Ladley Welfling-Duvall

First post: Mar 9, 2020 Latest post: Jul 30, 2020

My most recent medical journey started a few months ago when I had a Neurology appointment and follow up EEG and MRI.  In January, the MRI showed that I had a meningioma (benign tumor) and a low grade glioma.  My long-time neurologist wanted the input of doctors with expertise with adult survivors of childhood cancer who received brain radiation as  a part of their treatment.  With the help of a family friend with University Physicians, we were quickly connected with the survivorship program at the University of Minnesota and a set of contacts with necessary expertise.  The Doctors agreed that both of my tumors were the result of the cranial radiation I had when I was diagnosed with poor prognosis leukemia in November, 1981.  Long-term studies, of which I am still a part, now reveal that consequences from the radiation continue to develop for decades after the radiation.  Doctors also agreed that I would not be alive today were it not for the radiation.
Initially it sounded as if the advice was to “wait and watch” so long as the glioma is not aggressive.  However, a referral to a neurosurgeon was the next step to assess the size and location of the glioma.  In mid February Dr. Clark Chen not only recommended surgery but also surgery as soon as possible.  Dr. Chen is the Chair of Neurosurgery at the U and is internationally known especially for his work with gliomas.  I and my family have a great deal of confidence in Dr. Chen and all of the physicians we have worked with.My recovery will be long.  I have strict limits for lifting and movements for 4 weeks.  No driving for at least 3 months.  But I remain hopeful that this surgery will remove any threat caused by the glioma and that I can add this journey to the many other long-term effects of past cancer treatments that have been managed successfully.