Nov 18, 2018 Latest post:
Dec 12, 2018
Wednesday Nov 13th 2018
Short form: Ben went to the Urgent Care on Sunday afternoon for an intense pain behind his right
eye and flu-like symptoms. He was having such a high level of pain that he started slurring his words and fell against a wall. The Urgent Care doctor thought he might be having an ocular stroke, so she sent him straight to Flower Hospital. Tests showed that there is a golf ball-sized tumor above his right eye. Flower Hospital sent him by ambulance to Toledo Hospital, and they admitted him for further testing. There is an "imminent" surgery to remove it, but the timeline isn't set yet. He needs a Functional MRI first before it can be scheduled, but it could be as soon as next week. They won't be able to remove the entire tumor, so further treatment options are still being considered. There is potential for serious consequences afterwards, but that is all dependent on upcoming tests and results of the surgery itself. There is a LOT that is unknown yet, but everyone is working quickly to get answers.
It was also determined during his hospital visit that he has pneumonia. He is now back at home tonight with a spread of meds to keep the pain in check, and is doing generally okay. He's up and about as normal and awaiting further tests.
Additional Information: There are four kinds of cells that can grow in the brain, three of which are cancerous. He PROBABLY has the slowest growing of the cancerous cells. It has most likely been growing for several years, but it only recently hit a size that was sufficient for Ben to feel pain. The tumor is "consuming" the brain (the tumor is replacing brain tissue as it grows), rather than growing next to his brain as an additional mass. Because of that, the surgery to remove the tumor will remove a portion of his brain. Any damage that has already occurred cannot be fixed. Ben is left handed and they're not sure which part of his brain is responsible for certain functions, particularly his fine motor skills and speech. It may be the portion that is directly next to the tumor. To determine that, they are going to do a functional MRI (MRI), which will highlight the portion of the brain responsible for those functions (and others?). That will guide the doctor on how aggressive he can be in removing the tumor. That said, it will be nearly impossible to remove the entire tumor. If they take out the entire tumor, it would remove good brain tissue with life-long consequences. If they save the good brain tissue, they will struggle to remove the entire tumor. There might be other treatment options, but it's going to take more tests and time. The fMRI can only be done by one doctor at one facility in all of Toledo. It is scheduled for Sunday morning Nov 18th.
Please keep our family in your prayers and send any positive vibes their way that you can.