Sunday, 30 September 2012

Lots of updates

Latest MRI Sample

Shows before and after surgery. In the post pictures there is a lot of swelling still visible but this was only a day after surgery so that is no surprise. In the vertical post picture you can see a fair ammount of tumour still left so it is essential to get the radio and chemo therapies going as quiclkly as possible.
Prior to surgery - shows solid tumour

Post Surgery - most of tumour removed

Staples and Stitches Removed

On monday I went to my local doctor (gp) to get the stitches and staples removed. I was surprised at how painless the stapel removal procedure was, especially the way the the stapels just squeeze and lifted away". The only problem in this area Is the length of time the scars seem to be taking to heal, and the longer this takes, the later the radiology and Chemo treatment can start and the later this starts the longer time the tumour has to grow.

Radiology and Oncology Discussions

On last Monday and Wednesday I had discussions with my new Radiologist and my old Oncologist (same guy that looked after me 5 years ago.

Given the repeat performance of a Glioblastoma Multiforme , the tumour board had already decided to recommend standard treatment accordingly. This consists of 6 weeks of conformal 3D Radiation therapy to a total dosage of 60 Gray (maximum allowable dosage) concurrently with Temozolomid Chemo therapy followed by a further 6 cycles of Temozolomid (1 week in every 4) for the next six months.

Note that this is identical to the treatment I had for my original tumour. I can get the full dosage because, luckily the new radio beams will not cross over the old beams.

Interestingly, the lady raduiologist is English and ex NHS and used to work in Hertfordshire, where Caroll and I grew up. She had worked in the QUE2 hospital in Welwyn Garden City the hospital that our daughters were born in, and ironically the hospital in which my mother was diagnosed with her Brain Tumour! Given that and an ex NHS Neurolosurgeon also from Hertfordshire (Watford) it feels like I am back home :-)

How's the Brain?

Enough of my physical condition and up and coming treatments but how's my brain?

The best news is nothing is worse since the operation and the worst news is that nothing is much butter. I still cannot really read and I still have these peripheral visual anomalies which confuse my attenpts to relearn reading and improve writing

I have seen some improvement in finding my way arounb my machines. I believe that this is due to re-learning rarther than regaining capability although, of course, I cannot be certain. As I have previously mentioned I am much better at reading symbols and icons than words I believe thad is because they do not have to actually be read. Ironically in the past I was a words man and had a lot of contempt for Icons. Now, without them my life would be almost unliveable.

You can not imagine how hard it is to live in our modern world without the skill of reading. Withot text to speech my quality of life would de approaching zero.

Technology keeps me sane, by providing me the tools to navigate the written world.

A device that could do real time OCR (optical character recognition) to speech is on my wish list then I would be able to read the printed word as well as just the electronic word.

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