|This is a side view of the brain, with the front of the brain being on the left. Click on this picture to enlarge it, and you will be able to read where the pineal and pituitary glands are located.|
THE NEUROSURGEON: This was the first appointment on Tuesday. After examination and discussion, the doctor does not believe the two spots are related. The one in the pineal looks to be a a simple fluid-filled cyst. The one in the pituitary is a bit more complex. He said there is a good possibility that EL will need a biopsy done at some point in the future. However, we need to wait for blood work results to determine just how urgent it is. A level of TUMOR MARKERS was drawn. So, we await the results of that, which can take at least a week to get back. (Elevated tumor markers can be an indication of a tumor that is cancerous, or for certain types of benign tumors.)
THE OPHTHALMOLOGIST: At this appointment (also on Tuesday), EL was put through a thorough eye exam, including having drops put into her eyes to dilate the pupils. The exam was done to see if the enlarged pituitary was affecting her vision at all, or if the enlarged pituitary was causing any sort of damage to the optic nerve. (The pituitary is abutting up against the undersurface of the optic nerve.) It wasn't a fun experience for EL, but was necessary. Thankfully, the exam revealed that she has 20/20 vision and her optic nerve is in good shape!
THE ENDOCRINOLOGIST: This was the final appointment, and probably the most important one. At this visit, the doctor examined EL, and talked with us about her symptoms. Currently, the doctor cannot give us a definite answer as to what is causing EL's pituitary enlargement. He ordered blood to be drawn to check her hormone levels and, once these results come back (along with the Tumor Marker levels), we will know more.
CONCLUSION: The word "tumor" is a scary word. However, the doctors explained that a tumor just means there is an abnormal growth. It can be benign, or it can be malignant. The current indication is that, IF this is a tumor, it is most likely benign. So, if all of the blood levels turn out to be normal, then we won't need to be seen again for 3 months. At that time, they will do another MRI to see if the spots have enlarged or stayed the same. If, however, the blood levels are abnormal, then we will discuss what the next plan of action will be.
As a parent with a medical issue, I have fought hard to get well for the sake of my family; but, even though going through treatments was a hard thing for me, it has been 10 times harder to watch my child going through numerous medical tests. Its one thing to suffer as an adult, but its entirely different to watch your child suffer, especially when she doesn't truly understand why she is being put through these tests.
Through it all, we will hold tightly to the promise that the Lord is there to help us through this.
Psalm 121:2 - My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.