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John's Head Trip
Sep 22, 2016 Latest post:
Aug 18, 2018
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HISTORY - Written 9-20-16
A little more than a month ago, John started to find it hard to remember certain words, and sometimes substituted one word for another. He also complained of his head behind his right eye not feeling right. It came and went, and while those close to him thought it might be "mini-strokes," he didn't exhibit other stroke like symptoms. He also had a very bad cold at the time, and thought some of his feeling fuzzy headed was from that. As the flu symptoms began to clear he realized that there was something else going on, and on August 23rd he went to Cape Cod Hospital ER with a headache, at which time he was diagnosed with t brain tumor.
Fortunately , the speech problems and other symptoms had been caused by inflamation, not by the tumor itself, and steroids relieved the symptoms. After two nights in the hospital and about a week adjusting to the steroids at home, he went Tufts Medical Center for a follow up. At Tufts he was referred to Dr. Wu, who specializes in neurosurgery on the frontal lobes, where John's tumor was located. From there everything started moving very fast. He was originally schedule for a functional MRI on September 21, to be followed by surgery a week or so later surgery, but they moved everything up and a Dr. Wu did an awake craniotomy on September 19.
THE SURGERY During the procedure they asked him various questions so that they could probe with electrodes and determine which areas were "eloquent" so that they could avoid them. The doctors said the surgery went extremely well. and because John was only under general anesthesia for about 30 minutes at the start, he came out of the surgery fully awake and in very good condition. Visiting him immediately after, if it weren't for the bandage beside his left ear and the hole on his forehead from where they pinned his head so he couldn't move it, you couldn't tell that he had just had brain surgery. His color was good, his attitude was great, and his speech was perfect.
POST SURGERY - Written 9-21-16 John spent one night at the Neurosurgery Critical Care Unit and then was moved to a semi-private room for two nights. He is scheduled to leave Tufts on Thursday, if all continues to go well. Although he will be able to walk and move around, he is supposed to stay on light duty for 4 - 6 weeks. He is supposed to have someone with him 24 hours a day for the first week.
There is likely to be follow-up in 2 - 4 weeks with an oncologist. Further treatment will depend on the pathology report . It is likely to include radiation treatment, and possibly chemotherapy.