Saturday, September 28, 2013

Brain Cancer Walk

On Saturday, September 21st (my wonderful husband's birthday) we walked in our second brain cancer walk at the 3rd annual SDBTF 5k. Although we didn't raise as much money as we did last year, we set a high goal of $5,000 hoping to raise more than last year, but didn't quite make it. We raised over $3,500 last year, but I have to give most of the credit to my boys who gave up their birthday presents in lue of donations to our walk. I didn't want them to do that this year, so instead they said to let the party goers have a choice and most bought them gifts much to their liking!!
This was our team this year. We set a team goal of 10 and passed that this year, YAY!!

Sean and I before the 5k. I love how he stands besides me through the fun times as well as the tough times!
 All the boys (including some of our neighbors) got a little wild and decided to make their own paths! I loved seeing the joy on their faces!!
Sean, Faith and I walking past grandpa with the camera. Faith and I trying to give cool peace signs (didn't quite pan out in the picture, lol)!

 And we all came back around to get our photos taken at the finish line without the crowd!!
My boys wanted their picture with grandma and them running across (they actually ran some of the 5k)!!
All in all it was a great morning! I am so grateful for all who donated to our walk. There are still a few days left if you are interested in donating, or there is always next year! I'd love for a huge team next year, so if your in the San Diego area and want to walk on "Team Mel" please let me know! I'll hopefully get a blog our about it before hand. I think I'm going to start my fundraising at the beginning of January with bake sales, garage sales, and lemonade stands (anything my kiddos want to do and are willing to help with).
Here is the link to support us and thank you in advance...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

One year marker

Since my surgery was March 2012, they consider my September 2012 MRI (because my brain was still swollen from surgery and they had to wait for things to shift, etc in my head) my baseline, thus...this last visit was my one year visit, although I still go up every 3 months.

I'm always seen up at UCLA Medical Center and go to all 3 buildings depending on who I'm going to see or what test I need to have done.

I am usually seen by Dr. Albert Lai, the Neuro Oncologist. He's the one who gave me the bad news in June which has caused me to stress up until this past visit.

When I arrived for my MRI appointment, the machine was down so there was a wait. Then I had to see Dr. Joyce Liau first, the chief Neuro Surgeon at UCLA and her office was way behind.
Sean and I waited for what seemed like forever to see Dr. Liau, the wait always seems long because I am waiting to hear about my MRI and if there is any growth (which Dr. Lai saw last time). When I was finally called in I was given a quick physical, which I always get, by the doctors assistant. Sean and I always laugh because they make me memorize the same 3 words each visit and then repeat them back after my quick exam. I always remember them, but Sean doesn't!!
When Dr. Liau came in she pulled up my MRI scans and said she had compared the past few before coming into my room, so we only looked at the current ones. The scans looked good to her and she explained what Sean and I had been thinking since the last visit to Dr. Lai when he said it looked like it had grown 10%, which is that the MRI machine takes images of my brain in 5mm slides, so the tumor may or may not look the same depending on how my brain scan is cut or how my head is laying, etc. She said she didn't think it had grown at all and she even recommended another surgery, explaining again how my tumor is in the best possible place, away from my motor strip and not too deep. She said if she did another surgery, she'd go through the same hole/cut of bone she used before. She did give us a little disclaimer saying that she is a surgeon, so she's leaning more towards surgery and that if she removes the rest of the tumor, left in from my last surgery that I would basicallybe starting at this at the starting line again.
So , as crazy as it sounds...I think having another surgery is great news!! I'm really happy about this past trip, we were so happy that we decided with all the delays (Dr. Lai's office was delayed too) and it being Zach's 7th birthday, we'd head home and skip my appointment with Dr. Lai, but first with big smiles on our faces from the good news we headed over to Dr. Lai's office to cancel my appointment and explain the plan of action!