Medical Notes

2019 Neurosurgery Follow-Up

Gracious! So, I had my MRI in early May this year, but didn’t have my follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon’s office until yesterday. The radiologist’s report from the MRI said some worrisome stuff: Study Result Impression IMPRESSION: Status post prior left frontal temporal craniotomy for left petroclival tumor resection. Since the MRI of 6/5/2018, apparent […]

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MRI News

So, they like to do an MRI about a month after you leave the hospital. It gives them an idea of how things look once some of the swelling has gone down. They performed my MRI last week, and today I had an appointment with Dr. Ferriera, my neurosurgeon, to review the results. Dr. Ferriera was thrilled

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Yay, Notes!

Several weeks ago, I requested the notes from my surgery, and they have finally arrived!  Compelling stuff, I’m sure, if you speak Medical. I’m going to spend a chunk of today trying to translate and understand this, but here it is: 1. The pathology report from during the surgery: Final Diagnosis: A, B) “Petrous”, sesectopm:

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Dr. Bloch

I mentioned a while ago that I had contacted Dr. Orin Bloch about his research. As I’m going through the pre-surgery documentation to revisit the details now that we know more about what was in there, I thought you might be interested in an edited copy of his response with some relevant thoughts: “Maria, I’m

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Second Opinion

Back before the surgery, when I was looking for a second opinion about treatment options and researching who the best surgeons in the area would be, Grand Rounds located the very impressive Dr. Manish Aghi to provide me with a second opinion about treatment options and answer some of my questions. I was just reviewing the

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Physical Therapy

So, two days ago I had my first physical therapy appointments. Really, appointment one was physical therapy, appointment two was occupational therapy, and appointment three was speech therapy. I had been curious about what occupational and speech therapy would actually cover, and surprised to find out: Physical therapy is for making sure I can move

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Two Week Review

Last Friday we met with Dr. Ferriera, the amazing neurosurgeon who handled my craniotomy, to follow up briefly on the post-surgery pathology report. Here’s what he said: it turns out that the tumor is a grade two myxoid chondrosarcoma. He reiterated that he was able to remove approximately 95% of it. He said that the tumor

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Post-Surgery Notes

Still no pathology report, but here are some of the official discharge notes from after the surgery: Assessment and Plan Extracted from: Title: Clinical Document Author: Emerson, MD, PhD, Samuel Date: 5/5/15 Discharge SummaryDATE OF ADMISSION: 05/01/2015 DATE OF DISCHARGE: 05/05/2015 PCP: Nasima Vira, MD DISCHARGE DIAGNOSIS: Brain mass CONSULTS COMPLETED: Consulting services in CORES:

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My angiogram was yesterday afternoon (I said in yesterday’s post that it was going to be today, but have updated it because that was incorrect). They did it around 2:00 p.m., and it went very well. No vessels required embolization, so the procedure only took about three hours. Afterward, I had to lie flat for

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The Schedule

Monday, April 27th – University of Washington Medical Center CT and MRI: 3 hrs – 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 28th – University of Washington Medical Center Neurosurgery department physical and history with Courtney: 1 hr – 9:30 a.m. Blood Draw: 10 min – 11:30 a.m. if there is time EEG Lab: 2 hrs – 12:30 p.m.

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The University of Washington Medical Center

U.S. News and World Report: Nationally Ranked – #1 in Washington and #1 in the Seattle metro area Per Becker’s Hospital Review of 100 Hospitals with Great Neurosurgery and Spine Programs: “The Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington Medical Center is a major contributor to clinical research in the field and one

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Dr. Manuel Ferriera

We met with Dr. Ferriera today, and he is going to be my neurosurgeon. We have scheduled the surgery at University of Washington Medical Center for May 1st, and I will go in for a pre-surgery angiogram on April 29th, which may turn into an overnight stay, depending on the results. Dr. Ferriera specializes in

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Treatment Plan Options

So, not a half hour after my incredibly disappointing interactions with the Mayo Clinic, I got a call from the extraordinarily kind Dr. Louis Kim, the chief of neurological surgery at Harborview medical center, which is affiliated with the University of Washington. He was one of the local surgeons Grand Rounds recommended for me. He was

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Goose Chase

Mayo has a few quirks. One is that they assign a doctor to you – you don’t necessarily get to choose who will do your surgery. They had initially assigned Dr. Michelle J. Clarke, who Grand Rounds said was very good. When I called back to find out about their procedures, though, the fellow who

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Abe and I had a long talk about the hospital question, and made a decision. We decided to go to Mayo. We have friends and family in Minnesota, which is great. Also, the Mayo Clinic is one of the best hospitals in the world, and may be the best in the U.S. With Mayo, we’ll always be able

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So, my excellent neuro-oncologist has indicated, depending on the outcome of the surgery, radiation treatment may not be necessary. She shared an article by Almefty (2007), where on page 2465, he says the following: “Radiotherapy has significant risks such as brain necrosis, blindness, demyelination, and radiation-induced tumor or malignant transformation. These risks may be avoided

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Surgery Date

The tumor is in the center of my brain, pressing up against my brain stem, so it’s difficult to reach. It’s a large tumor and has spread into two areas. They can’t get to both of them in one surgery, so it will take two. They believe based on how it looks in the MRI

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My Medical Team

My neuro-oncologist is Dr. Lynne Taylor, and my neurosurgeon is Dr. Joseph Serrone. At Virginia Mason, doctors get together and review these sorts of cases with a team of people once every other week. Here were the physicians who reviewed my case: Neurosurgery: Farrokh Farrokhi, MD Joseph Serrone, MD Michelle Gilbert, PA-C Kellen Nold, PA-C

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Here were the findings from the initial MRI, for anyone who is curious: There is a high T2, homogeneously densely enhancing mass expanding the petrous apex and left side of the clivus. Dimensions are 29 x 34 mm, extending cranial caudal for 33 mm. There is extension into the left prepontine cistern with mass effect

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