Colin Loves Tractors Follow Colin's progress through treatment for a brain tumor

July 14, 2009

In Good Hands

Colin just went into surgery and we should expect to hear word from Dr. Wisoff on the success of the resection from him. However, we got a call from him before he entered the surgery regarding the strategy and the results of the pre-operative MRI.

Dr. Wisoff ordered a full MRI of his head and entire spine to preclude the possibility of spread of the disease down the spine. The last full MRI was several weeks ago in Westchester. If there were disease on the spine, he would assume a slightly less aggressive approach although still aiming for a full resection if possible.

Unfortunately, the MRI shows diffuse spread of the disease down the spine. Dr. Wisoff said that he saw suspicious areas on the first MRI which are now more clear. These areas will be addressed through adjuvant therapy (radiation, primarily) and this will be the subject of additional consultation with the neuro-oncologists over the course of the next few days.

Dr. Wisoff will still attempt a full resection if safely possible but he will be more cautious in deference to Colin’s quality of life. There are only two positives in this situation, the first of which is the reassurance of being here at NYU and knowing that we are receiving world class medical care. Clearly, we will be fully availing ourselves of the expertise and facilities here.

The other positive, as always, is Colin himself. He deserves our hope and best thoughts. Last night, one of the other patients in our pod was in a lot of pain and crying out for her mother. After a while, Colin expressed concern for her and kept pointing in her direction looking worried.

This morning, we were watching a Diego cartoon that involved a sad crocodile, which sparked the memory of the other patient. Colin started pointing again in her direction and picked up his duck doll, again gesturing at her. Because he was not allowed to eat in preparation for the surgery, I at first thought he was pointing because somebody in that corner had food. However, I soon realized that he wanted to comfort the girl by sharing the duck with her. He emphatically agreed when I asked if he wanted to share his duck with the girl.

Colin’s compassion in the face of his own challenges is powerful and touching. There is no better reason to continue to work hard on Colin’s behalf, whatever that means at any given moment. As the fight wears on, it is clear that there will be many such moments ahead.

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