Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"No Intracranial Metastases" = All Good

CLICK, CLICK, Clank. Whirr. Ka-Chunka, chunka.

Somewhere between when I pushed PUBLISH and when I climbed onto the MRI bed, I lost my Zen perspective. All I could think was, “Last year I came in for a mammogram expecting nothing and ended up with a cancer diagnosis. THIS IS MY BRAIN.”

Ya. So my inside voice was like that. My outside voice was overly talkative as it is wont to be when I’m nervous.

There was not enough leftover brain power to ruminate on climate change, world hunger or even simple algebra. I climbed in the bed. I was very still. I counted down from 1000 by threes.

Whirr. Ka-Chunka, chunka. Clickclickclickclick.

I stalled out a few times and at 221 was pulled out for my shot of contrast and pushed back in. I knew I’d screwed up the whole backwards count thing when I finally arrived at the number zero. There was enough brain function not allocated to anxiety to realize that, since 1000 is not evenly divisible by three, I shouldn’t have ended up at zero.

“C’est la vie,” my inside voice said and I started the process of counting down from 1000 all over again until the test was over.

Distraction is my preferred method of managing anxiety so I futzed around at home until I received email ‘bing’ at 3:03pm from my oncologist’s nurse practitioner:


** HISTORY **:
41 year old woman with breast cancer and headache and periorbital

COMPARISON: None available.

TECHNIQUE: Multiplanar, multisequence images of the brain were
obtained without and with 6 cc of Gadavist intravenous contrast at
1.5 Tesla.

Ventricles and sulci are age-appropriate in size. No suspicious
parenchymal T2 hyperintensities. No restricted diffusion to
indicate acute infarct. No suspicious susceptibility artifact.

No masses, mass effect, or extra-axial collections. No
hydrocephalus or herniation. Intracranial flow-voids are intact.

No suspicious parenchymal, leptomeningeal, or dural enhancement.

Orbits and globes are intact. Paranasal sinuses and mastoid air
cells are clear.

No suspicious scalp or calvarial lesions.


Normal contrast-enhanced brain MRI.

No intracranial metastases.

Clear sinuses.

No intracranial metastases. 

No intracranial metastases. 

No intracranial metastases!

I did a little dance. Walked outside and smelled some of my front yard roses with my completely “normal contrast-enhanced brain’.

(Thanks for all the good vibes texts and emails - they were obviously put to good use!)

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