We’ll Have To Shake The Magic 8 Ball Again

So, to begin with and much to my shock, I DO have a brain.  Yeah, you could have knocked me with a feather.  Up till now I thought I thought with my belly-button lint.

First of all, there are two thingies in the brainy.

The first one is a meningioma.  Pretty sure it formed exactly where I hit my head hard when I fell on ice 3? 4? years ago.  It’s PROBABLY not cancer, because it’s somewhat calcified, which doesn’t happen to cancerous varieties.  OTOH if it continues growing the mass effect (size pushing on things) could be an issue.  Or it could not.  It might very well grow so slowly that nothing is needed on it for the rest of my life expectancy.  That’s fine.  if it needs surgery, the good news is that it’s in “a good place” that’s “very accessible.”  We’ll continue monitoring every few months.

The second one is “white matter abnormalities.”  

These are probably demylianation events.  Not for sure, but LIKELY.

This means either Multiple Sclerosis, or “Weird autoimmune attacking your brain.”

Being that this is still me, I’m going to suspect “weird autoimmune.”  (Couldn’t it attack something less vital, like my pancreas?  Never mind.)

In either case, we’re still on the very early stages of whatever it is, and it was therefore good that Dan dragged me in, even if it’s just my body trying to kill me as usual.

IF I get a positive diagnosis on either MS or “weird autoimmune crap” it can be held at bay with medication till I die a natural death, or stop needing my brain, whichever comes first.

The next shake of the magic eight ball involves blood and spinal fluid tests in a week or two.  So in a month I will know more about this.

Until then, I write.

77 responses to “We’ll Have To Shake The Magic 8 Ball Again

  1. I share your concern, but share your outwardly positive attitude. About 15 years ago I was discovered to have a lesion on the meningeal region of my left frontal lobe. After a year of faring around without a definitive answer the local neurologists said to go to an expert, and Johns Hopkins was within driving distance. They decided to cut open my head and scrape some off o see what it was. It wasn’t cancerous. It was neuro-sarcodosis, an non-caseating granulomatous auto-immune lesion. As long as it wasn’t symptomatic nothing needed to be done. About a year after the brain surgery, it got symptomatic – but could be treated with high dose steroids which shrunk it. In 15 years it became symptomatic 3 times, and resolved with steroids.
    I’m hoping and praying yours is also something relatively benign.

  2. OBTW, my wife was recently diagnosed with a probably meningioma. Hers is on the meningeal tissue between her right ear and the brain proper. We’re waiting for the fullness of time to get another MRI and find out for sure and then do what (if anything) needs to be done/

    • The meningioma is not the main cause of concern. It’s “probably nothing, and if something, we’ll haul it out so fast.” The white matter abnormalities are the issue. (Also racist. In my brain, wouldn’t they be Latin matter abnormalities? And yes, I’m joking, I know what white matter is.)

      • *serious expression* It’s the rainbow-striped matter that’s the matter.

        • yeah, but the rainbow is upside down, so it wasn’t made by a true LGBT certified by the central board, so Trump is going to put all LGBT in camps and…. uh… what were we talking about?
          Oh, yeah, the rainbow striped matter is where I get all my gay characters. That or the freaking gateway lands in the gay bar street in character zone. But hey, better than where Kate’s gateway lands. (Delicate shudder.)

        • Symptom of having experienced chronic unicorn exposure?

  3. Glad to hear it doesn’t seem as bad as it could be. You’ve got too much to do to let it beat you, and you’ll have no shortage of good will and prayers.

  4. OK, nothing horrible immediately strikes out at me, I’ll just have to talk to Robert the next time I see him. I mean,yeah, possiblity of MS but you’re really big on weird autoimmune crap, and it’s a is likely b is likely c. Love you.

  5. Take care. We’re all eagerly awaiting more stories…and better news on the health front

  6. I’m glad to hear that you’ve got a brain, and hope that that natural death is many, many, years into the future.

  7. Best wishes, praying your brain behaves to your benefit.

  8. Ugh, I’m very sorry to hear this. My wife experienced similar brain “anomalies” and peripheral neuropathy without a firm diagnosis either. “Could be MS, could be some weird autoimmune thing” must be a stock phrase in the neurology community.

