Welllll, today was the day.

Today, we saw the first MRI since I started radiation and chemo.

Would Sara be banished to the Land of the Forgotten?

Or would she be sticking her tongue out and moonwalking into other parts of my brain?

Guess what?! We don’t know! Inconclusive! Only time will tell! Tonight you’re taking an Ambien because you are zero steps closer to an answer!

Long/shorts, Sara is still there, but she is diminished.

As my oncologist Dr. Chamberlain explained, she’s like a dead body in my brain that the brain has yet to consume. She’s still there, but we know she’s not growing. And we’re assuming she’s dead, but one living cell is enough to re-ignite the girl (that’s why we’re following up with almost a year of chemo).  

It’s even more frustrating because the symptoms of my particular tumor (Medulloblastoma) also happen to be the symptoms of chemo and/or radiation: Dizziness; fatigue and mental fog. Add to that my latest symptoms caused by chemo, radiation and steroids: a new physical disconnectedness that makes me feel like a marionette under the control of a piss-poor puppeteer; tingling and numbness in my hands; loss of voice; heart palpitations; weight gain; break outs, oh, and of course the hair, eyelash and eyebrow loss.

In this game, that which doesn’t kill you makes you uglier!!!!

I feel like Sara’s still there, but not, but there, but not, because symptoms are worse and there are more of them, but they’re probably from the treatment.

So, bottom line … what next?

Jack, Don and Ada came with me to keep track of all this since I’m like a dummy in a shooting gallery most of the time. And this is what we learned: I begin ten months of chemo, where I go in once a week for four weeks (with six-week breaks in between) and get a six-hour infusion of Cisplatin (administered by IV), accompanied by Lomustine (an oral chemo). My cocktail originally included a third chemo drug, Vincristin (this is the chemo derived from periwinkle), but because it has already caused neuropathy in my fingers, we’re dropping it from the menu. Afterall, what’s life worth living if you can’t open a bag of Cheetos?

Then … then we just wait.

Wait for the symptoms of treatment to subside, which can take years.

Wait for the next and the next and the next MRI.

Wait to see if Sara decides to take up residence again.

She is most likely to return in the first two years after treatment. If there’s no sign of her in the five years following treatment, they consider me “cured,” with my chances of getting cancer again as high as your sorry asses.

When does Mad Max: ChemoDome begin? November 6.

Now, how ‘bout that Ambien?

Pictured above: Sara’s starring moment, she is the white mass with arrows on the left; and then, Sara’s cadaver, present but smaller, on the right.  

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