A couple of weeks ago Madeleine had another MRI follow-up. I’ve been bad about updating the blog for each one, but a brief summary would be to say that heading into this MRI, we have not heard “the tumor is stable” since prior to her surgery, last year. I believe that MRI happened late August, early Sept. Because of that surgery, we have not moved to the next tier of maintenance MRIs yet. That would be a 6 month spread between MRIs instead of a 3 month spread.
One issue we’d been having was an issue of distrust. Madeleine remembered the pain after her surgery and was petrified when we would go back to the doctor afterwards. She has slowly gotten over that, thanks in large part to an amazing nurse who was really really wonderful with her several MRIs ago. That particular nurse showed her a mini-mask for her animal and let her decorate both her own mask as well as the “balloon” with stickers. They played a little game putting the masks over each other’s faces and it really made Madeleine a lot more comfortable. Prior to this nurse, Madeleine had recognized the MRI room and hid behind the bed screaming and refusing to come out. 😦
This time I was a bit apprehensive to see how she’d handle the MRI, but she did great! We got to the hospital on time. Alex was not with us, because he had to work. We proceeded to check in and were taken back to the initial exam room when our turn came. Madeleine was super calm and relaxed and didn’t seem to have any issue with being there. When the nurse came in, I asked if he had a little mask for Madeleine’s puppy. He brought one for her and also let her decorate her mask with stickers. 🙂 This time she even picked out the yummy smell to put on the inside of the mask! That’s the first time she has shown a preference on that.
They took us back pretty quickly and Madeleine sat in my lap while they administered the initial anesthesia mask. She noticed the “balloon” that was growing and shrinking and she took breaths and said “mama! I blow up a balloon! Look mama!” 😀 I’m so happy that she remembers how wonderful that nurse was and it made such a big impact on her to where she is not scared anymore.
The rest of the MRI went as usual. Came back sleepy, eventually woke up. Ate crackers, juice and when we were done with that, we headed to the cafeteria and had some lunch.
Once lunch was done, we had some time to kill. I went to drop some stuff at the car that we no longer needed and found her a car stroller on the way! She was thrilled.
Then we stopped by and saw the hermit crab. She adores hermit crabs!
After a quick stroll through the hospital, we went up for her hem-onc appointment.
The results? STABLE TUMOR!!!
I am so beyond thrilled! It was such a relief walking out of that appointment with positive, definitive news for the first time in a year. We have one more MRI before we reach one year post-op. At that point, if the tumor is still stable, we can move to the 6 month MRIs.
Madeleine’s last Physical Therapy appointment resulted in her not needing to go back for another year. Her oncologist doesn’t see a benefit to her seeing Neurology any longer, given that she’s recovered nearly all of her strength. So the ongoing, regular doctor’s visits should be diminishing significantly!! Woohoooooo!!! All in all, very good news this visit. 🙂