Two weeks ago I had another checkpoint MRI, which turned out to be clean, as expected. That’s five in a row if you’re keeping track. Or six in a row, if you count the MRI the morning after my surgery. I’m a pro at these now, as you can see by how well I matched my shoes to the hospital gown. Altogether, I’m nearly 18 months out from my diagnosis, and things are going very well indeed. My tumor has behaved like a perfectly typical low-grade glioma, and for that I’m grateful. Overall, the rate of recurrence for low-grade glioma is ~50% in 5 years. But, the way the math works, every day you make it without recurrence, the odds necessarily get a little better. Plus, I’m doing everything I can to make sure I’m on the happier side of the median.
Immediately after my latest MRI, I posted the good news on Facebook and Twitter (@MHughesLab) promising the full details shortly. Until now, I haven’t made good on that promise. Partly, this is because I’ve been unusually busy…
In the last two weeks, I’ve flown to Montreal to give an invited talk at McGill, my danger girl Quinn, decided to break her foot, and I’ve been working with my PhD student to re-submit a manuscript. But, this is also emblematic of a broader trend. Since I’ve returned to work, the blog has been left to one side for a while now. This is good news, since it means I’m spending my time and energy on things not cancer related. But I’m also saddened, because I have lists and lists of topics I’d like to develop into columns. I had hoped that I could take an informal sabbatical this summer to work on my book, but this summer has proven to be uniquely busy.
Scientific writing is what I do for my day job, and whether it’s a grant proposal or a paper for publication, we agonize over every single word. Blogging is easier and faster, and cancer acted as a muse in the sense that I didn’t compel myself to critically analyze or reference the literature for every single argument. The results were occasionally sloppy, but some good stuff slipped in as well.
My resolution is to write less per article, but hopefully more often. Snippets from now on. I’d hate it if this blog descends into the realm of white noise you see on Twitter, because I feel like I do have something substantial to say. But, it’s better to write something, than fail to follow through writing anything.