I'm happy to report that my latest MRI shows no changes. The tumor remains stable as I keep waiting for my miracles! I feel awesome and I'm loving this new life full of hope and faith.
My next appointment is in 4 months.
“He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me. 2 Samuel 22:17-18
2 weeks ago, I had another scan following the end of treatment to evaluate the tumor. I am happy to report that there has been no progress, in fact, the doctor said that when comparing this last image with the very first images she can see an improvement. I’m feeling better than ever. I feel like I’m finally getting back to normal and excited to be done with treatments after a year and a half of chemotherapy following radiation and weekly lab works. The doctor said that she will continue to monitor the brain tumor with scans every 3 to 4 months as there is no other treatment available at this time.
I continue to believe God is working on my physical healing as he has already healed me emotionally and spiritually. I’m in His hands!
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
I recently had a doctor’s appointment following some scans to determine the status of the tumor and the results show that the tumor is stable, it hasn’t changed. I was experiencing some dizziness and neck pain but after further evaluation and a neck MRI it was determined that is not related to the tumor.
The doctor asked me if I wanted to continue with the Chemotherapy treatment and I quickly responded yes as I only have 2 cycles left, but after giving it a second thought I decided to only do 1 more cycle and start the New Year drug free.
Yesterday I finished my last Chemotherapy cycle EVER!!!!
I’m grateful for science for doing its part but I now leave my healing completely in God’s hands. I’ve been transformed and made new and I believe He is the greatest physician and the ultimate healer.
I will continue with the MRI check-up every 2 months and my next one is on February 9th.
Thank you everyone for all your prayers and I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New year!
This past Friday I had a doctor appointment and a MRI scan to evaluate the tumor. Thankfully, the first results show that the tumor remains stable. The doctor compared all the MRI's I've had done and she feels the chemotherapy is working and wants to extended treatment for another 6 cycles for a total of 18 cycles. She said since my body is tolerating the treatment we should continue. I haven't had any major issues except that I get really tired during those days and it's hard to get out of bed.
She also extended the time between check-ups and now instead of every 2 months it's going to be every 3 months.
I greatly appreciate all your prayers as I continue to wait for my complete healing.
A year ago today, I found out I had brain cancer. So many things have happened since then. My life has been shaken up and my faith has been tested numerous times. I have to admit, most of my life, I was living in a different reality. I have learned so many things about myself and about others that have transformed my life completely, I will never be the same person I was a year ago, especially after being told I have a “terminal disease and an unknown prognosis.” My first reaction was “I got this” and acted that way for a while until I was told otherwise and found myself alone in this battle as a result of my own actions. From that moment on, I began to see things differently, I was invaded by this feeling of sadness and despair and many times I thought about giving up. During this time, I lost a few people who I thought would always be there for me (unconditionally) but I was wrong. We are all humans and many times we let our thoughts become feelings and we let those feelings control our actions before even giving those thoughts a fair trial. I have to admit, I didn’t understand this until just recently and I still catch myself sometimes reacting instead of thinking first, so I’m no one to judge. I had to die inside in order to be born again which has given me a new perspective in life that I would not trade for anything in this world. Same way I lost people I was also able to meet new wonderful people and reconnect with others, and as my faith was being tested I found the support I needed in the one and only that had always been there for me unconditionally but I had carelessly ignored…God.
Today, I celebrate being given the opportunity of a new life. I celebrate a year of the tumor not growing and I celebrate the internal healing that was very much needed. I learned that we are all “terminal” because we are all going to die one day and that everyone’s prognosis is “unknown” because we never know when is going to happen. I still have a long way to go but I’ve decided to cast my care and enjoy the journey!
I'm currently on my 9th chemotherapy cycle which means I only have 3 more to go...yay!!!
My last MRI was on March 31st and it showed that the tumor continues to be stable, no growth.
Chemo cycles have gotten a lot easier to manage, I haven't experienced any nausea this time, just feeling a little more tired than usual.
I'm happy to share that I've met two wonderful people through this site, that like me, are fighting a brain tumor. I ask that you pray for them as well.
My next MRI and doc appointment is June 2nd.
