June 21, 2017

Do you ever have those days when you look back and think “Where did the time go?”? Yeah. I feel like it’s been one of those months! I fear I’ve developed a bad case of “but first syndrome”. I do my best to stick to a “To Do” list, but when the tasks can’t be itemized by due date, or level of importance, I’m like SQUIRREL! That’s not to say I’m confused, or lacking in productivity. Plenty is getting accomplished, just in a very scattered manner. It’s easy to lose track of hours, days, or weeks when you start on your task list and “but first I need to…”all over the place! Or perhaps, could it be that I’ve finally developed that inner sense of calm that comes with the ability to be “meh” about organization? Bah ha ha ha haaaah… that’s just crazy talk! Don’t be silly. I had my head examined yesterday, and the MRI shows nothing has changed. : )

BRAIN: As usual, all neuro tests were passed. “Mike” and “Joey” are still hanging out in my head. If that statement confuses you… click here and read the May 9 post, to learn who Mike and Joey are. Thankfully, at this juncture, 3mm Joey seems to be as well behaved as 6mm Mike has been, so we have no immediate concerns. In a perfect world, these two bits would drop off the MRI scene and stay gone forever. The fact that they are hanging around in plain sight isn’t necessarily bad news, but it is something to be watchful with. Think of it like a bug camping out on a log. No big deal, right? Little dude is just chillin’ there. Unless… that bug is a termite. But is he a hungry termite? Maybe. A tidbit leftover in the brain… meh, whatever. Little dude is just chillin’ there. Unless… that tidbit is necrotic tissue. But is it ill behaved necrotic tissue? Maybe.

Let’s get all sciency life lesson for a minute…. We had a poodle, who had badly broken his leg. The leg bone healed, but a bit of necrotic bone chip unknowingly remained in his elbow. That pesky little bit began rotting its way through the skin, causing a naaaaasty wound that just would not heal. An open wound, literally down to the bone. Did I mention it was nasty? No matter how often we would slather the antibiotic gel on it, and keep it bandaged… it would eventually split open again. How did the vet figure out what was wrong and finally fix it? Exploratory surgery. The bit was located, and surgically removed. The skin healed nicely and never opened again. Having retained the memory of this incredibly icky biology lesson, (aaaand being one who is incapable of remaining in my cave of blissful ignorance) the question just had to be posed to my brain genius…. “If that bit in the left occipital is necrotic, can it start chewing its way through the healthy brain tissue around it?”. The response: “Well… we hope not!”. Honest, direct, and delivered calmly with a reassuring smile. No doubt he has known how to deliver news to me over the past four years!  Soooo… here’s to hoping my brain stays the course of blissfully boring, with “Mike” and “Joey” continuing to remain on their best behavior! Other than that, yesterday’s scan shows no growth (old, new, or otherwise). Nothing is peeing edema into my brain mush, and previous excavation sites (craniotomy digs) are still noted, but not remarkable. Boring. Yes!

BODY: My last CT shows nothing out of “normal for Niki”. I’ve got some oddities, but nothing of real concern, and much of it unrelated to the melanoma. Pancreatic cyst? Check… still there and still the same size. Is it melanoma? No. Ovarian cyst? Check… still there, added one on the left side this time too. Are they melanoma? No. Suspicious “lesion vs scar tissue” on the right lower lung lobe… yup. Are they melanoma? Most probably no.  For starters, they can’t technically be “on the right lower lobe”. That mela-meat loaded slab was removed in August 2014. Chances of them being lesions? Extremely low. Likelihood of them being scar tissue from the aforementioned lower lobe removal? Super high. However, this also makes me wonder what titanium surgical staples might look like on a CT. Staples, scars, whatever… they’re not tumors.

Lastly, for those interested in another science lesson this month, my CT offers up a look at “transient small bowel intussusception”. You and Google can waste hours of your life picking through the alarming info onthat topic! Suffice it to say, I am an odd bird, as this is apparently a “rare entity in adults”.  This is the second time it’s been spotted on one of my CT’s. The first occurrence was Dec 2013. Does that make me twice as weird? Both times, this “medical emergency” was an asymptomatic, incidental finding. Soooooo… how do we know it is a “rare entity” if people can have this occur with no knowledge of it? Hmmmmm. I’ll just leave another one of these little guys right here…

UP NEXT: Lots of plotting and scheming for vacation is goin’ down again! The anal retentive over achiever in me has found her happy place… planning things down to the gnat’s ass! Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Travelocity, Trivago… sooo much research, and only a few months to get it done! HA! Plus, I need to squeeze medical hoopla in there somewhere too! Thankfully, trips to USC for check ups oftentimes feel more like visits with friends than doctor visits! Next month brings a routine hello and blood check with medical oncology. Late August, sh** gets real again with a full load of doc visits… MRI, radiation oncology, dermatology, and rheumatology. Then in September, it’s time for another CT! I’m fairly certain I’ve got everything scheduled and covered until October… buuuuut… coordinating four doctors with differing clinic days…



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Niki News June 2017
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