Thursday, March 19, 2015

Time flies when the MRI's are clear! :-)

It has been a long time since I last posted. This is a good thing of course, I have had no updates. "No news is good news" as they say.

I am about ten months since finishing chemo last May and all my MRI's have been clear, no changes, boring, which is how we like them. They've been so good that I've been stretched out to MRI's every three months instead of every two. I will stay on every three months at least until I'm two years out from chemo. If all is well at that point I'll likely settle out at MRI's every four months indefinitely (aka my lifetime).

So life is good over here. I finally got to go on a cardiac surgery medical mission trip last month with the Novick Cardiac Alliance (http://www.cardiac-alliance.org/). A group of 15 or so of us from all over the US and Canada headed to Honduras for two weeks where we provided cardiac surgery and cath interventions to 22 children who otherwise would have died from their congenital heart disease. It was two weeks of high heat, humidity, hard work, learning and fun. I met and worked with some pretty amazing people, took care of some amazing kids and attempted to teach local nurses (despite significant language barriers) how to care for the patients so that some day in the future they can successfully provide surgeries and care to these children without our help. They are pretty far away from that point but learning has to start somewhere and that is the mission of the Cardiac Alliance.

They encourage the volunteers to take photos and share the children's stories in order to help them raise money to continue doing surgeries. So here are a few pictures of the kids we helped.
David - Transposition of the Great Arteries, 4 months old

Quiet night in the ICU

Valeri - Pulmonary atresia with intact
ventricular septum, 2 months old
Eduardo - VSD

Estephany - VSD, 5 years old


Cristian - VSD, 18 months old

Those are just a few of the kids we were able to help. I had a wonderful time and I do hope to someday be able to go on another trip.

Last but not least, it's that time of year again. The Boston Brain Tumor Ride is (too fast) approaching and Team Erin will be hitting the road again. Hopefully the ride won't be filled with potholes after the crazy winter Massachusetts has had! Last year Team Erin was able to raise over $14,000! We are hoping to break that record again this year but cannot do it without your help, please consider making a donating either to my personal page or the Team Erin page. Every donation no matter how big or small is appreciated and goes towards life saving research. There have been numerous new breakthroughs in brain tumor research in 2014 but there is still no cure - because there is no cure I will continue to get MRI's for the rest of my life. We are optimistic that my tumor will never return but no doctor can give me that guarantee. For this reason we need to continue funding this vital research and find a definitive cure. I hope I won't need it in my lifetime but every day thousands of people are diagnosed with a brain tumor and they need that cure. Please help us top last years fundraising, any little bit helps!

You can donate by visiting: http://www.braintumorcommunity.org/site/TR/TeamraiserEvents/BostonBrainTumorRide?px=2979188&pg=personal&fr_id=2410

Thanks as always for checking in, I know it stays pretty boring around here but that's how I like it!