Sunday, December 30, 2007

Twists and turns

The less complicated news first:
Andy, Julie and Adam brought Cooper and Katie to Zale for a fun visit this morning. Cooper and Katie loved "bed rides" (at the direction of our friend David who had been visiting when they arrived). Steve raised the bed as high as it could go then tilted the head then the feet up. The kids also watched part of the new Veggie Tales DVD that Mike and Berta delivered yesterday.

Will, Holly and Conor arrived with boxes of Sal's pizza, enough to feed our hungry crowd. We had a great time in the nearby living area, 10 of us taking over, pushing tables and chairs around to suit our needs, eating, laughing and playing.

The more complicated news:
We think Steve will be released tomorrow.

Dr. M, the neurosurgeon who we first saw at UT-SW, has told Dr. W, the neurosurgeon who can do stereotactic biopsies, not to do the biopsy this week.

Dr. M isn't convinced that Steve has a high-grade glioma despite the MR spectroscopy results. (A neuro resident accidentally told us today that the MR spec results indicate -- though don't prove -- a high-grade glioma. We hadn't heard the "high-grade" description before this morning.) He's not convinced because of Steve's paucity of symptoms. He just doesn't look or function like a patient with a high-grade glioma in his brain stem.

Instead, he wants Steve to have a follow-up MRI in two or three weeks, followed by a biopsy if necessary.

Are you confused? We are a bit puzzled. I think it would help if we were actually talking with Dr. M, instead of hearing the information from Dr. C (the attending neurologist). Dr. M apparently is still hopeful that Steve's lesion is demylination. But even if it's not, Dr. M thinks there's time to be conservative -- to wait on all the spinal fluid studies to come back, to watch for signs of the tumor responding to the steroid treatment -- before exposing Steve the risks associated with a stereotactic biopsy of the brain stem.

The plan now is to continue to wait for the neuro-oncologist to come by for an initial consultation. She should be here tomorrow (we're guessing she won't be here this late on a Sunday). Then Steve would be released to go home.

1. The MR spectroscopy indicates, but doesn't prove, a high-grade glioma.
2. Dr. M has called off this week's biopsy.
3. The neuro-oncologist is expected to stop by tomorrow to begin discussing possible treatment plans.
4. We may go home tomorrow. (We're learning that nothing is definite, though.)
5. Follow-up appointments will include another MRI, consultation with Dr. W (neuro-surgeon for biopsy) and follow-up Dr. M (original neuro-surgeon).
6. We're conflicted with news that the tumor is a suspected high-grade glioma (very gloomy finding) and that Dr. M, who is highly regarded and backed by years of experience, thinks it's not a glioma at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've just added your family and all doctors working on Steve's case to both my Mom's prayer list in Nebraska and my sisters in Massachusetts. Now we're reaching a ton more people. Our love and prayers are with you all.
Melissa Marsh & Howard Fisher