See Spot Run

A parking spot in the city is almost a divine gift, a spot on a shirt can be a nuisance, a new breakfast spot is awesome but when a spot is on the MRI of your brain, it can change the trajectory of your life.

There is a spot on my MRI of the brain.

Deep in the brain. I have a spot on the MRI of my brain.

A lesion as the radiologist called it. I read the report as I take it in, a spot. Yes a spot.

They see something “enhancing” on the MRI. Perhaps its hope lighting up in my brain or the proverbial light bulb going off. Its a “small lesion”, convenient medical word for “thingee” in lay words.

So the reports is essentially, there is a “thingee” in my brain but in the purgatory of radiological reporting , they cant decide.

Rule out, one of the favorite words when comes to diagnostic inadequacies. “Cannot rule out” even lamer.

My eyes focused on the line ” Cannot rule out dural metastasis”….metastasis…a word that haunts every cancer survivor.

So its a report that is essentially a commentary on living with cancer, uncertain, vague and excruciating space of daily doubt.

I breathe.

They see an enhancing lesion in the brain. Just to balance the sentence, they do throw in ” could be a vein”.

Could be a vein, meningioma or dural metastasis.

Anyone wants to throw darts here?

A 2500 dollar MRI tells me, a spot is seen in my brain.

Things moved slowly, like a space has suddenly become empty in my brain, my brain, the brain with the spot. I try to focus on what my thought was before I read the report on my phone as I was rushing out the door to take my daughter to school and head to work after. She , I realized, was pulling on my hand to get going.

I read the report again, its not normal. Yesterday, I was told it was normal, I had already done my dance of joy. Today was supposed to be the blissful day after. But its not. Because there is this spot.

Breast cancer can spread. Spread to other organs and seems to favor liver, bones and the brain.

My worst fear since the diagnosis. My brain , its who I am . My brain is what I do, what I feel, what I bring to the table. That brain has a spot on it.

I was anxious about the MRI anyways. When tests happen, things get found.

Artifact, looks good in a museum. Horrible in a CT of the liver…in a cancer patient. I have had an artifact in the liver CT. It did a disappearing act in the MRI or the prayers washed off the artifact or the radiologist was tired.

Things show up on imaging. When you have had cancer, an incidental finding is a finding no one wants to take lightly.

Here I am a cancer patient with a spot on my brain MRI.

” We are obviously worried that this may be a tumor” is how my neuro-oncology appointment started.

Brain tumor? My mind feels blank.

She keeps talking,” we cant be certain what it is”

Keep talking…

Are you having any symptoms?

The MRI was ordered after a 5 day migraine that wouldn’t go away with Imitrex. After suffering for five days, I opted to see the doctor for it. I knew this will get kicked up to “must see a neurologist” and what will a neurologist do with a cancer patient with a long drawn episode of headache?

Yeah, right guess, Brain MRI.

The headache went away but left me with a gift of the spot.

Life once again got soiled with messy thing that having had cancer is.

The day of the report, I had a clinic. I was watching my self using my brain every minute of the day. Trying to connect with the patient’s feeling, making sense of my own, reading their body language, monitoring my own. All of me and my brain. My brain that defines who I am.

Not too long ago, I had a casual chat with a cardiologist about the status of my heart and how chemotherapy can have long term effects. I was worrying about my heart.

But this is the brain. A small organ that is in charge. When it gets inflammed, there is no room for swelling to go. Small squiggly soft squishy brain that holds all of me in it.

I thought of the lady that I had meet in the Radiation suite, whose face was half paralyzed with a brain tumor being irradiated and she had such a void in her eyes but they still filled up with tears while talking to me.

Its a deep lesion. I understand as a physician, it cannot be accessed by a needle. I dont want needle in my brain anyways. No one does. But some go through that.

Lots of thoughts gather in my brain along with the spot.

I have had conversations with my husband, that end with this thought ” if its the brain, I am not doing anything”

I want to go, as I am , with my personality .

He nods.

He knows its my worst fear. Has been since diagnosis.

He knows. I am me because of my brain.

Now there are second opinions to be had and films to be reviewed and then, the “wait and watch”.

I have seen plants grow, flowers bloom.

Never thought it would be wait and watch, to see if ” this ” grows.

Its an uneasy thought that my brain wants to spit out promptly. No , dont grow, no growing. My brain is fertile with thoughts but I dont want things growing in it. No!

So here it is, the spot and me and living with cancer.

Run Run Run
See “Spot” run
Fun fun fun
Let’s have fun
Run for fun
Under the sun
“Spot” has to run
I need my sun.
Run run run
Run ” Spot” run

Inspired by Dr Seuss and the spot on the MRI


7 thoughts on “See Spot Run

  1. My Onco always says, “the body is full of spots and they don’t necessarily mean cancer.” This is what I am hoping it is — just a random spot. Sending you positive thoughts and prayers. I am sorry you have a new worry. xoxo

  2. You are so brave for sharing all this. It is deeply moving. i’m going to be praying for you regularly now. I’m very confident that my prayers are heard.

  3. for all that follow my blog only and not on facebook, I had my second opinion and they are quite hopeful that this is just a venous anomaly so for now things are looking up. Thanks for all your prayers. xoxo Uzma

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