When compared to the prior studies, there appears to be a slight decrease
in the size of the nonenhancing, FLAIR/T2 hyperintense lesion centered in
the right side of the pons. Specifically, on the prior study this lesion
measured 3.5 x 3.0 cm and currently appears to measure 3.2 x 2.9 cm.This
may be due to differences in technique or angulation. The lesion extends
into the medulla. No evidence for abnormal perfusion. No hydrocephalus,
acute infarction or acute hemorrhage.
Sinuses, orbits and nasopharynx are unremarkable. No suspicious bony
Since the most recent prior study dated December 2, 2016:
1. There appears to be mild decrease in the size of the pontine lesion.
Thank you everyone for all your prayers, God is listening!
The latest MRI shows that the tumor hasn’t progressed.
I have been experiencing some twitching, mostly on my right eye but it keeps moving around my face. I’m currently taking medication for it and it has helped a little. In regards to the other symptoms they remain unchanged. As of right now, the plan is to complete the 12 cycles of chemo. I will begin my 6th cycle today 2/4/17. The side effects from Chemo have been a little less severe since the doctor prescribed an additional nausea medication and steroids during chemo days to reduce the fatigue.
I found out that the type of tumor that I have is a low-grade Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). I will continue with my check-up every 2 months to monitor the progress. My next check-up is March 31st.
On December 2nd, I had a follow up MRI and a doc visit. Fortunately, the tumor continues to be stable. There was some concern before the appointment because the double vision has now extended to the left side and I'm having more trouble swallowing but there is no indication that the tumor has grown. The doctor felt the need to send me for an MRI of the spine due to a new symptom that appeared about 6 weeks ago in which I feel an electric current going down my spine every time I arch my neck forward but thankfully that MRI came back clean.
The 3rd Chemo cycle I had was less severe than the prior ones and I found out it was because I had more time to recover. Instead of the regular 28 days cycle I extended it 2 more weeks due to travel. Currently, I only have side effects 2 days after I start chemo and it usually lasts 10 days after that, but feeling better towards the end of those 10 days.
I will be starting my 4th chemo cycle this Saturday, December 10th which works out so I can feel better for the holidays. My next MRI is February 3rd.
Thank you everyone for all your prayers and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
On September 30th I had another MRI done to monitor the size of the tumor and fortunately there has been no changes. The tumor is stable which means it hasn't grown.
The next day, on Oct 1st I started the second round of chemo pills. The first 2 days there's really not much going on but the from day 3 through day 12 it gets really tough. I get very nauseous and fatigued which makes it really hard just to get out of bed. As of right now, the plan is to continue taking the chemo pills for another 10 months.
I'm still taking the steroids and have been decreasing the dose very slowly to avoid any issues. I've also been getting my blood work done every Thursday and so far so good.
My next MRI and doctor visit is scheduled for December 2nd.
During the 5 days I took the Chemo pills the biggest side effect I experienced was nausea, especially towards the end of the day. The nausea started getting better about a week after I finished the pills. Some of the other side effects I still have from radiation are bad taste and ear pressure. I'm hoping they will go away soon.
I want to thank everyone who participated in the events (The Ice cream social and The Walk) these past 2 weekends. It really means a lot to me and my family to experience all the support from family, friends and strangers.
My next MRI and doc appointment is on Friday, Sept 30th and it will used to monitor the size of the tumor. The results will not change the current treatment. I was put back on 4mg of steroids after I came out of the hospital and have slowly started to dose it down 0.5mg per week. I'm hoping it will work out better this time around. I will probably start the next cycle of Chemo on Oct 1st, but I will consult with the doc when I see her on 9/30.
A lot of things have happened since I last wrote.
A few days after I stopped taking the steroids which was August 14th, my health started declining. Starting with the rash I had mentioned earlier and from there it went downhill. I developed weakness, fatigue, decreased appetite, weight loss, nausea and vomiting. After consulting with the doctor, on Friday, August 26th my husband decided to take me to the hospital to get checked since I wasn’t getting any better. I was admitted that day and I they put me back on steroids along with some other medications to nurse me back into health. I was in the hospital for 4 days, which now looking in retrospect it was necessary.
