I was heading to see Ronnie on Friday the 28th of April to discuss my latest MRI. This must have been coming up to my sixth MRI from memory, but this was an important one. It was the first that was likely to show if any of the treatment I had been going through was actually doing anything to the tumour. Previously there had been too much swelling present from the radiotherapy, so Ronnie couldn’t tell the tumour from the swollen tissue surrounding it.
You see my kind of tumour, an Anaplastic Astrocytoma, is the second worst kind of brain tumour there is. It’s fast growing, or in cancer parlance, ‘aggressive’ and many people with this kind of tumour don’t respond to treatment. I was just lucky they caught it at Grade 3 rather than Grade 4 (by which time it would have been a GBM), otherwise my outlook would be very different.
So it was an incredibly stressful and scary day. My wonderful aunty Lee took the day off to drive me to the appointment and support me. We were both trying to mask our fear from each other by making small talk and reverting to the whole, ‘you know it’s possible it won’t even show anything yet’ line.
When we walked into Ronnie’s office and he said the words ‘the MRI looks great’ I felt such a wave of relief wash over my entire body. I felt actual joy for the very first time in 7 months. My aunty and I kept beaming at each other, then turing back to Ronnie to ask ‘Are you sure?!’. Ronnie explained that he could now see clearly that the tumour hadn’t grown since my first MRI, that it was in fact shrinking, and that this was ‘excellent news.’
I feel like I can press play on my life again, like I can look to the future. I feel hope … and that is such a powerful thing. And I feel so grateful to my amazing family and friends who have supported me and I know will continue to support me through the journey. Good news sure does wonders for the soul. (That’s just some of my wonderful family in the photo, celebrating my birthday last December).