The Brain Drain: Post-Op Edition

Hello from the other side of brain surgery. I seem to have made it through successfully. As usual, my surgeon was fantastic, the nursing staff was great, and I received excellent care. I could have done without all the noise in Yale’s Neuroscience ICU, but the constant beeping was the least of my worries.

IMG_6380As for the crainiotomy itself, the procedure went according to plan. The MRI was done in the OR, an incision was made, bone was cut, tumor scooped for biopsy, bone screwed back on, and incision closed with mighty wicked looking sutures. My final post op look is Peaky Blinders meets Frankenstein (see right).

And now for some unfortunate news. The final verdict on the biopsy – it was tumor, not tissue necrosis. That makes all the spots that we didn’t biopsy last week highly suspicious for tumor as well. So what’s the next step? I can’t let the tumor grow unstopped, but gamma knife at the same dose level that I had previously (twice) may provoke it to do just that (or cause major necrosis problems). And because of the number of potential tumors and their spread throughout the brain, we can’t just scoop them all out without causing major quality of life issues. More whole brain radiation is also out of the question completely as it seems to have been the instigator for this latest, quick round of tumor growth.

So we’re going with door #4 – another gamma knife session at what they call a lower fractionation rate (which is just a more gentle dose of radiation that will hopefully control spots and symptoms). I’ll be going in on May 17th to get it done.

I can’t say this is good news. We don’t know if it will slow down this freight train in my head or not. But at least we have an option.

We are still planning on going to London in July – 10 days and we’ll take it slow and easy to see the things we really want to see. I don’t want to have to test the British medical system (although on the other hand, I might find it fascinating to at least check out). My ultimate bucket list goal, however, is seeing both of my youngest boys graduate next year (Cas from college and Jasper from high school). All my mental and physical energies will be focused on that goal in the coming months.

Thanks again to all of you for your kind messages of support to the family and me. As I’ve mentioned before, it helps quite a bit to know that you have a cheering section on your side.

11 thoughts on “The Brain Drain: Post-Op Edition

  1. So glad to hear the surgery went well but on the other hand, so sorry to hear the outcome could have been better. You are the strongest person I know. I only wish I had half the strength you have!! You are on my prayers daily!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Damn, sorry for the crappy news. Come on #4! You’re going to be there to see those boys graduate, I just know it! Love you to the moon and back, sweet friend. Prayers snd happy thoughts coming your way always. Miss you! Xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It wasn’t the news any of us wanted to hear. As usual you are in your usual good humor mod that always knocks that cancer for a loop. I am so happy that you and Tim are going to London and seeing the sights. Because of your amazing positive attitude–I know that you will get to see Cas and Jasper graduate next year—and I will setting on one side of you and your Dad will be holding your hand–well I may be seeing next to Tim because I know that your Mother will be setting next to you. You will have all the loving support this entire family can give because we all love you so very much. Nora

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You are one of the few superhumans walking this planet that can put up this kind of fight. I can’t begin to understand the emotional and physical strength and stamina you are deploying, but we’re in awe and remain at your back. love and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi there,
    Glad the op went well! And wishing you the very best of results with the Gamma. Sending big hugs and love💕😻💕from Ottawa, Canada. I am Stage 4er as well.

    Liked by 1 person

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