Well, my first presentation (if I post this right) is a pic of the culinary creation I made for family Thanksgiving a year after my dx – Brain Jello. Bluesky gave me more credit than I deserve in another thread, assuming I must have prepared this educational - yet tasty - dish in the hope that my thoughtful gesture would lead my family to a better understanding of MS. But she was wrong. I did it just to freak them out.
(I switched to a smaller jello pic so it wouldn't overload the thread. :) )
And next, folks, this is how you get an 'overnight' MS diagnosis like I did - even before visiting a neuro (see pics below), with 'classic' lesions. My 1st MRI showed I had a Brain O' Lesions that are very typical of MS, even with no gadolinium (verified by spinal tap, VEP, SSEP). That's why it takes longer to get an MS dx if your brain isn't as cluttered as mine. I'm posting my recent set of MRIs (1st in 6 yrs), but to me they look almost the same as the original ones - even the giant lesion is still there (see jello pic of it also).
MRI Report 4-8-11 (only part of it):
FINDINGS: Consistent with progression of demyelination, there is interval increase in the number of subcortical, periventricular, and pericallosal foci of increased flair signal with prominent tumefactive plaque along the posterior horn of the right lateral ventricle. Similar appearance of hyperintense foci in the pons, also consistent with demyelination... Cerebellum & brainstem unremarkable.
CONCLUSION: Progression of demyelination. No restricted diffusion or enhancement demonstrated to suggest active demyelination.
Same report as usual. But I'm interested to hear my neuro's take on the term "tumefactive plaque" at my May appointment, or any comments from posters here. On research, it seems that if one is already dx'd with MS, tumefactive mainly means BIG. But it often leads to a biopsy when it's the only thing they find on MRI. In my very first MRI report, they just called mine "large."
Also anxious to get my neuro's take on "progression" with "no...enhancement," which may finally verify my claim that I've been slooooowly progressing for many years with no relapses = SPMS. She always insists on noting that I'm an RRMS patient.
One reason to post these online here, besides as an example of 'classic' MS lesions (or to vie for a prize in a Scariest MS Brain Contest), and to get input about "tumefactive plaques", is to encourage those who are incited to panic by doctors, drug companies, and even MS sites. Brain lesions don't necessarily correlate with symptoms, relapses, disability, or anything else.
Each of us is unique in our MS, and I still think that we're unique partly due to our own personal combinations of medical conditions. That's why we don't react the same way to drug treatment, CCSVI treatment, or anything else. IMO, MS can't possibly be a single disease that's shared by all of us. When it comes to symptoms, it's not always MS anyway.
And I hope this thread lends a bit of encouragement to newcomers. The day of my first creepy MRIs at age 52 and 'instant' dx, I felt stronger & healthier than I had in years, since I had developed a routine of healthy diet, strenuous exercise, sleep, music, and humor. Now, 8 years later, and after at least 38 years of MS, I use a cane some, but I still work full-time – sometimes 10-hr days. I admit that I'm VERY fortunate, but I can't say enough about the benefits of my routine. I've worked my ass off to keep myself mobile and I continually adapt.
Wishing better health, clearer MRIs, and plenty of laughter to all!