My journey so far…

…step 1 is complete. 

Pre-Surgical Markers

Surgery is now complete. It has been a few days now. 5 days total so far, including day of surgery, 2 days in a Neurological ICU, and2 days in an Osteo-Surgery Medical Recovery Floor.  Thus far, my recovery is going quite well. I woke up the same day. Surgery took about 5 hours, plus recovery time. 

  • My first day, actually 2 days since surgery didn’t start until around 11:30Am, just consisted of 
  • me not coding in the Surgical Recovery Roomand
  • make sure I woke up

Incision

So now that I’ve passed those 3 conditions, I am basically up and about. My pain is very minimal, and seems only to occur at night as I lay down. 

As far as my current status, I do have some cognitive/memory issues along with minor hand tremors. The memory issues are improving daily. The hand tremors are likely due to side effects of medication.  Those should clear up as I continue to recover and, hopefully, get released today. 

-Rob

My tumor

appears to be  a Glioma. This type of tumor is made up of glue like cells that hold the brain in place. My tumor appears to be a somewhat fast growing Glioma type of tumor. This is what my sister’s friend’s Neurologist said it looked like to him. The results of the MRI-Spec also seem to confirm that. There is high CLO level whtu-tvrde-mozdanich is cell parts left over from cell replication. There are high lipids, which is indicative of cell death, due to the tumor out growing its blood supply. The MRI-Spec also showed areas of decreased brain function and necrosis(Cell Death). While 80% of Gliomas are metastatic, there are many sub types of Gliomas. The are classified by cell type, by cell grade I (least advanced disease—best prognosis) to IV (most advanced disease—worst prognosis), and location within the brain. A Glioma is not necessarily a death sentence.

The location of my tumor is supratentorial, that is, above the tentorium  that divides the upper brain from the lower brain. It is also  in the left frontal lobe of the  Cerebrum. It is actually very close to my skull. This should make craineotomy/craniotomy easier.

All of that negativity is offset by the fact that, until the tumor is actually removed and a tissue sample is sent to a pathologist, or the Neurosurgeon may diagnose it on the spot,  one cannot be sure of any of the above. There are so many highly technical aspects to imaging, and reading images, that it boggles the mind.So I am keeping an open mind, or at leastgliomy-1 trying to. I often sleep 14-16 hours a day now due mostly to my medication, and to be honest, depression due to not working anymore,the unknown aspects of this, and the waiting, and waiting, and waiting..  I know that a lot of people are praying for me, that and the power of positive thinking have a strong influence also. Your state of mind is critical to fighting cancer. Other than my tumor, I am basically healthy and that goes a long way towards your recovery.If this turns out to in fact be a Glioma tumor, I will likely die from it. The question is how long….about 50% of people diagnosed with this are dead within 3 years. But others, depending on they type of tumor, can live up to 15-16 year. So I am preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best!

Here is a craniotomy, not for the faint of heart……

The rest of the tests….

November 7th was another long day in Henderson. This time at Steinberg Diagnostics for a MRI with an with out contrast, and a MRI-Spec. The staff there were great. The whole thing only took about an hour and a half. I did ask for a cd-rom of the images, to see for myself, where this tumor is. It took a while to find it,

Tumor
My Tumor

and not being a Neurologist, Neurosurgeon, let alone a doctor, it took a while for me to locate what I “think” is my tumor. It was a complicated process figuring out how to manipulate the three sets of images contained in the cd-rom. There is a viewer that comes on the disc that allows you to view the images many different ways, all the time seemingly linked together so that as you scroll up or down on one image, it changes 2016-11-07-3that image all the while cutting through a different image in a coordinated fashion. As I moved through the one image on top, which is a frontal view, it automatically moved through the second image, which is a top down view, thus showing a sort of 3-D image of the brain and tumor. This is actually an over simplified description of what was going on but it gives you the basic idea of how it worked. It took quite a while to figure out what I was looking at and looking for. Although in the top image the tumor appears on the left side, on the second image, it appears on the right side of my brain. It took a while to finally figure out that the second image is shown with my 2016-11-07-1feet towards you, and my head away from you. Therefore the right side is actually my left side. At first this caused me to dismiss these images, but I could find nothing else that looked remotely like a tumor. The 3rd image shows the tumor from the side view. All told, there were 572 images taken in 3 different MRI studies that day.Many of the images seem to be irrelevant, at least to me. This last image shows the 2016-11-07image viewer and how it interacts with other linked images from the series.But for the tumor, it was a fascinating tour through my brain. It proves wrong all the people that ever said I didn’t have one:) So far, since being put on Keppra 500mg BID(Twice a day), I have been seizure free. There have been two apparent side affects from this new medication. One being that It is making me very tired, although that seems to be getting less and less. The second one though, and its not listed anywhere that I can find, is that, as many men my age have a harder time urinating, now it flows like Niaggra Falls:)