Henry's Blog

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Good MRI

Yesterday morning, bright and early, we saw both Drs. S & B, who remarked how well the surgery had gone, and in what good post-op shape he is in. While obviously pleased with the results, Dr. S stopped short of declaring it gross total resection (GTR) until the post-op MRI confirmed. Henry had the MRI about 8:30 AM. We didn't hear anything for quite a while, but the nurse in the ICU figured that the surgeons probably had taken a look at it and suggested that if anything really bad and/or immediate was on the film, that we would know, otherwise we would hear at morning rounds.

Late afternoon we were waiting for a room to be free on the main floor, and as soon as that happened we were released from ICU. Henry is in quite good shape, although quite uncomfortable and in a lot of pain. He has some trouble swallowing, but not as severe as after his second surgery. He is, not surprisingly, quite weak and wobbly on his left side. Also not surprising, he is very cranky.

Thursday morning, both surgeons dropped quickly by separately, and both said that the MRI showed no trace of tumor. While we of course rejoiced at this news, we remained guarded: after all, we had heard this before. We were scheduled to meet with the radiologist at St. Jude at 1PM, so we thought then we would learn about a confirming MRI that would occur after post-op swelling had gone down, and that would certainly precede any radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy is a critical component of the treatment. Even with GTR, it is established fact that cells would be left behind and that, while not technically tumor, could easily grow and reorganize and cause a more malignant recurrence.

We had a long, concise meeting with the radiologist (Dr. M; we feel like second grade and the Alphabet People...), and Lo, and Behold: indeed it has been classified as Gross Total Resection!

[We pause here for the requisite dancing in the street...
OK, we now return you to our regularly scheduled post]

With no further followup MRI, there is no need for delaying the radiation. Since St. Jude has treated more cases of ependymoma than anywhere in the world, we feel it best to continue the treatment here. Mama will shoulder the responsibilities in Memphis, while Dad holds the fort at home and plays tag team as possible.

It will be a logistical nightmare to figure out how to fit this 6-and-a-half week treatment into our lives, but we don't question for a minute the imperative and wisdom of this choice.


Anonymous The Maifeld Family said...

MAZEL TOV! We're dancing in Seattle and crying lots of happy tears. We're sending lots of love!

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have all the puppies in the "Palmer Pound" jumping on the bed! One more message, please tell Aunty Scottie I brought home the boy Doberman....Duke! The vet mistakenly gave us the correct age...they are 5 months old. If I knew how to include a photo I would. They are pretty cute!

Bean (Vivian)

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

This is Wonderful News and Exciting!!!
We all thrilled at this news!!!!
Three cheers for Henry!!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mama, Dad and Henry,

I am so glad to hear the great news! I told you everything was going to be fine. Now, I think you need to direct some of your attention to your second son. Yes, it's me, Jack. Hint: Arf, arf!!

While Atlanta is certainly a lovely place, it's NOT Hilton Head Island. And, I'm not sure if it's my imagination, but I feel like my body is getting longer and my legs are shrinking. Maybe being around 2 weiner dogs is taking it's toll. They are very loud...I'm not sure humans can even hear the octaves they hit. They run around the house over and over in circles with no intentions at all. I mean, they're not even chasing anything. They keep calling me Ringo with a snicker...what does that mean? Me and the cat just look at each other (from WAY across the room) and roll our eyes. The cat is another story that I refuse to talk about...except to my shrink back home.

Anyway, I want to snuggle up to Henry in my own bed, so tell him to get home soon. I'm being good, at least in comparison to Cartney and Lennon.

Love you all - especially Henry.


PS - If I bite one of these sausage dogs in half, will it grow back like an earthworm?

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TC, Cynthia, Henry - Terrific news!!! That whooshing
sound you hear is a big ole collective sigh of relief from everyone on this journey with you.

Don't forget to eat ribs at the Rondezvous and take in the Zoo. I
spent the better part of my childhood playing there and talkin' to the animals. Hmmmmm. . .
I wonder if that's my problem.

Much love and caring,

Julie (Hahn)

9:38 AM  
Blogger Teresa G said...

Dear Henry -

Congratulations! We're dancing on St. Pete Beach, as weel :) Glad to hear the surgery was such a success and I think you deserve to be a little cranky ;)

Terry, we enjoyed the Memphis fun facts!

Teresa, Steve and Nick

10:06 AM  
Anonymous norma grove said...

Cermaks, I am so happy about your report. It shows you what a brave person can survive--& Henry is the bravest person I know. I think of you all the time & will be so glad when HENRY feels well again. Please let me know what I can do to help. Henry, I'm going to new york in March and am going to get you something..Please think about what you would like. I love you all and am so proud of you all. norma.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for your incredible updates....they are so informative and interesting...i think of you two and henry often...we are here for you....suzanne and rich thomas

8:26 AM  

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