Saturday, January 25, 2014

MRI results

The results are in.
They do not surprise me.
The acoustic neuroma shows up as slightly larger on recent imaging.

Studies report:
Acoustic neuromas sometimes increase in size temporarily as a reaction to the Gamma Knife treatment. This is actually a favorable sign indicating a brisk response. Such swelling usually is most obvious between 6 and 18 months after the procedure. It should not be confused with increase due to lack of response in which case the tumor size will not return to the baseline but continue to increase. A definite assessment should be made two years after the treatment: was the swelling merely temporary or did the tumor fail to respond to the treatment?
This increase likely accounts for the increase in the spinning sensations and tinnitus.  I am glad there is so much information available online.  I have read much that helps dispel fear.

The neurosurgeon wants me to have my next MRI in one year.
In one year I expect to be on the mission field in Malawi.
We will have different insurance coverage.
My doctor here can not requisition treatment overseas.
It may well be possible to have the scan done in Africa and sent home on a disc.
but think I will request that the MRI be done at the seven month mark
if we are indeed leaving Canada in August
then re imaging can be done again two years later
when we return home on furlough.
I am leaving this in the Lord's hand for the moment
but will send an email to the neuro nurse in a few days.
Having the test completed on home soil
would eliminate stress and worry in our future planning.

One thing I am certain of
God already knows.
He Is already living in my future.

Friday, January 17, 2014

force field

Travel in our part of the world during the winter months can be difficult, if not impossible.
The temperatures not only moderated but grew unseasonably warm this week.
We had snow, wind and icing on the roads.

The hospital where I was scheduled for my one year follow-up MRI is 2-1/2 hours away.

We chose to drive in Wednesday night and stay in a nearby hotel.

Rick managed the difficult parts of the drive well, but not with ease.  It was a bit trying for both of us.  We relaxed and collapsed in front of mindless television as we settled into our room.

Before I shut down my laptop to check out of the hotel, I typed into my Facebook status box:
MRI day - into the force field I go
and so off to the hospital, wishing I could have another coffee, knowing I had to wait till after.

There were no delays.  The needle for the i.v. line to inject contrast agent was inserted with skill.  I relaxed into the clicking and knocking and tried to ignore the desire to move about to ease the growing pain in my lower back.  Halfway (or somewhere near halfway) through the test I could feel someone take the i.v. tube from my hand and insert the contrast.
Hang in there, I thought.  Can't be long now.
More knocks, bangs, clicks and tones that the earphones can't muffle, and then I heard a voice telling me to watch my elbows as they slid me out to freedom.  I rose without too much residual back pain.

I was told my doctor would have the results in a day or two, though I had been told by the gamma knife centre to expect to hear from them within three weeks.

We spent the next few hours shopping, then made our way back home on still ice covered roads.

Now safe, rested from a good nights sleep, and back to life as usual, trying not think about the waiting.