On Friday I had one of my regular brain MRIs, and, since our friend the neurosurgeon from Portland was going to be here, we got copies of two of my scans for him to look at (just for fun, not for diagnosis): the very first one, from 20 May 2008, and the one from Friday, 21 August 2009.
Basically, my response has been remarkable. Not only did the lesions all shrink significantly (some even disappearing or almost disappearing), I do not seem to have sustained much, if any, brain damage from the radiation. I guess that usually in scans like these doctors expect to see white patches around the ventricles in the center of the brain and also, perhaps, around the lesions themselves. This whiteness, our friend doctor explained, is destroyed capillaries, and is pretty much the same thing as what happens in a stroke. Old people also tend to have these white areas of capillary damage, and pretty much all brain radiation therapy patients do as well.
I do not.
Even Dr Jason, who is careful to remind me that we'll never really be out of the woods on the brain, simply because we can't treat or measure as much as we'd like to there, was impressed with, I guess, the healthiness of my brain in general. Sure, there are still some obvious irregularities (we counted 9), but I think it's safe to say I weathered the treatment with a minimum of trouble. Dr Jason even said something like "whatever you've got going on up there, it's good stuff." Friend doctor agrees.