Posts Tagged ‘mri’

A sigh of relief Tuesday 20th February 2018.

MRI was on 15th December 2017 so I guess this is how bad the NHS has got in UK, 2 months is a little long for results I think however, I would take a guess that if it was bad news I would have been called in earlier for a consultation.

Took a day off work as I usually do.

Took 30 minutes to travel to hospital

5 minutes waiting

3 minutes to tell me nothing has changed since previous scan and a new scan will be December 2018 and results in February 2019.

45 minutes to travel home.

So, for now it is possible you will have me for another year in annoyance to my wife. Fingers crossed that the same consultation will occur next year. Next appointment will be 8th March to review my tablets.

All the best to everyone and hope you get good news.

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Still here kicking around and plodding on with life, nothing really to report other than I have my scan results on the 20th. Finally my mind will be at rest since 15th Dec, thats right, I had my scan on 15th Dec and finally get my results next week!! Unfortunately this is the state the NHS has got in to.

Forgot to post happy valentines and a post a saw today reminded me, it said…

” To my wife, I love as much today as I did yesterday but it is a lot cheaper lol”

So I hope everyone who was able had a happy valentines day, to all those who have lost loved ones or currently battling this horrible fight, I wish you the best for the future.

All the best,

Derran

While Christmas may be over, I do hope those who could had a good one. For those who didn’t I wish you all the best for the future. For some reason this time I am not calm about going for my results in January, usually I don’t care but I feel something is different this time, keeping fingers crossed! Anyway, new year is on it’s way so I will continue as I have done before and celebrate what I have now and how lucky I am to a certain degree (I don’t like using the word lucky as none of us are)

So once again, I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope 2018 is a better one.

There are different types of Astrocytoma but I have not exactly been told what mine is.

What is it?

Astrocytomas are tumours that arise from astrocytes, astrocytes are star shaped cells that make up the “glue-like” or supportive tissue of the brain and spinal cord. While they are described as star shaped that is a basic description, if you look at images of them they basically have a central point followed by star shaped legs and then roots. It appears as though the tumours sit in the center of the astrocyte but I’m sure your consultant will be able to tell you more.

So, what types are there?

Below are descriptions of the various grades of these tumors:

  • Pilocytic Astrocytoma (also called Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma)—These are grade I astrocytomas typically stay in the area where they started and do not spread. They are considered the “most benign” (noncancerous) of all the astrocytomas. Two other, less well known grade I astrocytomas are cerebellar astrocytoma and desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma. Pilocytic Astrocytomas generally form sacs of fluid (cysts), or may be enclosed within a cyst. Although they are usually slow-growing, these tumours can become very large.
  • Diffuse Astrocytoma (also called Low-Grade or Astrocytoma Grade II) Types: Fibrillary, Gemistocytic, Protoplasmic Astrocytoma—These grade II astrocytomas tend to invade surrounding tissue and grow at a relatively slow pace. Diffuse Astrocytomas tend to contain microcysts and mucous-like fluid. They are grouped by the appearance and behavior of the cells for which they are named.
  • Anaplastic Astrocytoma—An anaplastic astrocytoma is a grade III tumour. These rare tumours require more aggressive treatment than benign pilocytic astrocytoma. Anaplastic Astrocytomas tend to have tentacle-like projections that grow into surrounding tissue, making them difficult to completely remove during surgery.
  • Astrocytoma Grade IV (also called Glioblastoma, previously named “Glioblastoma Multiforme,” “Grade IV Glioblastoma,” and “GBM”)— There are two types of astrocytoma grade IV—primary, or de novo, and secondary. Primary tumours are very aggressive and the most common form of astrocytoma grade IV. The secondary tumours are those which originate as a lower-grade tumour and evolve into a grade IV tumour. Astrocytoma Grade IV (glioblastoma) may contain cystic material, calcium deposits, blood vessels, and/or a mixed grade of cells.
  • Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytoma—Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas are ventricular tumours associated with tuberous sclerosis.

Location 

Astrocytomas can appear in various parts of the brain and nervous system, including the cerebellum, the cerebrum, the central areas of the brain, the brainstem, and the spinal cord.

Symptoms

Headaches, seizures, memory loss, and changes in behavior are the most common early symptoms of astrocytoma. Other symptoms may occur depending on the size and location of the tumour. With my Astromcytoma being grade 2 I guess this is why I had plenty of headaches, mine was only found after having a major seizure that came on all of a sudden with no other seizures previously. My memory has always been bad so I can’t comment on that but maybe I’ve had it all my life as I’ve never had brain scans.

