Radiology versus Neurology

As I suspected, the radiology report confirms that there are “no significant changes” in my MRI. After messaging my neuro’s staff about this update, I was told that the doctor still disagrees–apparently he’s communicated as much to the radiology department.

Of course, now there’s the issue of trust. If the report changes will it be real (i.e. the radiologist didn’t spend enough time reviewing it the first time) or stretched, fabricated, sorta-kinda-false (to appease the neurologist)? In truth it doesn’t matter because at this point I won’t believe it regardless.

I’m supposed to start with new treatments in the coming weeks, so hopefully I’ll get better results out of round two: 5 grams of IV methotrexate, wait 4 weeks, 5 more grams, wait 6 weeks, new scan. I don’t know whether doubling the medicine will give me typical chemo side effects since 2.5 grams, which is still considered high-dose, did not. Too many variables involved to start predicting again. “I don’t know” is my new mantra.

I meant to write directly after my last post, but once again I’m in limbo. I had my MRI and consultation, but I haven’t received the radiology report yet. The doctor told me there was “good news and bad news.” The good news was that he interpreted a [very] small part of the lesion to be slightly improved, the bad was that the whole area was a lot less improved than he had hoped. Despite his being very familiar with brain scans as a neurologist, I want to verify the former statement with the official radiology report; it’s extremely difficult (especially with my obstinate brain it seems) to match up the different layers of scans since there are so many variables to contend with, such as machine,  operator, head position, and cut. For example, comparing picture A to picture B might be perfect for the top part of the brain but totally wrong for the bottom, which is better compared to picture C or D. It certainly takes a highly-trained, fastidious person to read the results correctly. I know this neurologist is brilliant in his field, but I prefer to react only after reading radiology’s input–even then there can be discrepancies and differences of opinion.

Last Day in Purgatory?

It’s 11 PM, and I just took an ambien to try to help myself sleep. Grabbing this computer was clearly not the most logical step toward that goal, but I wanted to quickly jot down some thoughts before tomorrow’s MRI and appointment–possibly the most important ones of the last 3+ years.

Tomorrow I find out if my first bout of chemo–2.5 grams of methotrexate administered during a 3-day hospital stay via central picc–was at all effective. I’ve been doubtful since the beginning, so I hope and hope and hope that I am totally wrong. After so many years of waiting, any change would be “comforting.” The lesion got worse, chemo’s not the solution; better, HURRAY, time to zap it some more. Just please no more waiting for an answer, no more questions, no more unknown.

Coping with my circumstances would be so much easier with a definitive diagnosis. As it stands, it’s very hard not to live each day a little more depressed than the last.