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In August 2010 Jeff had his first craniotomy to remove a low grade ependymoma in his 4th ventricle. About 98% was removed and he followed up with MRI's to watch for new growth.
In 2013, the tumor had started to grow back and he had a Gamma-Knife radiation procedure performed, which stopped the growth for a while.
In 2018, MRI's showed a slight increase in the tumor and we were referred to a neurosurgeon at OHSU because the original (very small, slow-growing) tumor was getting slightly bigger. The doctor decided the best option was to keep an eye on it and see what it does. One year later, Jeff has an MRI the end of May that showed an aggressive growing tumor that was slightly larger than his original tumor in 2010. When the doctor saw the MRI, he said he needed to do surgery ‘sooner than later’ (his words). His office scheduled us a surgery date 7 weeks out from that day, July 29, which happened to be 9 years to the day when he learned of his tumor the very first time.
Meanwhile Jeff had been sicker and sicker than last 1.5 months from, what he thought, was a kidney stone. He had been to the emergency room right before he had his MRI because he had been vomiting every day for a month. So he was at a pretty weak spot.
I started to get bad feeling about this OHSU surgery. I had a lot of questions for the surgeon when his office called about scheduling the surgery. They had no answers and I asked that someone call me back with answers. No one, actually still to this day, has ever called me back. I called our original surgeon that referred us to OHSU. He couldn’t do the surgery last year because surgery wasn’t an option, but now that surgery was the only option, I called him for a second opinion. This was a Tuesday. We had an appointment with him in 10 days.
3 days later, Jeff asks me to take him to the Corvallis hospital emergency room on a Friday night. He knew this was from the tumor and it wasn’t good. Saturday morning they let us know that he would need surgery ASAP which was on Monday, June 17.