I have known about my meningioma for about 3 years...I am the one who asked my osteopath...who is the one doctor I trust, and is the one who usually takes care of my headaches, until they get beyond him and he kicks me back out into the cold cruel world of "neurologists" and the idiots that reign therein. Meds, especially pain meds, and I don't get along...which is funny, because I have been on meds to control my h/a my entire adult life. Nothing manages to make it completely go away, is the problem. Neurontin, I took for a LONG time...and I have been on a twin-pack of Topamax and Lyrica for several years...basically since they came out, to replace the Neurontin, since I was having nightmares with the Neurontin and not getting a restful nights sleep, like, EVER.
I asked the osteopath to try using contrast on the MRI this time...his reply was...well, that would be for looking for tumors....my reply..."Aaaand..."Oh...duh, we are doing an MRI, looking for ANYTHING that is causing these headaches....lo and behold, we found a meningioma, so he had to send me to a neurologist, who sent me to a neurosurgeon. Both of them told me we should just sit and wait, see if this thing grows...if it does, THEN we will revisit the issue.
Every six months at first we repeated the MRI, no growth, then the neurologist said, eh, I'm not worried, let's see you in a year...so, here we are a year later, and the new MRI shows growth by 4mm in each direction. That might not seem like much, but it is a 30% growth. I have a golf ball in my head now.
The choices I was given were as follows:
1) Do nothing. Continue to wait and see what happens. My problem with that is that my headaches have gotten worse, I have balance issues, my vision is wonky, I am having symptoms here....this is not an option.
2) Radiation. It will reduce the tumor by 15%. See, somehow, that math doesn't work for me, cause, if it grows even more this year, then I am even MORE behind....this doesn't work as as option all by itself.
3) Surgery. The most dangerous, but with radiation, can eradicate the tumor almost completely, since it is in a spot so close to the sagital sinus vein we won't be able to take it all surgically.
I pick surgery, with radiation.
I also pick going to Mayo for a second opinion, just to hedge my bets, so to speak. This is my life. And I have to think of how it affects my family....I want the best care, AND I want them to have all their support group around them to help them get through my surgery. I just wish I didn't have to pick one or the other. Wish me luck at Mayo, we leave day after tomorrow!