Thursday, January 24, 2008

Some Very Interesting Testing Abound

Nothing major or intrusive or anything like that so don't worry. Actually, I may be a bit of a guinea pig in this particular testing. Let me explain. Most of the time when someone is diagnosed with a brain tumor it is too late. What I mean is that the tumor has started causing problems and it needs to be addressed immediately instead of waiting around. Therefore, there is very little if any time to run "baseline" type testing.

This is where I come in. I have the rare luxury of time. I have learned that doctors are very good about only telling you what has been scientifically proven. They don't mention the little things that can't be measured. For instance, I have learned that following brain surgery they put you on steroids to help minimize the pressure in the brain. I've had two doctors tell me this has no affect on you outside of that and one tell me that there have been noted changes in personality for a short time. However, from people who have been there, I know that there will be personality changes and most of the time drastic changes. Because this information can't be measured, doctors ignore it or blame it on the "stress of surgery".

So how is all this related? Well, my tumor is located in the frontal lobe of the brain. This is the personality center. I won't go into a lot of detail here but if your interested check out the Wiki page on it. I've basically been told that because my tumor is in the right frontal lobe and I'm right handed, surgery should not affect my personality because it's considered a "dead area". I do not trust or believe this information. I've seen otherwise with my own eyes and talked with people where this was not the case. Besides, I don't believe I am a fully "left brained" individual like they seem to think. Furthermore, it concerns me what could be affected because of the pressure in my brain. If that is suddenly removed, couldn't this cause issues? Am I having undetected personality changes from the tumor?

Well, no one has this answer or at least not an answer with any kind of proof behind it. Now obviously, I'm one person and not several like scientists like for tests but by watching my personality and cognitive scores, we could start to see patterns. Also, in the event that I should ever choose surgery or something along those lines, these tests could tell us if I really am the same as before that time. Interesting eh?

So next Wednesday (January 30) I am going to be taking the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) test to get a personality baseline. I will also be taking a Cognitive test to get a baseline there. I'm very interested to see the results and to track it over time. I know that David from one of the blogs I follow has had Cognitive type tests because of his being in the temporal lobe and he has seen changes.

As a little side note to this, I am going to start tracking my tests on my "brain" games and keep a very close eye to see if any patterns develop. I'll maybe add this to my weekly updates so you can see anything of interest. However, I reserve the right to begin it from now and not back when I got the games. LOL

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