It has been a busy week here with 3 days of appointments for Clay and 1 for Pearl. The MRI went smoothly, and by now Clay is used to the routine -- no eating that day, being put to sleep by blowing the large green balloon that smells like bubble gum, waking up and getting to eat a snack which he packs ahead of time. The anaesthesiologist says Clay is the best patient he has ever seen. Clay talks for days ahead of time about the bubble gum balloon. This all reminds me of Dr. Larch in John Irving's Cider House Rules, who looked forward to taking a hit of ether to help him get through each day. It makes the sedation easy for us, but we are potentially creating an addict.
The MRI showed that the tumor is no longer showing the growth we were seeing during March and April. While too early to tell definitively, they feel there may be some evidence that parts of the tumor appear to be dying off (necrosis). Of course we were hoping for shrinkage, but the doctors say that would not happen this early into the protocol. So for now the plan is to hold the course with weekly doses of vinblastine. The positive news for us all is how good Clay is feeling and his blood counts remain strong.