5/5/08, golf ball sized tumor found. 6/2/08, golf ball to tennis ball sized tumor, and surgery. Diagnosed with a stage 3 cancerous tumor. Oligodondroglioma. Less than a month later, 7 weeks of radiation while starting Chemotherapy. 12 months of Chemo.
Fyi, if you click make a donation, it goes to this website and not to me. Not that you shouldn't donate, but just so you know.
So last monday night 5/5/08 I had a seizure. No warning signs, no headaches, no problems, and no head hits or injuries. I was taken to Dupont hospital where they hooked up an IV and did a head CAT scan to reveal something abnormal in my brain. So the following day i went to Luthern hospital to get an MRI scan, (basically a closer look at what it is) and another IV. Come to find out I have a brain tumor about the size of a golf ball.. Yea your about as surprised as i was. I had no clue..
The golf ball sized tumor is on the top left lobe of my brain. Its so close to the part of my brain that controls memory, speech, and movement to the right side of my body that 'awake surgery' will be required. Where most of the surgery i will be awake so they can ask me questions and make me move things so honestly they dont mess anything up in the operation. Ill have to shave my head and im sure by the end ill have some nice staples in there too. Full recovery time is in the weeks or even months. I cant drive, i cant ride my motorcycle, i cant go to tae kwon do, i cant drink alcohol, and i had to postpone guitar lessons indeffinitely. One millimetre slip in this surgery and ill be in a wheelchair for life..
If anyone reading this actually knows me, you know my life and how strong a person i am. I snowboard, i rollerblade, i jump out of planes, i will be there for any friend at the drop of a hat.. I travel, i have seen some of the best sunsets and clearest waters on the whitest beaches. I never break a promise. I have never been scared of anything, ever. Carpe diem and no regrets is how i have lived up to this point. You always read those sayings, live everyday like its your last...but you will never actually understand till your in that situation. Its like you have lived your entire life looking through a magnifying glass picking out everything that you didnt like and dwelling on it..and when your presented with this, you zoom back out to see whats really important. If you could see a huge turning point in your life coming, would you want to know about it?
I have a grade 3 Glioma tumor. Look it up here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glioma
Not meaning to scare people but its graded on a 1 out of 4 scale. Grade 4 usually only live another 12 months..if your lucky up to 3 years. Im a 3. I have an option to make.. The more aggressive approach he takes with the surgery is the more of the tumor that will be taken out. Unfortunately where he is operating their main concern is that this is the area that tells the part of my brain controlling my right leg and parts of my right side how to move. So the more of the tumor he takes out the higher the chance of risk for more damage if not even permanent damage. The chance of permanent damage and my right leg no longer working properly is 15%.
My best way of helping you visualize it: You have a bucket of black paint..and you drop in a golf ball sized glob of red paint (my tumor)...then swirl it. They are going to try to get as much of the red out as possible..but as they start working on the smaller swirls on the outside there is a chance that they might damage or take out some of the black paint with it. (Parts of non infected good brain)
Also because of my age Dr Meyers my surgeon recommends the more aggressive surgery. The more aggressive the surgery the more 'beat up' ill be after the surgery. Not so much movement in the right side of my body or maybe loss of speech for a while. But this part of my brain just needs to create new connections on how to make my parts move, not the fact that they are incapable of moving.
So clean cut its like this: Be more aggressive and take out as much of the tumor now and have a longer re-hab time to get back to normal or leave more tumor and have a shorter life span.
Yep your choice is the same as mine. Get as much of it out as possible. There will be risks. And possibly a solid month of physical rehab depending how well the surgery goes. The surgery is out of my hands, but re-hab, i will work stronger and faster than anyone. I should be able to come back to a full recovery and return to tae kwon do and everything else i love within 6 months. (thats what they think...im going to try to cut all recovery times in half)
Surgery will take up to 4 hours. I will be in intensive care unit (ICU) over night and have the bandages off by morning. I should only have to be in the hospital for 3-5 days. The rest is recouperation and rehab. ..Thats if all goes well.
I appreciate every prayer, every good luck, and all happy thoughts. Thanks to everyone who has been there for me so far.