Cause

Like many tumour types, the exact cause of astrocytoma is not known.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on the type, size, and location of the tumour, if and how far it has spread, previous treatment received, and the patient’s overall health. Treatment methods for the various types of astrocytomas are briefly explained below.

  • Pilocytic Astrocytoma: These tumours are often removed by surgery alone. In adults and older children, radiation may follow surgery if the tumour cannot be completely removed. Or, the patient may be watched carefully for signs that the tumour has returned.
  • Diffuse Astrocytoma: If the tumour is accessible and can be completely removed, the only additional care required is follow-up scans. In adults and older children, radiation may be suggested in addition to surgery. Radiation may also be used to treat an unremovable low-grade astrocytoma. The role of chemotherapy in treating these tumours is being investigated. I my consultations I was told that chemotherapy and radiotherapy are unlikely to work.
  • Anaplastic Astrocytoma: The first step in treatment of anaplastic astrocytoma is surgery. Radiation is then used to treat the remaining tumour. Chemotherapy may be recommended immediately after radiation or when and if the tumour recurs.
  • Astrocytoma Grade IV: The first treatment step is surgery to remove as much tumor as possible. Surgery is almost always followed by radiation. Chemotherapy is often given at the same time as radiation and may be used to delay radiation in young children.

Tumour re-growth can be treated with additional surgery, another form of radiation, a different chemotherapy drug (or combination of drugs), or any number of new approaches to treatment currently in development.

With my Astrocytoma it is a wait and watch with MRI scans, 99% has been removed (debulking they call it) but it has not been followed up with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Like all tumours whether they are benign or cancerous, you never know if it’s “cured” but from my understanding in any of the cases you are just buying time, we all have to die I guess but some of us sooner than we’d like. If you are physically and mentally fit like me, we just carry on in the rat race with most of us doing jobs we don’t like to make our bosses happy and richer than us. Personally I would like to pack my job in and spend what time I have with my family but thats not financially viable.

I have been told I could have 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years left on this planet and I would like to hear stories of people living longer than 20 years after diagnosis. Those of you with grade 3 or 4 maybe reading this and thinking how lucky I am, I have told I am lucky, Really! none of us are lucky but some have more time than others.

It is now 26th November 2017 and I have an MRI scan on the 15th december while I won’t be updating this post, the result will be found blogs menu or in treatment section if I have bad news.

All of you who read this, I wish you all the best.

Well, just a quick update. Not posted for a while as you might see but I am still here and well. My Lamotrigine has been increased from 150mg twice a day to 175 twice a day to see if they will help my seizures. Give that a month and if no change to increase that to 200mg twice a day, failing that, they will be reduced and another tablet introduced.

The only news I got at present is that on Sunday 9th April 2017 I had two seizures, both were light but one at 4pm and one at 9pm. Seemed to be no link but may have missed a dose of tablets as I get confused some days or busy and forget. This shouldn’t be a problem because the oncology specialist nurse say that the change won’t affect you that quick. It would be interesting to know how many have this issue.

Luckily I get free tablets but that must be costing the NHS a fortune!

I’m on yearly MRI scans now so nothing to report on that front, hope you all are doing well and bye for now.

 

15th March 2016, now 1yr 8 months post operation latest MRI scan results show little to no change. Any change that has been seen has been attributed to scar tissue.  Appointments have now been changed from 6 monthly checkups to 9 month checkups.  While this a small victory for me it is quite a hollow one compared to what I’ve read recently. Three years ago I wouldn’t have looked twice at brain tumour issues specifically(but i’ve always given to cancer research).  With this month being brain tumour awareness month there has obviously been a lot of focus on this, the stories I’ve read put mine to shame and I am so lucky mine is what it is.  Sounds a bit strange as a brain tumour is devasting in it’s own way for both patient and family.

I have been spreading awareness myself and including this blog website in hope that it will make people aware.

News

Posted: September 17, 2015 in News
Tags: , , , , , ,

Not going to fill this section with news articles so will link news stories from elsewhere…

The iknife, not Apple lol …

iKnife News

New scanning technology to help determine extent of tumours…

New Scans To Help?

A new breakthough, state of the art radiothereapy (proton beam)…

Proton Beam Therapy

and

Wales, UK PBT

 

More to be added when available.