Lab Test Results – Friday, April 4, 2014

Erin had the lab tests this afternoon. She has received email notification of 3 series of results that are all within normal limits.  We suspect that there may be one more result that has not been reported yet. There was no mention of Keppra in the results so far. Or maybe it is supposed to have an affect on one of the readings. … will have to ask the doctor next week if we don’t get any more results.

Erin is walking more yesterday and today and is even trying wearing her brace to bed. Colleen has been in and out doing laundry, (her washing machine isn’t working), and that always puts Erin in a good mood.

Erin says today has been one of her best vision days in months. She has kept her prism glasses on all day even though they aren’t good for distance.  A friend of mine has a similar problem of double vision and needs prism glasses and says that she get nauseous when she doesn’t wear them.


Keppra – Thursday, April 3, 2014

My sister Joan just read tonight’s blog and sent me the following:

” I just read your note about the visit to the neuro-oncologist and the mention of Keppra. I looked it up in Wikipedia and was surprised about the side effects:

“Levetiracetam (Keppra) is generally well tolerated,[6] but may cause drowsiness, weakness, unsteady gait, fatigue, coordination problems, headache, pain, forgetfulness, anxiety, irritability or agitation, dizziness, mood changes, nervousness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, throat pain, constipation, and changes in skin pigmentation.
“Serious side effects may include depression, hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, seizures that are worse or different, fever, sore throat, signs of infection, double vision, itching, rash, swelling of the face. A study published in 2005 suggests that the addition of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) may curtail some of the psychiatric symptoms.[7]
“Erin has several of the side effects, e.g. double vision, vomiting and fatigue. I wonder if they are associated with Keppra?”

Note from Barbara:
Erin was prescribed Keppra to prevent seizures as a matter of routine following brain surgery. It is amazing the number of side effects that it could have. Thank you, Joan, for cluing us in!

Visit with Dr. Lallana – Thursday, April 3, 2014

Erin saw Dr. Lallana, the neuro-oncologoist today for a 45 minute visit. Yesterday’s visit with Dr. Adams also lasted 45 minutess. When Lallana walked into the exam room, he joked that Erin really wasn’t supposed to be here. He said that he and Dr. Adams were both wrong about thinking that the tumor had recurred in the Fall of 2011. (USCF also thought that it had recurred.)

Lallana said that the new MRI was actually better than the one 8 months ago.  He also thought that Erin was speaking much better than when he last saw her 8 months ago. He examined her for the double vision, and really didn’t have an explanation for it or the nausea. Erin has always had eyes that focus at 2 different levels, but normally glasses take care of the needed correction. He said that maybe she has been tired and unable to correct for it. He also said that the long term affects of radiation can lead to premature aging.

He prescribed some blood tests which she will get tomorrow. She had forgotten to take her Keppra this morning and one of the tests involves the Keppra level, so he wanted her to wait until tomorrow.

He volunteered to have her as his patient when Dr. Adams retires, and Erin was thrilled with the idea.

Shannon was going to take Erin to a tumor support group at UC Med Center tonight, but before Shannon got here, Erin became very nauseous, so they didn’t go.  Shannon stayed for several hours helping Erin with deleting old advertizing emails, etc. … such a good friend.


MRI Clear – Wed. April 2, 2014

As Dr. Adams walked into the exam room this afternoon, he said that Erin’s MRI (taken last Tuesday, March 25, 2014)  was clear and there was no evidence of cancer. (Her previous MRI was 8 months ago on July 25th.) He says hers is a most unusual case. He said it could be that her immune system has learned to fight the cancer. MRIs give false positives, but not false negatives.

As for the double vision and nausea, he said that these are neurological problems outside of his realm of expertize and that she should see a neurolgoist. We had barely walked in the door at home when the phone rang. it was Dr. Lallana’s office calling to schedule an appt. He is the neuro-oncologist whom Erin saw when he first came to Kaiser in Nov. 2011. Erin is scheduled to see him tomorrow at 2 pm.

Dr. Adams is retiring the end of May, so Erin will see him for the last time in early May. We will miss him!


Erin Shannon Cindy – Sun. Mar 30, 2014

Shannon showed up this afternoon with a bag full of goodies from Panera. Cindy showed up soon afterwards.
Shan brought a tuna sandwich for Erin, chocolate chip cookies, an assortment of cupcakes, and iced tea.
Good friends.


March 29, 2013: Visitors

Steve here.

This afternoon the boys and I came to visit with Erin. Paco and Tomás mostly sat by her bedside playing in a computer and an iPad. Erin spoiled them with candy from her Easter stash.

Erin seemed to be having trouble speaking and complained about continued double vision… But seemed energetic and happy to see the boys.

Mellow – Thursday, March 27, 2014

Erin seems very mellow these days. She sleeps most of the day and is awake and watches TV for a few hours at night. She had a piece of pizza yesterday for dinner, but today has not wanted to eat at all. We brought home some chicken McNuggets which she normally loves, but she didn’t want any. She did just drink a bottle of 7Up which she really likes.

She says that for the last 3 days she has become scared of getting in and out of bed, and frequently calls for help. But, she was pleased tonight that she did it easily. Clark bought her a whistle, so that she can call for us, but it doesn’t seem to be loud enough. I just happened to come into her room when she was blowing it this evening.

Steve took her to have an MRI Tuesday, but it will be a week before we find out the result. She had been reluctant to have the MRI because she didn’t see the point of it. But, it was old home week visiting with all the technicians and she says it was so much fun.



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