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6/7/2017 Latest post:
My story began almost two years ago in July 2015 when an early morning syncope event sent me to my internist who insisted I have a CAT scan to make sure all was well after an office visit showed nothing unusual. Since we were to leave the next day for summer hiking in the Smokies, I obeyed. Upon the hospital radiologist reading the scan, he found a lesion on my brain. I was allowed to make my trip but was told "NO hiking!" Upon returning to Huntsville, I was seen by a neurosurgeon, Dr. John Johnson, who ordered an MRI. He diagnosed the lesion as a meningioma, a slow growing benign brain tumor. His concern was that it did lay close to my optic nerve. He decided at that point to refer me to Dr. Bartram Guthrie, neurosurgeon, at UAB. Thus, began a regular routine of check-ups that included eye exams and MRI's in Huntsville followed by appointments at UAB to monitor for any changes. AND there were none that showed on MRI's through March 2017. However, on that visit Dr. Guthrie reminded me vision changes would indicate the growth of the tumor. It was not long afterwards that I realized that I was experiencing a loss of fine vision in my right eye as well as a feeling of "sand" or irritation in my eye. Certain types of light were also becoming difficult to read in because of glare. I made an appointment with my eye doctor, Dr. Donald Derivaux, who confirmed there were changes and promptly called UAB on May 17th. On May 25th, two days after my 66th birthday, Dr. Guthrie too confirmed the changes after yet another MRI was done. He conferred with Dr. Markus Bredel, who is now my Radiologist at the UAB Hazelrig Salter Radiology Center at UAB. This summer I will go through five and a half weeks of low dose radiation in the hopes of saving my eyesight in the right eye where the tumor is trying to invade the optic nerve . As I look back to the beginning of this whole journey I know that God's fingerprints are here from the start and so I walk confident in my faith that "He is faithful. He is able. He is love. He is grace."