Saturday, December 29, 2012

First MRI on new trial

Clay was to have his first scan since beginning this latest experimental protocol on December 22 but due to him having a cold the Docs postponed it until December 24.   So Clay, JD and I spent Christmas Eve day at Childrens' Hospital listing to the whirring of the MRI machine.  We met with Clay's oncologist on December 26 to review the results.  The doctor is "encouraged" primarily by the lack of enhancement on this scan.  Enhancement indicates tumor  activity,  the more active the tumor  the more contrast dye it attracts which appears as white on the otherwise black/gray scan.  The last MRI in October showed lots of white areas in the main tumor.  This MRI showed much less white. So the Docs feel this reveals the medicine is doing something to the tumor.  It will take another MRI to tell if we will get shrinkage.  Unfortunately shrinkage is what we need if Clay is going to experience any improvements in his symptoms such as his facial palsy, spinal fluid blockage or  especially his vision, which is of course what I (and many others) have been praying for.  Clay's adaptation to his blindness has been slow and halting.   For the first time in the nearly four years of his fight Clay seems discouraged.   He is truly grieving this huge loss in his life.  And nothing drives home knowledge of this loss more than the Christmas season which is filled with so much visual stimulation.   He has received many wonderful gifts from family and friends that are geared to a blind person.  In fact, one family who saw the Post article is having their children read chapters of books and are e-mailing us audio files.   But Clay has not yet "embraced" a blind life, and to be honest we are not there yet ourselves.  So for now Clay will remain on this drug trial with some notion that it is providing some benefit and our hope it will produce the shrinkage he needs to give his vision a chance of returning.   

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