Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Tumoriffic Rides Again!

Radiation, the Gift that Keeps on Giving!

You ever get that feeling that it's just too quiet? Well, it has been that way for me. Since the giant clivus* booger** in 2012 (see earlier posts), nothing truly exciting has happened in my health. For me, it's a kind of writer's block. Well, that just changed.

A few minutes ago, I got a phone call from Jill, my awesome NP at the Perini Cancer Survivors' Clinic at Dana Farber Cancer Institute. My yearly surveillance MRI shows something growing in my clivus, and it is extending into my braincase.*** That may not be as bad as it sounds. Jill has already gone over the films with a neurosurgeon at Brigham, and the neurosurgeon thinks the most likely diagnosis is post-radiation inflammation, which, relatively speaking, sounds delightful. On the other hand, I'll still need a biopsy to be sure.

The next question is, how do they get to this thing? It's on the wrong side of my clivus. If it were on the right side, someone with a really long, skinny finger could just scrape a bit off with a fingernail, but it's not. So, can some enterprising surgeon drill a little hole through my poor, beat-up clivus and snap up a bit of whatever it is? Or does someone have to crack open my cranium and get through one of the busiest, hardest-to-reach places ever. Probably the former, but it's always fun to get anxious about worst-case-scenarios.

So, expect more news over the next few weeks. Here we go again.



*The clivus is a bone in the skull. On one side of it is the back of your throat. On the other side, your brain. It was also a name we used to call each other in medical school.

**A booger is a nasal accretion of dried mucus (which is a type of schmutz). In this case, it wasn't literally a booger. It was a bone infection, but it's more comforting to think of it as a booger.

***Specifically, in the middle cranial fossa for all you medical geeks out there.