Saturday, January 07, 2012


Maybe I should have stayed out of those religious sites in Israel. When I lit a candle for St. Anne I think I may not have been clear about my request for assurance that my brain tumor was "braised" . Instead it's been raised.  The MRI I had on Dec. 30th shows "enlargement" which is not supposed to happen because the darned thing is irradiated and presumably dead. My otolaryngologist hasn't seen the films yet - it could be simple swelling which happens, but not usually so late after radiology. I'm hoping that's all it is.

Meanwhile a brain tumor can be used a great excuse for just about anything. Yesterday I heard a woman who was being tried for shoplifting used having a "brain tumor" as a defense.  I might head off to Cartier, Fred's or at least Nordstroms for a visit.

Because my tumor is now sticking into hitherto virgin territory - fortunately I don't have much of this left - there's a new bunch of anatomy to learn. It's a good thing I've always been interested in the brain. The more I learn about it the more flabbergasted I am that it works so flawlessly for the most part, just humming along.  I'm hoping I find out the tumor is pressing the correct way on the "increase smartness" dial.

There are many complicated structures in the internal auditory canal to learn about. One of them is called "Bill's Bridge"'s a vertical crest of bone and it's named after William House, the pioneer of most of the surgical techniques used on acoustic neuromas. How fabulous to have a part of the brain named for you! I wonder if famous proctologists have experienced the same honor.

Bill's Bridge is easy to remember unlike most of the anatomical structures which have latin names:  lamina cribrosa, meatal foramen or my favorites, tractus spiralis foraminosus and macula crista inferior. When you say all four of these in sequence at high speed and add a Dominus Vobiscum, it sounds like the old Latin mass.

Go in peace.


  1. I hope that you are okay. Years ago there was a woman named Ruth who lived in town who was hit in her car at Camp Pendleton by a drunken sergeant. She got paid off and the guy eventually died. A chronic alcoholic, they did an autopsy and the doctors said that his brain had shrunk to the size of a walnut. The guy was getting by courtesy of his reptilian limbic system. Comforting to know that there is so much free space up there that we aren't using.

  2. You're making me nervous. I hope you're O.K. and that it's not as bad as it sounds. Anything brain-related sounds scary. You always manage to make it sound funny, though. What a writer!!!!

  3. Thanks for the kind thoughts.Maybe I didn't sound as confident as I am that the growth is probably swelling, a misread MRI and even if it's growing - the growth rate of these things is so slow that I won't live long enough to die from it. Something else will get me. I just hope it's not being run down by someone with a walnut-sized brain.