On December 16, 2018, after experiencing issues with balance and weakness in my left leg, I had an MRI of my brain, neck and spine. A large mass was detected in the frontoparietal lobe of my brain, having infiltrated the motor strip, which explained my symptoms. Unfortunately, it wasn't the explanation for which we were hoping.
On December 19, I transferred to The Mayo Clinic and connected with their neuro-oncology and neurosurgery groups. Two days later I underwent a craniotomy to resect the tumor. The good news is that the surgeon did an amazing job, successfully removing 98% without any significant permanent damage to the portion of the brain that controls left extremities, speech, cognitive abilities and personality. Although Amy put in a request for a few minor adjustments, apparently they were out of scope! :-) The bad news is that the diagnosis is glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
On Christmas Day I began an intense inpatient physical therapy program to begin regaining strength and coordination of my left side. I was discharged on January 5. It has been wonderful to be home with our kids! I have been continuing outpatient physical therapy and will begin a six-week radiation and chemotherapy treatment at The University of Minnesota on January 23.
I am grateful for the tremendous work of my caregivers and the unyielding love and support of my family...especially my wife, Amy. We are reminded daily how fortunate we are to have such a caring community of family, friends and colleagues. The outpouring of love - meals, help with the dog, wrapping our presents, words of encouragement and other thoughtful gestures - has put wind in our sails. Thank you all very much!
I am eager to lean into the next leg of this journey and am hopeful for continued advances in medical science. I know that I am not alone!