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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It could be that Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma is back

Sorry for not updating, but it hasn't been for lack of trying. Whenever I think there is enough to report, they have ordered another test. Still no verdict, just the statement from the doctor that he "has never seen anything like it before", and that they are going to cut out part of my skull that contains "it", currently referred to as a "lesion". The critter is living in the bone marrow of my skull above my left ear. I meet with a neurosurgeon on Friday, and an otologist on Monday, then the surgery should be scheduled after that. I am all for getting this out and letting it assume room temperature so they can inspect it to their hearts' content. Not sure yet what all will be involved in the procedure or in the healing afterwards. They did mention hyperbaric afterwards if I have trouble healing (that section was radiated, so won't react normally.) I did a whole body PET scan, and the results are "no evident uptake", meaning no active tumor growth seen at this time.
I won't lose my ear (that was a big fear of mine), but I might get to wear a wig while the hair grows back. Or, if the scar is a real eye-catcher, I could sell advertising on that side of my head until the hair grows back - who knows? The surgeon said that I should be back at work after a week (but I forgot to ask him my question whenever doctors offer their estimate of healing time: how long would you take off work if you had the procedure done to you?)
I called number one daughter in Austria to let her know about all of this and that it appears everything will be ok, and she asked if I was going to get a metal plate in my head. Nope, I told her, doesn't look like it, as they plan to cover the hole with muscle. "Too bad", she said. "You could be magnetic as well as radioactive!" Yeah, and I would get to explain for the rest of my life why I was setting off metal detectors-grin!
So, I don't know if this is or isn't ACC yet. All I know is, if it is ACC, it needs to get out of there pronto, since ACC has an affinity for the dura, that part that surrounds the brain. Evidently it really likes it, and once there, doesn't like to leave. We shall show it the door, and hopefully lose the dizziness that has kept me off the roads. I can take the pain that has been increasing, and I can even deal with the dizziness, but man, I am nothing without a car and a full tank of gas to spend on a road trip! Everyone -family, friends - have been great about getting me to and fro, and I am so thankful I know so many people that like and love me (and guys, the feelings are completely mutual!). But a gal just has to have her wheels, you know?
Tomorrow I go for an ENG test . That ought to be fun. Let's hope I can walk straight after two hours of that! And I hope that it finds out the cause of why I am dizzy, if not from the "lesion".
I will post more often, now that things are a-poppin', as they say. For now, know that I am in good hands, while still serving as an educational event for our students and residents!


Peg said...

Oh my! Another learning experience... Just so they don't cut out your personality and spirit. FYI, my brother-in-law went through hyperbaric treatment years ago following colostomy for colon cancer that was not healing it worked. and he's still living, even though dementia has set in at 81 :-) Search on wound healing for broader perspective.
Hugs and prayers...

Rebecca said...

Hum, if you were radioactive AND magnetic, you'd be coming dangerously close to having superpowers. [grin]

Anonymous said...

Teri, thanks for the update. I've been checking your blog daily for news. Number one daughter inherited your sense of humor evidently. And my thanks to all those Omahans who are helping you out. Wish I could help too.

Re a scar on your head, too bad it's too late for Halloween. I do think you'd look fabulous in a babushka though.

Sending loads of good vibes from Atlanta.

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