I chat with my cousin, Dr. Kevin, PhD, periodically on Facebook.
He read Annie’s first MRI report, that I totally did not ‘get,’ and wanted to tell me what he thought of it.
I was so scared of what he might say that I never called him like I was supposed to….
Sometimes Denial Mode is just the place you want to *be* when facing situations like, say, a brain tumor in one of your two favorite children.
Sometimes, you just want to avoid what *MIGHT* be…..better not to know.
Especially when you don’t really know what someone might say….some very well-meaning people want to ‘prepare you for the worst.’
I didn’t want to be ‘prepared for the worst.’
In fact, I can’t think of one single time in life when ANYONE needs to be ‘prepared for the worst.’
Especially not 1) in labor and childbirth, or 2) when your child has a brain tumor.
So heed these words now….if I am ever facing 1) labor and childbirth, or 2) a child with a brain tumor, PLEASE DO NOT PREPARE ME FOR THE WORST! (I promise to not prepare you for the worst either.)
So I did what all polite, well-mannered people do and avoided him.
And everyone else for that matter.
(Sorry, to all of you).
He finally caught up with me on Facebook….I couldn’t hide any longer…..and it turns out he had only kind words and good news for me….so I was completely wrong to avoid calling him! And probably the rest of you as well…again, I’m sorry I haven’t called you back….any of you!
As it turns out, a PhD means you know a thing or two.
Just kidding, Kevin….I’m SO GRATEFUL that I have you around to explain all this to me in language even a blonde can understand. THANK YOU for taking the time…
Here’s our facebook chat:
but the tumor doesn’t appear to be concerning at this point.. from reading the report on the MRI
it may have always been there
and isnt causing any immediate problems
and doesn’t appear to be cancer
but they did say it will continue to grow so it definitely needs to come out.
they said they couldn’t say if it was cancer without doing a biopsy and they did diagnose it astro-something-oma….isn’t ‘oma’ always cancer?
i’m no neurosurgeon, but from my understanding of anatomy, that will be an OK place for it to be.. and not too complicated to remove
oma is tumor
yeah, that sounds right…that whole day is a blur
astrocytes are “supporting” cells in the brain.. kinda like the glue and mortar
I did a google search and it didn’t look like good news so I never clicked on any of the search results.
its only “cancer” when the cells spread to other areas (annie’s is contained)
umm… should have called.. i’m better than Wikipedia! 😉
ok. that’s good news.
ha! I was afraid of what you might say.
and her tumor may not even be cancerous
well, in this case, I had only good news
but would you rather hear that news from someone who loves you.. or a doc you barely know?!?!
they said it appeared to not have any fingers or tentacles. on the MRI it looked like a marble.
there are lots of people who ‘love’ me who want to ‘prepare me for the worst’ …
yes. “Clear margins”… which means the cells haven’t even started spreading
so its either totally not cancer, which seems likely in a neonate….
or the cancer cells haven’t started spreading..
the thing to keep in mind too…
wow, I totally missed the ‘clear margins’ phrase
this may just be “normal tissue” that is in the wrong place for Annie
and yes, it will grow as she does…
but the rest of her brain will also
including the space where they saw the growth
well they did say that they could tell by the consistency of it on the MRI picture that it was a tumor
4th ventricle I think they said
well, they could tell because it was a marble in a space that shouldn’t have a marble.. just empty, fluid filled space.. LOL
and being solid also says that its not likely cancer (as cells move it shows up as contoured or diff colors)
so the tumor isn’t pushing on anything important
I wish I would have called you the other day like I was supposed to…
and its not blocking the flow of fluid through the 4th ventricle
I’m in panic mode, I can’t help it…
well, I got my PhD in the department of Cell biology and Anatomy
and did my research on developmental biology.. (embryology)
I did not know that.
you knew me before I got “edu-ma-cated”
yeah, didn’t you work at baskin robbins…or was that your wife
I did cancer research fellowship for 7 years at the Arkansas Cancer Researh Center in Little rock
before coming here
but I don’t count that as real work
it was probably pretty cushy. cancer research = party all the time
taught anatomy here at *** for 5 years… and developmental biology for 7
have also taught histology (kinda like “normal” pathology” for the past 3 years
so I can kinda help out with all the medical stuff
docs like to WOW patients with big terms
I didn’t realize y’all had been in *** that long
doesn’t seem like it.. but yeah.. 7 years
so, do you have my number still?
I expect you to use it now!!!!
May 21st.. is our 21 anniversary
ok, my cell phone is right here…I’m programming it in right now
you actually have to dial it before it will do any good?!?! 😉
ok…really, I forgot to take it with me to Dallas last time. Now I have no excuse.
ok… I have guilted you enough for one afternoon..
but i’m serious when I say, please call me if you have any questions… even if I don’t know the answer.. I know how to look it up and explain it
so that you don’t panic
I will keep that in mind!! thank you!!
ok.. enjoy your rainy evening…
Thank you, Kevin….one more person who has truly blessed my life in the past hell-a-cious couple of weeks. 🙂
I promise I’ll call you back next time…