Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Six Month Folllow Up MRI

This month we were back in Boston for Emmett's six month follow up appointments.  The MRI was on Wednesday, 4/23/14.  That afternoon we had Brain Tumor Clinic in the Jimmy Fund Clinic where we met with all Emmett's medical teams.  They gave us the word that his scan looked stable and we heaved a huge sigh of relief.  No message is sweeter than a good MRI report.

Well, the next day we received a call from Dr. Chi.  Turns out that when the attending radiologist finalized his MRI report there was additional information added.  A spot on the MRI that has been reported on previous MRIs as a tethered spinal cord showed up brighter on this scan than it has in the past.  Exactly what that means is uncertain.  This imaging sequence consisted of smaller image slices than his previous scans, and it's possible that these additional slices could have increased the brightness of this spot.  But there's also the possibility that this spot could be tumor.

At the current juncture there's nothing to do but hurry up and wait until his next scan -- no other imaging studies will provide more information about this spot, and because it's on the front of his spine it would be difficult to get at surgically for biopsy.  They decided to bump his next scan up a month to June, and they requested we do it in Boston again.  (This spot didn't show up on his January MRI in New Mexico, but it has appeared on some of his previous scans in Boston (UNM has lower resolution MRIs than BCH)).

They also noted some concerns about spinal instability (similar to scoliosis) that was more pronounced on this scan than his previous scans and that they may have to address in the future.  How far down the road is uncertain.  They also noted some hormonal imbalances which they believe are due to scatter radiation to his thyroid which they may need to address soon.

We knew there would be side effects to the treatment.  We decided two years ago we were willing to live with the side effects in an effort to save his life.  Still, it's painful to consider the things we've allowed to be done to our baby...and the decisions we've had to make for him.  Wouldn't wish it on anyone.

We are so thankful for the many blessings and miracles we continue to see every day.  Every single day is a miracle.  We are so grateful that we've made it through another MRI without being rushed into emergency surgery afterwards.  We're so thankful Emmett can walk, talk, laugh, and jump...and talk back!  We're so grateful for and entertained by the personality that he continues to develop.  We're so thankful for the opportunity to be stewards of one of God's most precious children no matter what the mortal time frame.  And we're so grateful for the knowledge that families are forever!

We deeply appreciate the support and faith of friends, family, and neighbors all around and invite you to join us in praying for Emmett's continued health and strength over the next two months.  God bless you all!

Emmett woke up to find snow his second morning in Boston.  A cheesy grin spread over his face and the one word he said was, "Finally!"  Guess he must get pretty disappointed checking for snow every morning in Albuquerque.