Kids with Cancer

The Good, the Bad, and the Same: Chase’s MRI Results

by Ellie Ewoldt
August 24, 2015

One year ago, after a routine MRI to check for brain tumor recurrence, Chase’s doctors found some suspicious-looking spots. Since then they’ve been monitoring him closely with scans every six weeks to make sure the spots haven’t grown. Chase’s mom, Ellie, shares the news from last week’s MRI.

Chase laughs with his mom before his procedure

Chase and Ellie enjoy a pre-procedure game of “Got Your Nose.”


He lay on the pre-op bed and absolutely knocked us over:

“I will do a good job and I will be fine because I’m a survivor, OK?”

The medicine kicked in and he asked me to text his home healthcare nurse and let her know he’d been brave for the needle in his arm.

“Tell Miss Joanna I’m doing it, OK? I give you permission to tell her.”

And then, with a sigh, he passed into oblivion again for yet another MRI.

VIDEO: Chase’s Childhood Cancer Story >

I wish I could tell you the number but I’ve lost track. His 30th? Fortieth? Yeah, there have been a lot.

Chase being brave while receiving his medication

“Tell Miss Joanna I’m doing it, OK? I give you permission to tell her,” Chase said.


Despite a brief meeting with Chase’s neurosurgeon on Monday afternoon, the final word regarding the MRI came, as it always does, from neuro-oncology.

The cysts appear to have grown again, but Chase’s spine looks clear, his condition is beautifully stable, he isn’t having seizures, and so, we continue to wait.

Chase going home, barely awake

Chase’s dad carries a sleepy Chase home after the procedure.

If the cysts continue to grow, he may need a biopsy or some other surgical intervention, but it is not the right time for those things. And so we wait some more.

This is bad because nothing should be growing.

This is good because nothing is growing fast or harmfully.

This is the same because everything is growing marginally, as they have been all along, and we’re pretty much exactly where we were three months ago: watching, waiting, and scheduling another MRI in a few more months.

Stuffed Olaf sporting a blood pressure cuff

Dr. Chase made sure Olaf got taken care of, too.

And as I write these things and feel a little weary as we start the fourth year on this ATRT road, I’m mentally checking myself for complaining about a living, breathing son who probably shouldn’t have survived more than six months some three years ago.

The scan results come down to what they always do: perspective.

Stuck in the wait a little while longer and choosing joy … moment by moment.

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