Biopsy Results

Posted by Casey on December 11th, 2006


Today we met with the neurosurgeon to get the final pathology report from my biopsy last week. At sometime around 1:00 p.m., I gave a call to find out when we would be meeting with the doctor. I reached a secretary who told me the only available time was 2:00… now just 50-some minutes away. I called my parents, who had planned on joining, to let them know that plans had changed. Aaron and I then raced to the clinic only to find that the doctor actually could see us at 4:30. I asked the doctor if there was reason for my parents to come up, to which he confirmed that yes, there were things to talk about. That more surgery was likely, and that the biopsy that until then was 50/50 cancer/benign was indeed cancer. My fourth, unrelated cancer. I called my parents and I think we were all reacting the same way. Entirely numb. They quickly got in the car and started another trip up here.

When 4:30 finally arrived, we were greeted by the neurosurgeon. He pulled us into his office and started explaining the latest news. It isn’t what we were hoping for… no DNET. Instead, it is astrocytoma, one of the more common types of brain tumor. And it is grade II, which means that the tumor has a slower growth rate.

After telling us the news, the doctor informed us that the biopsy they pulled also showed signs that I may have a genetic defect in P53 that prevents my body from properly fighting off the tumors that may develop in my body. That might explain the four unrelated types. But it doesn’t help us toward a next step in fighting this thing. At least not yet. The doctor recommended I see a genetic counselor for additional testing, and also recommended that I now see a neuro-oncologist to start building a plan for treatment. He said his secretary would schedule those and get back to me the in the next couple days.

I had a quick stitch removal (the stitches from my biopsy), and with that we were off. Back to my loft, and for my parents, the drive back home.

I think for all of us it was continued numbness. We need more information before we can really react.

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