Angiogram Part III (MRI follow-up) and the results

You know, they could really give you the results over the phone, eh? Driving 1.5 hours each way to get questionable news makes me crabby. Ah, well, more fodder for the life-journey.

Had an MRI w/contrast last Thursday. The doc looked at it with the angiogram and announced that I should be pleased because my AVM has shrunk approximately 50%. He also reinforced that the feeding arteries & veins to the nidus were still active, just smaller. So, the risk of a bleed is still there, just “smaller” he says. And, I should come back in a year for another angio and MRI to see how its progressing. In the meantime, watch the blood pressure, don’t do stressful work, lifting, etc. Watch for sharp pains, blurry vision and disorientation.


I have to say that my first reaction was significant disappointment. Then I was pissed. At 2 years out since the radiosurgery, I really was hoping the AVM would be gone or insignificant. No such luck. I realized after the visit that I had really worked myself up for good news and I didn’t get what I wanted. Get over it, right?

In hindsight, I think the doc was surprised by my reaction. He thought he was giving me ‘good’ news and I didn’t (and don’t) see it that way. I suppose I am supposed to be happy that it’s half the size it used to be? I can’t work myself up to that yet. I will eventually, I think I just let my guard down.

I know, I should be thanful that I am living a normal life. Lots of people in my situation are in much worse shape. Yet, I still confess to feeling sorry for myself, and that’s not like me!!!

Anyway- thanks for listening.

I’d be interested to know how your AVM progressed after radiosurgery/Gamma Knife, etc. How long it took for it to be obliterated.


Brian, it is good news, and the best news will come in time,it will be gone, just hang in there,im waiting on the same thing,had radiation done this past January and a cat scan a month ago and it showed a partly calcified avm, I take that as better then no change at all,soon, you will get the best news, hang in there ok:) Caroline

Brian, If you feel like being ticked off, then be ticked off- just let yourself feel those feelings because you have earned the right to that after going thru this! Of course you are disappointed and it is one heck of a long time to wait for treatment to work and I think we all understand that frustration here! I feel exactly the same about my son. We were told that he wouldn’t even HAVE an angiogram until the 4 year mark after his Gamma.(July08).
I’m sure you feel that as long as there is any risk of you having a bleed, it’s like the huge weight is STILL on your shoulders and in your mind so the fact that it has been reduced isn’t really much of a help.
Our family doctor said it best when we told him that my son had the option of craniotomy or Gamma and when he heard the pros and cons of both, he said, “SO, you have two crappy options for a crappy problem” and I was like, YA! and thanks for saying it like it is! Of course I’m thankful that he even has the option for treatment but sometimes it just all seems so crazy.
Brian, your situation is difficult but give yourself SO much credit for dealing with it the way that you are. Of course you will bounce back and continue on but it is a long tiring journey that you are on and I think it is okay to feel down sometimes and admit it.

I understand your wishing it was all gone…but it is still great news. my friend. I would love to have that news! You go ahead and have your pity party and when you feel better, have another party to celeebrate! lol