An update on Catherine's health

    In the last week we've now seen the two specialists that we needed to see to learn more about Catherine's pituitary adenoma. The first was the opthamologist, who kindly saw us at very short notice. Even better, he's Andrew Tridgell's brother and a lovely guy. He did a great job of answering our questions and generally reassuring us, and the short of it is that Catherine's vision is not current disturbed and barring another hemorrhage or a significant growth in the tumor it shouldn't be. He of course couldn't rule these things out, but that's because all things are possible even if they are unlikely. The ongoing strategy here appears to be a series of MRIs and visual field studies done every six months or so for the foreseeable future. The only real wart here was that if there is a hemorrhage, which is something we can't control, the prognosis here could change rapidly for the worse with very little warning. There is evidence of a previous hemorrhage on the MRI.

    The second specialist was the endocronologist, who we saw on Monday in Sydney. Again he was a lovely guy and put up with our two pages of questions. As best as he can tell the adenoma is not cancer, but he's not sure if it is functional or not (controlling the level of prolactin in Catherine's body). The first steps are that he's going to take the MRI films to a radiologist specializing in cranial scans, and has put Catherine on a drug which should control her prolactin levels. Then it will be a blood test in a month to see if the drug is working, and we'll take it from there. He was talking about the possibility that this whole thing is related to Catherine's sarcoidosis from a decade ago, but he thinks that only a biopsy of the tumor will confirm that. I feel that if they're going to do brain surgery for a biopsy they may as well just take the darn thing out while they're there, but we'll have that argument when we get there.

    So, overall not as horribly bad as it could have been. There are still risks if there is a hemorrhage, and its possible that we'll end up seeing a neurosurgeon to have the tumor removed, but we'll cross those bridges when we come to them. The next step is either that the radiologist will see something on the MRI that he thinks needs more information, or that Catherine will have a blood test in a month. We'll keep you posted.

posted at: 02:02 | path: /health/catherine | permanent link to this entry

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