    My wife tried a couple of the standard medications they give for MS or fibromyalgia, but they nearly incapacitated her emotionally and psychologically. She ended up finding something that worked somewhat, but getting pregnant seems to have done the trick. The symptoms went away shortly after conception and our intolerably cute daughter is now nine months old and the symptoms haven’t returned. Sure the wife is well into the high risk category, but its something to think about.

    In all seriousness, best wishes for a solid diagnosis and effective treatment. I’m well aware how difficult this can be.

  9. My mother and uncle both have MS so it can be managed. Best wishes and Happy New Year.

  10. Thoughts and prayers.

  11. The good news is that there’s a lot of options for MS treatment that weren’t around just 8-10 years ago, and more likely on the way. Glad to hear the checklist narrowed down enough to be helpful for you though.

  12. Mass Effect ion your brain?

    So are you an Adept, a Vanguard, or a Sentinel?

  13. You have white matter? The Puppy Kickers were right about that? Take goooood care of yourself.

  14. Thoughts and prayers headed north.

    Many years ago the vet for Cat #3 observed that “Professionals’ pets have the most interesting problems!” (This was shortly before he was replumbed. Very strange story). I wonder if the Great Author looks at writers in the same way?

    • Was that the cat or the vet that had the plumbing remodeled?

      Yep, we get the oddest problems with our pets – had one fluffball that changed sex four times in its life, without even trying.

      Wait, that one was also very fluffbrained. OMG, I was harboring an SJW all those years…

  15. I am not a neuro-doc, but the first thing that comes to mind when I see myelin is Alzheimer’s, probably because my maternal grandmother and all her siblings died of it.
    Has early onset Alzheimer’s been eliminated? I don’t want you to worry unnecessarily but I also know that doctors are human and miss stuff.
    Take care and thank Mr. Hoyt for making you go to the doctor on all of our behalves please! (I have no fear that any of the regulars do not share this sentiment.)

    • It’s not an Alzheimer’s presentation. there are several demylination disorders.

      • *Very* relieved at that news. Alzheimer’s runs in my mother’s family. Of her eight uncles and aunts on her father’s side, six had some level of dementia at the time of death. We’re now watching Mom’s faculties melt away in a horrifying progression, and wondering how long Dad will be able to keep her at home.

        I know you meant the “don’t need a brain any more” line to be funny, but it hit a nerve for me.

  16. Christopher M. Chupik

    On the bright side, you DO have a brain, so you have a massive advantage over a fair number of people.

    Seriously, though, the positive attitude is the best one.

  17. Thoughts and prayers coming your way for at least until we have a firm diagnosis, and even after that. Early diagnosis of brain stuff is good in the long haul. So is fighting spirit which you have in spades. One thing about having had multiple health problems in the past is they toughen one up to meet the next challenge.

  18. It is a good thing that Dan brought you to the doctor and that you have an early diagnosis. Praying for good health, and improvement!

    And I am glad to see that you’re keeping a positive attitude. Such may be beneficial to your health as well.

  19. We’ll keep praying for you.

  20. Sorry to hear this– I suspect weird auto-immune thingy…

  21. Couldn’t it attack something less vital?

    Give a few minutes consideration to Joe Biden’s career success and tell me there’re organs less important than a brain.

    Still, you’ve had yours for many years now and are undoubtedly somewhat attached to it, so we can all give a rousing Huzzah that whatever damage seems to have been done thus far is minor and perhaps even reparable.

    After all, without that organ you might have to live with the shame of winning a Hugo.

  22. Well, you seem to be keeping your chin up, to say the least. (Feel free to freak out as needed.)

    • I freaked out when I first got results, two weeks ago, and it’s been interfering with my writing, but medical student son has been talking me down from the ceiling for days now

  23. “It’s probably not cancer” is right up there with “mom, there was an accident–” in the terror-itory. On one hand, there’s good news in the form of the person saying it….

