katie said...

Hooray! Congrats to Matt for being demoted on everyone's prayer list. We'll be sure to send the extra prayers Marcus' way!

Jessie said...

That is amazing, amazing news. I'm thrilled to hear it. We sure love you and your family.

Dina said...

What a blessing! I'm so happy about your good news.

courtneynielson said...

love you guys & love your happy news!

Burton Family said...

What wonderful news!! We are so happy for all of you. We will continue to pray for more improvements-and full recovery!!! I am so glad that you guys have had such a wonderful summer! You deserve it so much. We love you all!
Cristy

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh I couldn't help but cry reading your update! I am so happy for you and know exactly how it is to have friends who are struggling while you habe good news! It is such a double edge sword.

We are so happy for you and will keep you and your friends in our prayers!!!

Mindy said...

Congratulations! This is such great news for you guys! We will pray for your friend Marcus as well as for Matt. Good luck!