Clark and I took Erin to UCSF (the University of California at San Francisco) Medical Center for an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Clarke today. Dr. Clarke was one of the principal investigators of the trial in which Erin participated for a year after diagnosis. Erin wanted Dr. Clarke’s input on Erin’s current condition. Dr. C is about 2 years younger than Erin!
Dr. Clarke said that Erin’s current MRI of July 25th looked like that of someone who has had a brain injury, like a serious stroke. She sees no active tumor at this time. She had thought that the MRIs of August and Oct 2011, had looked like the tumor was growing, but apparently that was not so.
I asked why Erin deteriorated so rapidly between Aug. 2011 when she had that seizure, and during the next 6 months through the first couple of months of hospice. Erin lost her right field of vision, lost her ability to write clearly on the computer, and fell frequently. Dr. Clarke said that radiation damage can take place for several years after treatment, and it could have invaded the optic track, rather than a tumor invading it, and radiation could have caused the other problems.
Dr. Clarke doesn’t think the 2 small areas of enhancement, which the recent MRI showed on the right side of the brain, are tumor cells. She thinks that they look more like radiation damage.
Erin also visited with Margaretta, one of the nurses on the project. Eirin was pleased to hear that Margaretta follows the blog. Both she and Dr. Clarke thought that Erin looked good. Dr. Clarke thought Erin was doing much better than when she last saw Erin in Oct. 2011.
On the way home we went to Spenger’s in Berkeley for a late fish lunch. Then we stopped at the outlets in Vacaville where I got Erin an early birthday present at White House/Black Market and also bought a little present for Barbara.