MRI Results – 5/9/17

(picture circa 1999)

My dear humans of earth. I wanted to give you a quick update now that I’ve heard back from the doctor regarding the results of the MRI. It’s confusing, but I’ll be fair and tell you what I know. The nurse told me that it’s not nothing, and the doctor wants to evaluate me again on Thursday. She mentioned that it’s possible that they’d have to radiate that area (that rib or whatever) and yet she’s not sure they would be allowed to do that because I’m in a trial with Tarceva. I said, “Oh, so if you would radiate, that means it’s cancer, right?”

She said, “No. I want to clearly tell you that I’m NOT telling you it’s cancer, but it’s SOMETHING. The doctor and the radiologist are looking at it again to try to understand what we’re seeing. It’s really dangerous to speculate at this point because we don’t have enough information.”

I’m personally hoping a superhero implanted a device that will solve many of the world’s problems in my side and that the radiation from the future tech is causing my cancer. I’m not crossing my fingers, but one can hope! In one sense, it’s really great to know that there’s a reason for the pain. In the other sense, it’s truly terrifying to be in this situation AGAIN—don’t know what’s going on. I had to take a chill pill last night. (I don’t know what it’s called, but it worked. That’s the second time I ever had to do that.) It’s a strain on everyone in the family. Pray for us (and whatever it is). It really could be no big deal, a cyst, an old fracture, or who knows what, but obviously it’s terrifying.

I wanted to give you an update on something else regarding the MRI. I’ve never in my life been claustrophobic. I used to enjoy spelunking and going into ridiculously tight situations and never had an issue. For some reason, partially because I can no longer lay on my back without discomfort, the MRI was pure agony. I had a full on panic attack before they even put me in the gizmo. I didn’t freak out or scream or kick, but I literally couldn’t do it. I had to push the button to stop it. I managed to get through it praying REALLY hard and imagining my head in the lap of the Blessed Mother and Tajci and my mom in succession. I don’t remember doing anything that hard in my life. I have a new appreciation and empathy for people with claustrophobia. The idea that I may have to do this hundreds and hundreds more times is daunting. In the end, I imagined myself surfing, and as long as I didn’t fall down, that worked BEAUTIFULLY. But in my daydream, if I were to fall down, I would instantly be trapped underwater and not able to breathe. As long as I could stay on the board, feel the wind on my face and the power of the ocean, I was free.

I know this is a bleak update. I don’t feel bleak. I’m still scared and sad. And one more thing (I have to be honest) is everybody celebrating after my last post made me VERY, VERY depressed. I know you didn’t mean anything by it, and I know we’re thanking God, but it’s like thanking God for the first step of EVEREST. And I thought, “Oh no… now they’re all going to leave me for the next new and shiny person in need and pain…”

But it came to me REALLY hard how much all of you are really carrying me. And that I (Mr. Independent) am leaning on so many of you for prayers, words of encouragement, work (literally – those of you hiring my company and booking Tajci…. THANK YOU) and also helping support us financially.
You have shown me love from places unknown and unexpected!

And for that, I’ll never forget. Love you all.

May 4 Update: Tarceva is Working!

Good news from Matt:

Just got my first CT scan since starting treatment. Tarceva (the cancer drug) seems to have stopped the cancer growth completely.

It even shrunk it in some places (ESP the left lung which was the worst and where the lung was weeping into the pleural area).

I still have a LOT of pain on my left side. I was “sure” it was water but Doc Murphy was adamant (looking at the scans) the pain is not coming from water.

It is possible the pain is from the fractured vertebrae. It is also possible a nerve got nicked when they were punching holes in my left side/back to drain water (we did that six or seven times).

I’m going for an MRI shortly. The MRI is trying to determine where the pain is coming from and how to stop it since it doesn’t seem to be from cancer (that is a fantastic phrase 🙂

They will try to find a way to stop the pain in a localized way so I don’t have to be on morphine and oxycodin.

All in all the magic was when he said “really you shouldn’t be in pain, Tarceva is working, we will sort out the pain and then keep an eye on you for the next ten years or so…”

Thank you God!

Thank you all for begging God and the saints on my behalf!

Thank you ALL for being a fantastic part of my life and spiritual journey!

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