Good News Today
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Pastor Chris in Adventure

At 7:00am this morning (yawn) Sandy and I were at Swedish for my follow up MRI. This MRI was to gauge the effectiveness of the chemo treatment that began about five weeks ago.

After the scan, at 9:00am, we met with my oncologist. He came in the room with a big smile on his face and told us he was "tickled" with the images. Tickled isn't a word he normally uses but it certainly meant good news.

After about ten minutes of checking on how I was doing overall, he took us to a familiar room where he reviewed the images with us. We could all see that the tumor swelling on the top of my brain stem was gone. We could also see that the 'contrast' they put in my veins to help highlight blood flow showed significant blood flow reduction to the tumor site. This is exactly what they hoped the specific chemo agent would do. More good news. (By reducing blood flow to the tumor you potentially kill the tumor.)

After reviewing the images we returned to the previous room to go over my blood work (labs). One of the normal results of the chemo is that platelets drop significantly. This is important because this has to do with clotting. I have to be very careful not to cut myself because the cut would have a problem clotting.

To make a long story very short, I have blood draws a least once a week to keep a close eye on how I'm doing. My platelet count has dropped from 153,000 to around 37,000 and once it reaches around 30,000 they usually infuse the patient with platelets. Having said that I need to bring up the one issue that they're watching very closely.

The MRI shows an area around the tumor that is slightly, very slightly, bleeding. Did I say slightly? This, of course, is a potential problem, but for right now it is not troubling my doctor. Because of this they will scale back the amount of chemo a bit and then take another MRI scan on February 13th. (If this were a bigger issue they would be doing scans every week.) To be clear, there is a difference between cutting blood flow to the tumor and slight bleeding.

So, please continue to pray for this ever so slight bleed to quit. Also pray that my platelet count will even out. All my other counts are rock steady.

Thank you so much for praying for my family and me. As you can imagine, every MRI scan has the family wondering what it will show, and today was a very good day. But please continue to pray for their peace as they trust in God for each day and each outcome.  :)

And, you can certainly pray for me. Today they allowed me to listen to Christmas music while I was in the 'tube' and it was delightful. In case you're wondering my MRI's last about 40 minutes. I've had so many I know all the techs and they know me. We're one big family up there at Swedish!

God bless you all and have a very merry Christmas!


Article originally appeared on No Strongholds - Chris Bayer (
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