Cancer was undoubted clarification for the bizarre manifestations that Rachel Palma experienced start in January 2018.
“I was having involuntary movements with my right hand, so I was dropping things,” the Middletown, New York, inhabitant said. “The worst symptoms obviously were hallucinations. The computer screen looked completely different — it was almost foreign. What I perceived was different and so how I was responding was different — if someone was asking for a pen, I would give them, for example, a key. But as soon as they ruled out a brain bleed, I was discharged. Although I was a danger to myself and probably to others, they still discharged me. They said, ‘If you're not actually having a brain bleed, then it's not actually an emergency.”
On a mind examine, Palma's doctor recognized a little injury and promptly sent her to Dr. Jonathan Rasouli. Rasouli said:
“We decided it would probably be in her best interest to do a biopsy of this lesion.”
“I was told that it was most likely a malignant tumor, which would require radiation and chemo even after the surgery.”
Rasouli told CNN:
“Her fiancé had just proposed to her and they were looking to move in together and then all of a sudden she had this diagnosis of a brain tumor. Can you imagine?”
Her first task, basically an “arranging medical procedure,” clarified Rasouli, occurred on September 2, 2018. A second medical procedure to expel the presumed tumor pursued on September 12.
“We did a small dissection of the brain tissue and what we saw was a very well encapsulated, firm lesion that was ovoid,” said Rasouli. “It looked like a quail egg: Same size, same look, same firmness.”
A tapeworm was found inside Rachel Palma's mind.
He said at the time:
“Wait a second, this is clearly not a brain tumor. It doesn't look like a quail egg. Most brain tumors are very soft, very mushy, they're not very well defined, they're infiltrative and it's difficult to get completely around them.”
“And what came out was a baby tapeworm. If you live in the US, it's almost impossible to get this.”
Neurocysticercosis is the medicinal term for when an infant pork tapeworm advances toward the cerebrum.
“It is not super-duper rare, it's just pretty uncommon. If we had any suspicion that she could have been exposed to pork tapeworm or we thought this was potentially a parasite, we ideally would have treated her with antibiotics rather than taking her into surgery.”
“There's absolutely no explanation as to how I contracted it. This is not something that is cause for widespread panic. What happened to me is extremely rare — it's not the norm — for someone who has not been overseas to contract this. If you have symptoms that you cannot explain or are concerning to you, then please see a doctor. And see a good doctor. Not every headache turns out to be a parasite”
Today, Palma has no side effects and is feeling fine.