Andrew’s Story

Site created on January 17, 2019

On January 16, 2019, while he was at school, Andrew complained of a headache. He soon had trouble focusing his eyes. By the time Kendra got to the school, Andrew was not talking and he did not recognize her. EMS was called and they took Andrew to the hospital. They did tests, but it wasn't until they did a CT scan that they saw the tumor. Brain cancer. Those were the worst words that day. But there were good words, too. Small (2.5 cm). Operable. Calcification. No bleeding. Those were the good words of the day. And that's where this particular journey begins.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Jac Brennan

Andrew had an MRI today, as well as an appointment with his neurologist, Dr. Reddy. Or as Andrew's friend, Eli, calls her, "Dr. Reddy Player One." 

The MRI was challenging because the plan was to put in an IV, do part of the MRI without contrast, and then push the dye through the IV to do the rest of the MRI with contrast. But Andrew does not like IVs or even needles or, honestly, even a blood pressure cuff. Kendra had asked the team if there were any alternatives to the IV. They came up with a few options and discussed them with Andrew. Andrew liked the butterfly option. With that, they did the first part of the MRI without contrast, then pulled him out, put a needle in and pushed the contrast through, and then pulled the needle out and did the other part of the MRI. The needle part was still really tough for the Turkey Vulture, but the squawking didn't last nearly as long as it would have with the IV. Bonus: He got to watch Black Panther during the MRI. 

Dr. Reddy said that Andrew was "nearly 100 percent" back. What does "nearly" mean? Good question. Dr. Reddy said that Andrew had a brain tumor and it's gone, but there will always been a empty space where the tumor was. We had been picturing it like the tumor pushed the brain out of the way and that, after the tumor was gone, the brain would just, expand back to where it had been before. But that's not how that works. The doctor said that his brain's empty space where the tumor was will shrink some (it's already a little bit smaller), but the space will always be there. 

The MRI looked good and the doctor talked about the possibility of Andrew going six months between his MRIs, rather than having them every three months. He hasn't had any seizures since the surgery, which is a huge deal. 

A day of excellent news. Breaking good. 
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