I went for my follow up MRI to check the status of the hepatic adenomas on October 25th. I tried really, really hard not to dwell on what the results might be. Worrying and obsessing (even though I excel at both) doesn’t change anything. We also had a lot of other things going on; Halloween, a trip to Indiana to see my in-laws, and visits with friends.
Yesterday I had the appointment with my doctor to get the MRI results. At first, the MRI report said that there were no significant changes, and there was talk of scheduling a consultation with a surgeon (which I absolutely do not want) but then the nurse read me some of the measurements, and they were smaller.
We asked the doctor about that, and he said that a different radiologist had written this report, so there was some confusion as to which mass was which and how they’d been measured. He called and spoke with a radiologist and compared the MRI from six months ago to the one from two weeks ago, and it turns out that the three problem (biggest) masses have all shrunk!
In April, the largest mass measured 5.6 centimeters at the largest point, now the largest mass measures 4.6 centimeters at the largest point. I never would have thought that one centimeter would be the difference between jubilation and despair. The biggest difference that one centimeter makes is that now they’re all below five centimeters, which is typically the cutoff at which surgery becomes more and more of a necessary evil.
I’m not home free yet, but things definitely seem to be improving. I have to go for another MRI in six months to make sure things continue as they are. The risk of the masses rupturing and bleeding is still there, but is lessened as they become smaller and smaller. I still have to avoid hormones, soy, blood thinners, and any trauma to my right side.
We had a very long talk with the doctor, and came to the consensus that being conservative and taking a wait and see approach is still the best option. Clearly, what I’ve been doing is working to some extent. The surgery carries a lot of risks, and because this problem is so rare there are a lot of unknowns about what happens five, ten, fifteen years after the surgery. Having found myself of the generation of women who are finding out what happens after the prolonged use of birth control pills, I’d rather not be part of the test group for finding out what happens after this surgery.
I need to continue to lose weight. I’ve sort of fallen off the weight loss wagon lately, but my doctor says that losing weight will help no matter what happens. I’m definitely keeping up my acupuncture appointments. After all, the acupuncturist was the first person to make the connection, and I really think the acupuncture has contributed to the shrinkage. So for the next six months, I will continue with acupuncture, make better (soy free) food choices, try to exercise more, and hope for another centimeter of shrinkage because one centimeter can make a world of difference.