Many of you know that I have been struggling since last year with some mental health / medical issues. Since I have been back from Florida in early April, my son Joe has been invaluable in helping me seek out medical attention for the problems. Doctor Karen (my sister) has also been a great resource for me with suggestions for approaching the medical teams and questions to ask. My problems started at least a year ago and include very disturbed sleep patterns (I often don’t go to bed all night anymore), difficulty focusing on appointments and getting places on time, and difficulty with personal motivation and responsibility. My liver function blood work has been somewhat abnormal also. I am not working yet at Lands’ End, or picking up rides for the nonprofit organization Help at Your Door.
To help diagnose these problems, my doctor ordered a liver ultrasound scan, and a brain MRI, both of which I had yesterday morning. Midday yesterday I got a call from my doctor, who told me that they found a brain tumor from the MRI, in my upper right frontal lobe. So, we scheduled a follow up call with the brain surgeon late yesterday afternoon. To make this somewhat long story shorter, I am scheduled for surgery (thanks to Joe’s administrative capabilities) to remove the tumor next Monday morning (May 17) at Abbott Northwestern hospital. I will likely be in the hospital up to 4 days, some of them in the ICU. I am assuming Medicare will come through and pay for all this. The surgeon is going to remove a section of my skull, which sounds awful to me, and will put something titanium in place in my head, which he assures me will not set off the TSA alarms at the airport.
I also had a preop physical this afternoon, and learned from the doctor that the liver scan did not show evidence of masses (i.e., cancer) to be worried about. That is a positive note in all of this. I will say that I am not in a lot of personal distress about this brain diagnosis, thankfully. I have to have one more preop brain MRI, which is scheduled for this Sunday. Whew!
Joe and his wife Kristi have been really supportive during this time, and I am expecting that they will continue to unselfishly provide support for me. If I need help from anyone in 14401 Atrium Way building, I will reach out to you. Thanks to those of you who have been sending such kind texts – I really appreciate them. At the moment, I don’t need help obtaining or preparing food.
Please forward this email to others who may be interested. I plan to create a Caring Bridge website for on-going communications and updates about my condition. My family used Caring Bridge in 2012 when my father became very ill with cancer, and it was a huge blessing for us and for all the people who cared about him all over the world and who wanted to follow his progress and medical condition