Barney Alexander

First post: Nov 28, 2016 Latest post: Nov 28, 2016
Surgery set for 12/5, Houston Medical Center  - Journal entry by Vicki Alexander
We returned home late September. Barney did some physical therapy to learn to balance and turn while walking. We expected to go back to Little Rock to get that tumor OUT! We did go back but they were unable to do the surgery for many reasons. It will be a very complicated surgery. Barney has been back in the hospital here in The Woodlands, in October and November. With fluid still on his brain and a few other complications, surgery was still a risk. It has now been determined that the surgery can not be done in The Woodlands as hoped. Surgery date is now set for Monday, 12/5 at The Houston Medical Center. It will last a minimum of 8 hours and will require 3 neurosurgeons. The tumor is called a vestibular schwannoma or acoustic neuroma. It is unusually large, about the size and shape of a large egg. It is in a precarious location of the brain that is dangerously intertwined with nerves and the brain stem. Although we are not 100% sure, it is likely to be benign. He will receive some radiation treatment. Surprisingly, a tiny bit of the tumor will be left as it would be too risky to remove completely with it's location near the nerves. It will be watched closely throughout his lifetime. The brain shunt that was put in his left side of the brain will stay for life. He has already been back to the hospital twice to have it recalibrated. Barney has completely lost his hearing in the right ear and it will not return. The hearing loss in the left ear has a chance. He will likely have some face paralysis. The migraines are gutwrenching. He is always tired and sleeps more than he is awake. His equilibrium is "off" causing him to wobble and he has begun to lose his ability to swallow. Hopefully these things should be fine within 4 weeks of surgery. In fact, he should be back to normal, whatever that is, within 4-5 weeks.  Will keep everyone updated during surgery. THANK YOU so much for all your support!!! Vicki


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