I started experiencing severe vision problems a few weeks back- too bizarre to detail here- but the worst of it was that I ended up being almost completely blind in my left peripheral. At the suggestion of my neurosurgeon, Emily drove me to UCLA’s emergency room where I ended up being admitted for a very long and exhausting week. I now have a team of doctors working my on case and while they feel the most likely cause of my problem is Astrocytoma, they can’t be certain because both of my previous biopsies were inconclusive. So, incredibly, it looks like I will be having a third brain biopsy soon. This time however, the doctors want to make sure that they consider all possible diseases before cutting me open again. On one one hand, I appreciate this conservative approach to finding a diagnosis, yet I was told I probably had brain cancer over a year ago and no treatment has been started. It’s extremely difficult to express what an emotional toll this has been, especially with my wife being pregnant with our first child. She’s full term now and is expected to give birth around December 13.
While at UCLA, I had many more tests — a third lumbar puncture (spinal tap),,a CT/PET scan. two more MRIs, one using a new state of the art high resolution machine, as well as both a retina and cerebral angiogram. Here’s a cool youtube video of how a cerebral angiogram is performed . The cerebral angiogram, which was done this past Monday was clear, and I think that means vasculitis has been ruled out. Next, I have appointments with a second neurologist and an infectious disease specialist.