Back to work.
My general physician removed my stiches yesterday. I continue to feel good and am eager to get back to work. I have a lot to do and am grateful I'm here to do it. All the warm supportive wishes are very much appreciated. Thank you.
Brain surgery now behind me.
My craniotomy is over & I'm home recuperating. The majority of the tumour was removed & the residue will be either monitored or treated via radiation. It was very likely non-cancerous (and they'll let me know soon). I'm lucky. Thank you to everyone for your supportive & warm wishes.
Brain surgery date confirmed.
My neurosurgeon's secretary called yesterday & informed me the date for my surgery has been confirmed for Mon. May 15/23. A few days earlier my wife & I met with an ear/nose/throat surgeon who will also be taking part in the surgery. We've also had meetings with the anesthetist & medical staff. All is now set to proceed.
I've had sufficient time to accept this reality & am at the point where I want this necessary surgery behind me.
I do believe a greater power is at work in my life.
Having this additional experience will provide me with an extremely compelling message for others.
Surgical timeline update.
My neurosurgeon's administrative assistant recently called. She indicated another patient needs treatment right away. Although they've told me my situation is a priority, other unexpected circumstances are resulting in my surgery being pushed out somewhat. This specialist is extremely busy.
She is now indicating my surgery will likely be mid-May. I'm fine with that, as they won't start without me. Fortunately, I'm still feeling decent which is surprising considering I have a golf ball size tumour in my skull. Perhaps I've been thinking too much.
Yesterday, I underwent a cerebral angiogram procedure. My neurosurgeon requested this to verify blood flow to/from the tumour in my brain. He recently told my wife & I that this tumour has a robust blood supply.
The procedure involves the insertion of a catheter into the femoral artery at the top of the leg. A long, thin flexible tube is gently pushed up through the main artery of the abdomen & chest, all the way to the carotid artery of the neck. A contrast dye provides the info the team needs.
I expected some pain (especially since I declined any sedative), but I was surprised this 45 minute procedure was pain free. Being wheeled into the surgical room was more intimidating than anything. My wife & I expect to be notified of the brain surgery date relatively soon.
Yesterday, my bride and I met with the neurosurgeon. He seems somewhat surprised I’m not suffering from frequent headaches, dizziness, etc. Due to the large size of this tumour (and he being away most of May) my surgery could take place as early as Apr. 24 or 26.
There is a 30% chance I will suffer some sort of facial deficit (such as numbness or even paralysis). The risk of death is only about 1%, which is much less than auto fatality statistics.
Yes, I am scared. Who wouldn't be? Regardless though, I’m going to do all I can to push through and get back to living asap. I’ve got a decent pain tolerance and I’ll do whatever it takes. Although I thought I had more time. (Sound familiar?) I’m an organized guy, but I now have a number of things to get done in short order. Thank you for all your well wishes.
Brain tumour transparency.
The type of brain tumour I have been diagnosed with is also known as an acoustic neuroma. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acoustic-neuroma/symptoms-causes/
Aside from the ringing in my left ear, I have also had the hearing in that ear reduced by 50%. This is likely permanent. I can also feel a constant pressure in the area of my left temple. The tumour is located within the left side of my skull. Occasionally I can hear a swooshing sound, which apparently is blood flow. For some time I have also had small areas of my face twitch (ie. under my eye, or upper lip). My neck is also sore somewhat frequently. After being diagnosed, all these things seemed to be related. If you know of anyone having similar symptoms, please share with them.
I've had an extensive visual exam completed recently. I still don't need glasses, but my peripheral vision has been affected somewhat. We've been in touch with the surgeon's office & anticipate a face-to-face meeting soon. I am being optimistic, treating this experience as part of my overall message.
I have my first radio interview today. Early next week I'm being interviewed for a podcast. A lawyer has asked me to be his guest.
When you think you're dying.
Two weeks ago, I was convinced my brain tumour was cancerous. After initially hearing the news, I was in shock. My mind was racing with all the things I needed to do while I had the opportunity. I don't get overwhelmed often, but I did then. Fortunately, the specialist relieved my fears indicating there is only a 5% chance it is cancerous. I can't imagine how others feel when hearing such devastating news being confirmed. I have worked in many end-of-life related roles and am rather organized. So many others are not. As I state in the Summary of my book, 'If you are diagnosed with a severe health issue, you will be extremely relieved you took the time to properly plan when times were good. Having that peace of mind while also dealing with poor health is a true blessing'. I cannot stress this enough.
This tumour is not fatal.
I developed a ringing in my left ear which lead to an MRI being done. My general physician told me just over a week ago that a large tumour was detected and he was attempting to connect with the ear/nose/throat specialist who ordered my MRI. Hearing this, I was in shock. He did not elaborate. I didn't tell my wife for two days as I wanted to delicately get the timing right, if that's even possible. Once I informed her, we assumed the worst thinking this tumour was cancerous and would lead to my demise. The following four days prior to seeing the specialist were terrible, but it did bring my wife and I closer together. I've since learned this type of tumour is being detected much more often and is not the concern I initially thought it was. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/brain-tumor/vestibular-schwannoma
My brain tumour disclosure.
Thank you to everyone for the kind and supportive well wishes. I very much appreciate every one of them. I'll be sure to keep adding updates here as I await a phone call from the neurosurgeon to discuss when the surgery is to take place. In the meantime, I may as well keep busy and implement David Chilton's proven book marketing strategies.
A passionate advocate for the Death Awareness Movement.