For many years, Lon has had a benign pituitary brain tumor. I required that he take some medication, and limited his vision some, but mostly he was able to go from day to day and enjoy his life. He opted not to have surgery back then because brain surgery sounded scary! Rende picks the story up with an e-mail dated 10/25, which she sent to the family: "On Sunday afternoon, (Oct. 22) as he took his usual walk, Lon pitched forward and fell with arms outstretched and had trouble regaining his balance. He was fortunate both to only scrape and bloody his hands and face up a bit, and that a sheriff's deputy drove by to attend him. Paramedics were called to check him out. They decided to take him to ER since he had scraped his face and takes blood thinners, in case of a head bleed. After the CT and MRI scans we finally got an explanation of why he has had declining memory and physical abilities for the past 6 months. The pituitary brain tumor has grown and expanded and is exerting pressure on adjacent structures and the brain ventricles, causing swelling and pressure. They kept him for 24 hours and wanted to admit him just for observation because there are a number of difficulties he could experience from his condition and he is now a fall risk. They ran one more test on his prolactin levels that was going to take 24-48 hours to get results. They were astonished that he does not have headaches or ongoing balance issues.
Lon being Lon, was freaking out at the prospect of being kept in the hospital. He is well aware that he will require treatment of some type, perhaps surgery, and is trying to adjust. We ended up signing papers to "leave against medical advice", with me assuring them that I would not allow him to drive or leave the house unattended. Also, that we intend to follow up with all necessary appointments. So he is home, recovering comfortably, under what I jokingly call "house arrest".
Today he went to PT to get evaluated for his walking gait and balance issues (which have not been evident again since the fall). She trained him to use a cane, just in case he feels unsteady again, and had to break him of the habit of waving it like a Fred Astaire dancing prop! But she appreciated his metronome timing sounds, and thought it might be useful for others:)
Wednesday afternoon he has a phone consult with his regular doc, who is an endocrinologist. Hopefully he will have the prolactin results, which will let us know if his tumor might be drug sensitive.
Thursday morning he goes back to Vallejo for a 2 hour neuro-ophthalmology appointment. Lots of visual field and acuity testing to track further changes in vision. This could end his driving for good.
(Then in the afternoon I will drive him to his students lessons. Its his sense of purpose and normalcy. The same with church on Sunday.)
Next Tuesday the 31st (yes Halloween) he has his definitive appointment with his neurosurgeon at 11:00 in Vacaville Kaiser with Dr. Boskovitz. He will be laying out the treatment plan and any options. He had a likeable manner over the phone. (Wendy you are welcome to join us).
That's it for now. I will report back in a week with our plan. Meanwhile, Lonnie loves to talk and laugh with his family. It helps him adjust and feel hope. He also has a few friends visiting.
Thanks for your love and prayers."
Since it is hard to stay in touch with everyone who might want to know how Lon is doing or what's next...Rende and I (I'm his sister Pam, also called Sharon) will keep you up to date here. Please visit often, and leave a message of support! Thanks