Sunday, March 28, 2010

Persistent Cystic Mass

I'm still waiting for my surgeon to call me back to discuss the MRI I had on Tuesday. In the meantime, through indirect channels, I acquired a copy of the report from the radiologists. Not surprisingly, it is written in doctor-ese and there is much there I don't understand but the "impression" noted at the end seems clear enough: there is a cystic mass at the site where I had a cystic mass removed in January and it is "probably minimally smaller" than what showed up on the MRIs I had in December. December -- as in BEFORE I had surgery to remove said mass. I'm particularly confused, because what is there now is about the same size as what was there 6 weeks ago (or 5 weeks post surgery).

Did the surgeon miss most of it? Did it grow back quickly to almost its previous size and stop? Is there something else entirely going on? I don't know. And while I am interested to hear what my surgeon has to say, I'm looking elsewhere for ideas and treatments.

It is time, I've decided to seek a second opinion from neurosurgeons outside the U of M system. I'm also going to get a referral to the pain clinic. The latter feels like a bit of defeat, since much of their treatment seems to be about finding ways for individuals to live with chronic pain apand I haven't not yet resigned myself to living with chronic pain. But, at least according to their definition, I'm already there:

What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is often defined as pain that persists for more than 3 months or that outlasts the usual healing process. Persistent pain can also result from chronic diseases such as arthritis, cancer, musculoskeletal or neurological disorders. Chronic pain affects all aspects of a person's life including daily activities, family life, work, leisure time, sleep patterns, and mood.

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