  24. That Other Smith

    Well, I’m glad to hear you have a brain but I’m sorry it’s rebelling in such an unproductive manner. I mean, if your organs are going to do ridiculous things, they should at least have the courtesy to be interesting or humorous about it. Good luck, and I’m sending prayers your way.

  25. Prayers and good wishes.

    How do we know it’s not Fado Negro trying to maintain its secret status?

    • Or work its way out of my brain. Why do you think the aggressive schedule>?

      • See? This is what happens when you start listening to them… (starts salting the corners of her apartment, maybe it’s not too late to repel the evil spirits masquerading as fictional characters wanting you to tell their stories).

        Seriously speaking: Take care, and see your doctors regularly.

  26. Thoughts and prayers.

  27. Best wishes to you, Sarah. May this all be behind you soon, and a long, happy, and productive life still be ahead.

  28. Thoughts and prayers.

  29. You? Aggressive schedule? *giggles*

    Well, shoot for the moon anyways. Whatever you do pull off, we’ll thoroughly enjoy. Just keep getting better health-wise while you do it, okay? We want you around for decades of awesome writing and commentary!

  30. May we hear good news !!

  31. Sara the Red

    Glad to hear that–for the moment–things are kind of okay. Stuff like that is super stressful and scary, especially when they can’t give you a “this is definitely what it is and this is how to fix it” answer. We’re dealing with that with my mother, who is in stage 3 (of 5) kidney failure…and they have no idea why. Best working theory at the moment is that it was probably kicked off by the meds her doctor piled on her some years back–but none of the doctors themselves want to actually admit that, if it is the case…

    So lots of well wishes and thoughts, and hopes that it is something not serious/easily dealt with!!

  32. MS is weird, because it’s an exclusionary diagnosis, as in “we’ve ruled out all these other things, so it must be MS.” I have a friend with it, EXCEPT that it’s not actually MS but a closely related demyelination disorder. The only way they can really tell is that she responds better to a secondary style of drug than she does to the classic MS. And MS is also, technically, a weird auto-immune disorder in that the overactive immune system attacks the myelin. Much like rheumatic fever is the overactive immune system attacking the heart, or PANDAS is the overactive immune system attacking the brainstem.

    My MS friend developed several adult food allergies shortly before her diagnosis. (She discovered a love of quinoa shortly before she discovered an allergy to it—her response was to dose herself up with Benadryl and shovel it in her mouth because “I didn’t get to say goodbye to peanut butter.” 😀 )

    At any rate, MS and other immune disorders have more options than ever before for maintenance, and they are far less scary diagnoses than they used to be, even in terms of lifespan. (MS knocks a couple of years off your projected lifespan, and at modern life expectancies, that’s not too bad.)

  33. The bad news is that soft tissue calcification and associated tumors, and abnormalities of cholesterol metabolism (demyelination is basically “cholesterol that should be insulating your nerves winds up in your blood instead”) are both known effects of hypothyroidism.

    The good news is that fixing the thyroid problem is likely to stabilize both, and may even reverse them. (Hypothyroid-caused dementia, likely the end stage of that white-matter effect, can be entirely reversed if caught before it does permanent damage, which takes about 10 years after the onset of definite symptoms.)

    Since calcification is involved (which is to say, calcium got sucked out of your bones and deposited where it doesn’t belong), I would definitely get parathyroids checked. http://www.parathyroid.com

    • Oh, good. I am now on meds for severe hypothyroidism, so it might be all this is. I had serious hypothyroidal dementia mostly characterized by not being able to figure out words, which made writing difficult.
      So, that’s probably related. Um… I probably had it for 20 years or so.

  34. Really don’t know what to say. But you’re still on my prayer list.

  35. “till I die a natural death, or stop needing my brain”

    You could have combined the two into a shorter “til I start voting Democrat”. Get Well Soon. Beware Facebook. Posner is still a moron.

  36. Are they sure that mass growing in your head isn’t just unwritten stories that are pilling up in there?