Erin had an MRI last week, her first in about 18 months.
Well, the oddest thing is that the large mass that was apparently a recurrence of her GBM that sent her downhill and into hospice last year is, well, gone. She just has a space in her brain.
The assumption is that it wasn’t a recurrence after all but rather radiation necrosis (like scar tissue). This would explain why she suddenly stopped getting worse.
There were two odd small (approx 5mm) areas of enhancement visible on the right side of her brain where there had previously been no damage… But it is unclear what these are. And, since it has been so long since her last scan we don’t know how long they have been there… it could be more scarring.
As you may recall, when she had her second surgery in June of 2011 the pathology also indicated necrosis but with a few small cells that appeared malignant. Two months later another scan showed a 4 1/2 cm mass which was not removed. At the time the doctors assumed it was cancer because of the speed with which it appeared to grow and the affects on her speech, vision, and motor skills. It now appears that there may not have been more cancer after all. Or, perhaps it was but her immune system fought it off. We may never know.
From another doctor who had treated Erin a few years ago:
"I agree with the report from the neuroradiologist that there is no evidence of recurrent disease, but a small area of enhancement likely due to treatment effect."