Chad Zimmer

First post: Feb 1, 2019 Latest post: Jul 10, 2019
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Here it goes. 
 Just before Christmas, actually December 12,  2018,  we ended up in the ED at Ohio State University. It was then,  Chad was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Chad had been having some issues with his neck over the last 6 months or so: cracking, popping, and some aches and pains in the mornings.  He completed 6 weeks of physical therapy and had some improvement. He also was having some headaches. They would come and go. He described them as a tight rubber band around his head, and like something was pulling at his eyes.  He had some visual changes: he had some "squiggly lines" in his peripheral visual fields when the headaches were present. Sounded like a tension headache, maybe an atypical migraine.

A few days before our ER visit, Chad had another headache.  This time, he stumbled out of the pantry and his right hand was shaking, almost like it was flapping. This resolved after a few minutes.  This prompted us to schedule an appointment with the neurologist.

Then on 12/11, he fell and had a difficult time getting up. He said his mind was working, but his arm wasn't doing what he wanted it to. Later that morning, he started vomiting. That really set the headache off.

Long story short.  The CT of his head showed a large mass with an  area of swelling in his right temporal lobe(above his ear). It shifted his right side of the brain 9mm, causing the brain to push to the left side and downward (herniation). He immediately was started on high dose steroids and anti-seizure medicines to help with the brain swelling and help prevent seizures.

He spent 3 days at OSU. MRI's, labs, Neuro checks. Every couple of hours the nurses asked him who he was, what year it was, and who the President was. "The Trumpster, of course!" He had an awesome view of the "SHOE" from the top floor of the JAMES hospital.

He was readmitted to OSU a week later, for a biopsy of the mass. It was confirmed to be a GRADE 2 Astrocytoma. It is a slow growing brain tumor. The doctors suspect that he may have had this growing for a long time.  The tumor can not be fully resected. It encompasses the right temporal lobe, including the motor cortex (what moves his arm and leg)  and some structures deeper in the brain.  If it was resected, the surgery could leave him completely paralyzed on his left side, or worse, he would not wake up.  This was not an option.

So now, we are looking at 6 weeks of radiation treatments. When these are done, chemotherapy. It will be a 3 drug therapy, for a total of 6 rounds.  Each round will be 42 days. We will find out more about that in a few weeks.

Thanks to all family and friends that have helped out already, we love you all! We will figure this all out as we go. We are just trying to keep routines as normal as we can for the boys. They are trying to figure things out too.

 We will keep you posted!

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