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A Very Small Acute Infarct

I love “The Strokes“. They’re a smooth and tight indie band that sounds like a divine coupling of two other bands that I can’t quite articulate. And it’s driving me knutz!

As usual, I digress, but not too far (this time) from what I want this post to be about. It’s about MY Stroke – singular.

I met with my neurosurgeon today and we discussed the MRI report from last week’s exciting trip to the ER. In preparation, I read and tried to extract the signal from the medical jargoneeze in the write up so that I could understand what the stable-genius emperor is up to THIS TIME.

To achieve that end, I first present the appropriately redacted and annotated MRI report for your scrutiny:

In case you haven’t been following this gawd forsaken blog, the context of the matter is that I have 3 tumors in my brain (to complement the 3 lovely primary tumors in my right lung along with several enlarged lymph nodes).

My notes on the top right of the picture summarize what the serial, 1D, typed text to the left says about the 3 tumors in a more absorb-able, 2D tabular form. It’s actually all good news. Virtually no change compared to the late May MRI.

The NEW revelatory information in the report is highlighted in the red box:

New very small area of cortically-based restricted diffusion involving left frontal insula, most compatible with a very small acute infarct.

In other words, I formally had my first stroke. Whoo hoo!

The next thing I did was draw a 2D picture+words combo that provided me with the last bit of clarity I needed. My neurosurgeon politely said the drawing was technically wrong, but close enough. LOL.

In the picture, I only show one of the three brain tumors because the other two aren’t relevant to stroking it. 🙂

My neurosurgeon said that it was most likely only a coincidence that the infarction occurred in the same lobe as the tumor.

I’m not fully recovered from the effects of the stroke and I may never be, but that’s one of the emperor’s most devlishly effective tools hidden deep in his arsenal – “progression“. The bastid.

The most concerning symptom, my speech pattern, has gotten waay better over the last few days. I’m not jumbling whole sentences anymore but I often pronounce words incorrectly (sort of sounding like a funny baby).

A new symptom is that I feel something indescribably strange going on nerve-wise down my right arm every once in awhile. I’m still feeling too wobbly to leave my house without “supervision“, but that’s happened several times before and I recovered each time.

So, the next steps for me are:

  • To see what shape the blood vessels to and within my brain are in with a CT-angiogram of my head/neck.
  • Get an EKG-cardiogram to check for heart blockages that may break off and get me into the plural version of Stroke, like the band.

But wait, despite the thrill of experiencing my first stroke, I’ve been cleared to get my next Opdivo infusion tomorrow. Oh, and then I get a do-over with my radiologist on the following day when she will tell me the radiation schedule for nuking the two growing lymph nodes that need tending to. I hope it’s not groundhog day when I step into her office.


Got any kestions folks?

Categories: Cancer
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