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.
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.