Since I left the hospital I’ve had some good days and some bad days, and there has been ups and downs each day. I’m back on steroids now and will try to discontinue them in a much slower pace this time to avoid the same issues. Another thing that contributed to my decline in health was the bad taste in my mouth that caused some of the nausea and loss of appetite.
I started taking Chemotherapy pills again yesterday and will be doing so until Saturday to complete my first monthly cycle.
I’m getting excited about the 2 events that are coming up. This Saturday is the ice cream social “Angels for Angie” event and next Saturday is the Long Island Brain Tumor Walk, I hope you can join us!
On Friday I went to get my first (after treatment) MRI done and review results with the doctor in order to create the next plan of attack.
As expected from the treatment, the tumor is stable. It hasn't grown which was the main goal of the radiation and Chemotherapy.
I will continue to do oral chemotherapy in a much higher dose 5 days a month.
I will start my first cycle of Chemotherapy on Tuesday, September 6th.
My next MRI appointment has already been scheduled for September 30th and I will be getting an MRI done every 2 months for the rest of my life.
She said side effects from radiation will last a couple of months so I just have to be patient.
As far as my health, I developed this really bad and very itchy rash all over my face this past Wednesday and it got progressively worse every day. The doctor prescribed me a lotion to apply and allergy pills and I think they are making me very sleepy because I've been sleeping since Friday.
During the time I was doing radiation I experienced many different things and I would like to share one of them with you.
During those 2 minutes the following battle would happen in my head:
The green ray going into my head would turn into a giant green lightsaber fighting against a tiny monster inside my head that was holding a red lightsaber. Of course the green force would always win and then I would say thank you and goodbye.
After the treatment was administered it would take the radiation technicians a minute or two to walk back into the room and take the mask off. Once that was done, I was dismissed from the room.
Health update: I’m doing ok, I’m still having trouble sleeping sometimes but that’s nothing new. I lowered the steroid dose again in hopes I can stop taking it soon. As a consequence, I’m having a bit more trouble breathing and swallowing but that I can live with, it’s the bad taste in my mouth the killer. Research says bad taste should go away between 3 weeks to 2 months after radiation so I’m looking forward to that day. I will be going out to eat and celebrating! I’m going for my blood work again tomorrow and hopefully defenses are back up.
I invite to visit the events page and see if you can join us for the next events!
I have no words to describe the feeling that I had yesterday, but I can say that “overwhelming” and “awe-inspiring” are two good words that are pretty close it. I wasn't able to get the words out of my mouth without getting emotional and I’m not usually that way. Everyone came together and I could feel the energy all around me, feeding me. It was amazing! It’s something that I wish for everyone to experience once in their lives but obviously under different circumstances. Now, I feel like all I want to do is give back for someone else to have this opportunity. I feel very fortunate and lucky to have you all! Thank you so much to everyone that came and to the ones that wanted to be here with me but couldn’t.
To all my blog readers: I wanted to let you know that I won’t be writing every day anymore…in a good way. I will definitely keep it updated as I learn more about my medical status and I will also be sharing some of my thoughts and spiritual experiences throughout this journey. I will also be sharing my mother’s medical and emotional cancer journey as I know will explain a lot of who I am today.
I slept good last night. Spent all day doing preparations for tomorrow and had a lot of help from some wonderful friends. We had a moment in the middle of Target (we were shopping) while I took my last Chemotherapy pill (he he he, it was cute). I’m so wonderfully excited that I’m done with my daily treatment. Time to celebrate tomorrow!
I have to admit I was right, I was able to sleep last night because I was so tired. I woke up this morning feeling a bit weak and nauseous from the taste in my mouth. I went for my blood work today and unfortunately is not good news. My defenses are low so I’m really sensitive to illnesses. The doctor put me on antibiotics as a preventive treatment and advise me to stay away from anybody that’s sick or starting to feel sick. I will have to wear a mask when I’m in public just to be safe. The thought of canceling Sunday’s event didn’t even cross my mind, especially after I took my chemo pills today and there’s only one left. (I will be wearing a mask on Sunday). We are making a lot of progress in regards to the Sunday preparations and fortunately we’ve had a lot of helping hands. Thank you everyone!
