First, we thank all of you for the prayers and words of encouragement. Our church, friends, family, and co-workers have embraced and supported us in a profound way on this journey. We are forever grateful for such a loving community!
Now that I am on the road to recovery, this may be the last update, unless something changes.
We met with the neurosurgeon yesterday for our postoperative visit. He removed the staples, and we discussed the surgery and next steps. We learned that this was certainly not a routine operation for him, and he was very relieved to finish the surgery and successfully remove the tumor. He is a great surgeon, and I am more than impressed with his and his team’s ability to perform this extraordinary procedure.
The doctor recommended at least one other opinion regarding further treatment options, such as radiation therapy or chemo. For the next step, he referred me to a specialist at Baylor in Dallas. Given the kind of tumor, which is exceptionally rare, and the location, blocking the 4th ventricle between the brain stem and cerebellum, other opinions are important going forward. In the meantime, we will monitor the entire brain and the spinal column for tumor recurrence. I am confident I am in good hands with my primary care physician (Dr. Hosch), neurosurgeon (Dr. Andrade), pathologist (Dr. Davis), ophthalmologist (Dr. Dossey)—most of whom are also good friends—and the team of other doctors who have worked and will work together in my treatment plan.
The weeks and months ahead will be devoted to recovery. Temporary impairments remain, including vision, left arm functioning, balance, and of course neck and head mobility. We have a good strategy to address these deficits, which mostly require time for swelling to diminish and nerves to regenerate, and specialists to assist in the recovery process.
This has been a wild ride. But above all the feelings I have about the adventure, I feel gratitude. Gratitude for my wife and family, for a community who has cared deeply for us, and gratitude for medical specialists who can diagnose and successfully treat this condition.
Thank you again for your prayers and encouragement!