Megan Deen

First post: Jan 23, 2019 Latest post: Feb 3, 2019
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Megan’s update on January 15!

“Warning: long novel ahead.... Continue scrolling if you don't enjoy reading long winded posts :)

This past Friday, I met with my new neurosurgeon, Dr. Tandon at Memorial Hermann. He was consulted by Dr. Day due to his expertise with brain tumors and seizure disorders. Due to the tumors location (left parietal), size (about a lime), symptoms (seizures, headaches, vision field cuts), and it's potential for growth, it is pertinent that it comes out. Dr. Tandon believes it to be a stage 2 or 3 astrocytoma or a stage 2 or 3 oligodendroglioma.  
An awake craniotomy is scheduled for January 29th in Houston. The awake portion has two parts: mapping (another fMRI will be performed) and monitoring (to verify that function stays intact).  

Dr. Tandon described the delicacy of the surgery by taking both of my hands and outstretching my fingers. One hand is brain; one hand is tumor. Now, intertwine them as if you were praying. It is difficult to delineate between brain matter and tumor. This is why it is vital to have the mapping during the awake portion of the surgery. I will perform tasks such as reading, math, moving my right hand, etc. as they probe different areas. If I can't perform the task, they "flag" this area and won't resect it. Although the plan is to be aggressive due to my age, there is a risk he won't be able to remove all of it. Dr. Tandon used the phrase "maximal resection with safest optimal functioning" over and over.

I also met with Dr. Zhu, my neuro-oncologist, who explained that 7-10 days after surgery, the final pathology reports will be round tabled with other experts. A final recommendation will be given on whether "watch and wait", chemo, radiation, or a combo of both. If there are portions that are unable to be resected, I will undergo therapies to help lessen the chance of recurrence. Treatment (if necessary) would begin about two weeks after surgery. Due to the potential of chemotherapy, it was recommended to preserve my eggs and I am excited to say this process has begun. I have always wanted to be a mother and when given the opportunity, I will cherish this experience dearly.  
I am now gifted with a lifetime friendship with Dr. Tandon and Dr. Zhu. The goal is to alter this experience into a chronic disease process, similar to diabetes or hypertension. I will have follow up MRI's every 3 months for the first two years. 

But, before I write a novel (again), let me just take a moment to tell you how grateful I am for this opportunity. I never saw this coming, didn't have it on my planner for 2018/19. But I believe that the best opportunities for growth are when we least expect it. This diagnosis doesn't change who I am except for a shot to become more resilient. To recognize my strengths and weaknesses. To be vulnerable. To be strong. To fight. To realign what truly is important in this life. To beat the golden nugget (my nickname for the tumor). To smile and laugh at God's daily reminders that He is by my side...EVERY single step of the way. 
I couldn't do this without my people. my crew. my church. my team. my community. Thank you for your continued support, prayers, and showing up for me.

Do not lose hope, please believe that there are a thousand beautiful things waiting for you. Sunshine comes to all who feel rain. 

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts & your minds in Christ Jesus. -Phil4:7

#growthroughwhatyougothrough #meganstrong #teamdeen #tumorssuck #byebyegoldennugget”Help spread the word!