The last time I looked at the clock last night it said 3am. If my calculations are correct, I have accumulated enough not sleeping hours to sleep better tonight (or so I think). My eyes were not swollen when I woke this morning but I did set up an air purifier in my room last night so I have to think it was something in the air. I went to the acupuncturist again today and I’m hoping I will notice another improvement tomorrow. Today I’ve felt the same as yesterday but with a little more nausea towards the end of the day. I also have to admit I didn’t take it easy today. There was a lot of running around and I stayed busy all day. 2 Chemo pills left!
Fun fact: So, my whole life, mosquitoes have loved my blood, but since I started treatment not one would even come close to me until yesterday. I have to think that’s a good sign!
I was able to get some sleep last night. My eyes were a bit swollen again when I woke up this morning, but it went away quickly. I’ve been feeling better than yesterday, so I was staying active all day, but I could feel that as the day progressed, I needed to slow down and take it easy because I started to feel dizzy and nauseous. I’m hoping the acupuncture had something to do with me feeling better today since I’ll be going back tomorrow. 3 Chemo pills left!
Important Date: On Friday, August 19th I have my first MRI appointment to follow up on the results of the radiation and I’ll be seeing my Neuro-Oncologist right after to go over the results. The goal is to have stopped the tumor from growing. Anything else in addition to that, would be a plus.
I had another bad day today. Last night, I had trouble falling asleep and I’ve been feeling weak and down all day. I woke up with my eyes really swollen like I was having some sort of allergic reaction, but I haven’t really changed anything so I’m not sure why. As the day went by the swelling went down. I went to the acupuncturist for the first time in my life and I’m hoping it will help overall in the long run. I didn’t miss going to radiation today, I was glad I didn’t even have to think about it. After I took my Chemo pills, I saw that there’s only 4 left, so I’m really looking forward to having zero left.
I woke up this morning feeling a bit tired and as the day progressed I started feeling worse. I was trying to be excited about today being my last day of radiation but it didn’t really make me feel any better physically. I went for my last radiation as scheduled and it went well. I got the mask and a cute graduation certificate from the radiation crew. They made me see the doctor since I wasn’t feeling so well. After a Q&A we came to the conclusion that I might be dehydrated. Honestly, I haven’t been eating or drinking much of anything lately because of the taste in my mouth. He said to give it at least 2 weeks for me to start feeling better from the radiation side effects, so I’m glad I’m done, but I need to be patient and wait a bit longer. One treatment down; 5 more days to go on the chemo!
Last night, I got a good 9 hours of sleep. It felt good to finally get some rest. It is very frustrating to be tired and unable to sleep. During my brothers’ s stay, we were able to go over my mother’s cancer story and we put together a summary that I’ll be sharing soon. (I just need to translate it). It was really sad to see them and the family leave but I have a lot of prepping to do this week for Sunday’s celebration so I’m hoping to stay busy and distracted. In regards to side effects, today I’ve been having the feeling of being under water (my ears) and the bad taste in my mouth. I’m very happy that tomorrow is my last day of radiation and after that, 6 more days of chemo and I’m done!
I wasn't able to fall asleep until 2AM last night. I woke up at 6AM so I wasn't able to get much sleep. We did a lot of prepping last night for the beach, but we had a beautiful day and we had a great time. It was totally worth it. Symptom wise, I still have that bad taste in my mouth. I can't wait to get rid of it. Very sad that my brothers are leaving tomorrow, but I'm glad they were able to come.
I was able to fall and stay asleep until 4:30am. I stayed in bed, but I was unable to stay asleep. I got my radiation done early again, and I also got all my blood work done. Everything went well. I’ve been having a lot of acid reflux today, fatigue, and a bit of nausea today but I’m glad the weekend is here and I won’t be going to radiation again until Monday (my last day of radiation!). I will be going to the beach tomorrow with my brothers and family, so I’m definitely looking forward to that. I also got the team shirts today and they look really good. I’m glad they came out as expected! It’s definitely going to be a special moment to see everyone wearing them at the same time.