Before: December 2010
After: February 2011
Well, I have been the optimistic skeptic throughout this stem cell process. If there were anything definitive for proof of progress that I would hang my hat on it would be the SPECT scan. We went for the follow up scan this morning. Although Cash cried every time we got near the machine, I was able to sing him to sleep on the table for the duration of the scan.
It took four hours for them to do the scan and process the images, by which time Cash and I were well and truly done. But when the technician showed me the results and said they showed near 'normal' brain functions I was overwhelmed.
Initially I was just stunned to see the photos you see above. This was unreal. Really, I didn't know how to process it. And then, briefly, I was angry. Unless you have had a special needs child, you will never understand how completely devastating hope can be. You want to hope, you need to hope, but you have to accept. How dare they, if this is not 100% genuine, give me this kind of emotion.
By the time we got back to the clinic I was moved to tears. Dr. Schroff met us in the lobby and asked if I wanted to discuss the results. I told her Cash had not eaten lunch and I needed to feed him, besides I was afraid I might cry and preferred we discuss it in private. (Dianne, by the way, has come down sick and spent the day in bed. Despite her valiant efforts, even stirring has been an effort.)
When the doctors and I did discuss the results, it was difficult to follow. From what I understood through swimming emotions, his brain is getting the oxygen it needs in most parts and should resume the near normal function it has been denied for years. The one area still showing some purple (indicative of low blood flow) corresponds to the speech area of his brain. But, overall, improvement is dramatic to say the least. Even areas that were orange are now yellow and white indicating the best possible circulation.
I have seen subtle changes. Maybe he stands straighter, his vocal cries of insistence are stronger, or he looks at me longer with more understanding. But nothing I could say was a definitive leap in his natural progress.
Dr. Schroff says things are due to start taking off and given the results we have seen today, I fully expect to see some dramatic progress within the next six months.