The MRI on Monday went really well! I almost freaked out when I was told I was being put in the small MRI machine, but I talked myself out of it. It’s all about deep breaths and not opening your eyes. It also helped that the tech, Sue, was extremely friendly and informative. Sue put earplugs in both of my ears to hide the noisy machine. I thought to myself, “Sue, save yourself an earplug. I only need one,” (ha!) but I let her do her job.
After the MRI, I met with Dr. Anderson. He was EXTREMELY happy with my progress. He said out of the 35 years he’s been working at Loyola he has never, I repeat never, seen someone with facial function as strong as mine after a tumor the size of Trudy removed. It made me feel special. 🙂 He also said it made him feel good about the job he did. Duh, he did an amazing job!
Next, we looked at my MRI results to see what is left of Trudy. As he had told me post-surgery, he had to leave .5-1% of Trudy in there because it was just too close to my facial nerve. I thought I wouldn’t even be able to see Trudy, that rude tumor, on the MRI scan. However, I could still see a small ball on the scan believed to be Trudes. She is about the size of a chickpea. He said it is hard to tell if this chickpea-sized white blob is all tumor or some fat too from the fat graft (they both appear white on the scan).
We are on a watch-and-wait basis with Trudy now. I will have another MRI in January to see if she has disappeared, stayed the same size, or grown. Dr. Anderson said that based on her location he does not anticipate growth. If she does grow, he will “zap” her with radiation. Again, since the leftover-Trudy is on my facial nerve, the radiation could mess with that, so I am hoping she shrivels up on her own.
Anna, Dr. A’s physician assistant, reprogrammed my shunt on Monday as well. Since the shunt has magnetic parts to it, it gets shifted around a bit during MRIs. After any MRI, I will have my shunt reprogrammed. It only took a minute and didn’t hurt or anything, so it’s no biggie. My shunt regulates the amount of fluid drained from my brain, so it’s important to make sure it is at the correct setting. We don’t want too little or too much fluid drained. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ porridge, we want it “juuuust riiiight.”
As for ole shunt? He’ll be sticking around! Although my shunt isn’t totally necessary anymore, Dr. Anderson said there is no reason to remove it either. He asked if the shunt bothers me and since I said no, we’ll be keeping him around cuz he’s a good guy. Should I name ole shunt too or am I just getting way too weird now? Any suggestions??