• Karen

Keytruda cycles 11 & 12 and Dr. Frye appointment

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

David got his eleventh IV of the Keytruda immunotherapy drug on July 2, but there was no other news to report. So I didn't create a post for that. He got his twelfth IV of Keytruda this past Thurs. (7/23). Once again, it was uneventful, which is good.

David also had a follow-up appointment (telemedicine) with Dr. Frye, his radiologist, this past Thurs. We discussed the results of David's recent brain MRI in more detail. (We had talked only with a nurse before, because Dr. Frye was on vacation.)

We learned something interesting: We are very lucky the large tumor David had in his cerebellum occurred there and not in some other part of the brain. Even though it caused David many unpleasant symptoms and he temporarily lost his ability to walk without a walker, Dr. Frye said that part of the brain is more "plastic" than other parts of the brain, meaning it can rewire itself to compensate for the loss of brain tissue the tumor caused. Dr. Frye said that if the tumor had been in another region, for example, in the motor cortex and it had caused him to lose the functionality of an arm, he would have never regained that functionality. So we're very thankful the radiation killed that tumor, that the tumor was in the cerebellum, and that David's physical therapy has improved his balance to where it's almost back to normal now.

We asked Dr. Frye why that cerebellum tumor has shrunk but not disappeared, since all the other tumors have disappeared. He said what's showing on the MRI now is not a live tumor; it's scar tissue and dead brain tissue, and we don't need to worry about that. So that was good to hear.

David will have another brain MRI near the end of Sept. to make sure no new brain tumors have appeared.