Day 261: Another MRI Along with Vivid Memories from Brain Surgery

Today I hit a new 14-day streak for sleep which made me really happy. Some nights I barely get 7 hours of sleep but I do prioritize it so even on nights when I don’t get 7 hours, I’m just under that goal.

We ended up hitting a horrendous wall of traffic as soon as we got on the highway which caused us to arrive at UCSF 25 minutes late for my MRI check-in time.

Even though it was out of our control, that 25 minutes would end up costing us nearly 2.5 hours today due to the hospital staff having to fit me back into a packed MRI schedule. 

Though this became very annoying and pretty much zapped the day, it wasn’t anyone’s fault.

We realized that it was my first driving to UCSF in all of the times that we have visited. Even before my brain surgery I could never drive due to my shoulders.

When we arrived for my MRI they moved us across the street to the main hospital where there is another Imaging department.

As we were walking across the street we realized that the last time that we had been in the main hospital was when I was leaving after my brain surgery.

The hallways felt eery to me including checking in for my MRI. The last time I had been there was the week of my brain surgery when I had to go for advanced brain scans that they needed.

While waiting to go for my scans we saw a couple there along with their luggage. The husband had shaved spots all over his head with sticky dots in those areas.

I knew immediately what that meant - they were there for brain surgery. Those sticky dots were what they put on me when I had the advanced brain scans.

We overheard them talking about how they had just flown in from L.A. that morning because they wanted to have the surgery at the best neurosurgery hospital there was.

When I came back from having my IV started for the contrast, Laura was talking to his wife. I only had a couple of minutes to chat with her but she seemed extremely relieved by everything we told her. 

We would again see them upstairs when we went for our neuro-oncologist appointment and again wished them luck.

It brought a rush of emotions for me because at that point in the day they were already under 24 hours from the surgery. I remember that time vividly. 

Though I have written about everything in excruciating detail over these past 261 days, nothing can truly express the feelings that we were going through that week, that night before or the morning of the surgery.

When I was reading “Shrinkage” he had talked about this unspoken common bond between people who sit in those waiting rooms. I felt that stronger today than every before.

One funny memory that I thought of while Laura and I were sitting there was post-brain surgery, though they had a surprisingly good menu, all I wanted for those 3 days were terrible hospital pancakes.

I only wanted soft, bland food. I wouldn’t eat hospital oatmeal ever and had my fair share of yogurt so all I wanted was pancakes. Weird, I know.

The MRI machine they used was older and very uncomfortable. They even had to tape the mirror to the machine which ended up falling on my head while the machine was calibrating. 

The machine also didn’t have the timer on the outside of the machine that I usually prefer to watch. 

Fortunately I have been through enough MRIs that I was able to put myself into a meditative state and the 40 minutes flew by.

We had a great meeting with our neuro-oncologist. She was really happy with where we are at this point in the journey and was impressed with how well we are going through the chemo.

We will be going back in 8 weeks for another MRI and appointment with her to check on my progress.

After finishing up with our neuro-oncologist we went downstairs for the blood work before finally leaving UCSF and heading back home.

Once we got back home I went over to the gym to get in today’s WOD:


Main Set

  • 2 minutes of forward bear crawl followed by reverse bear crawl. Rest as needed.
  • 2 sets: 1 minute burpees + 1 minute crunches
  • 1 set: 300’ Walking Lunge.
  • 10 minutes elliptical 

While on the elliptical I looked up at the thermostat to see that it was 85 degrees in the gym. 

It was 90 degrees outside today and someone had turned off the central air, opened the blinds and windows thus making it so warm.

However, my body seems to be adapting to training in the heat. I’m still sweating enough that my shirt could be wrung out afterward but I’m not feeling fatigued from the heat.

I’m hoping that pushing myself through training in the heat will help me come race day in July, just in case it is a blazing day at AT&T Park.

Since I had to cancel or move several meetings today due to the delays and will be in a training on Wednesday-Thursday, tomorrow is going to be insanely busy. But, I’m looking forward to being in the office after working from home Friday and being at UCSF today.