Today is a very special day. Two years ago it was the first of a string of the scariest days of my life. But now I celebrate it for all that it means and for all the fabulous things that have happened since that day. So much has happened in two years that I still can't believe that's all it has been. And if it wasn't for this day two years ago it may not have all happened and all the wonderful things to come may not have happened either.So in honor of today here is my blog post talking about it from July 6, 2007
*I figure if I don't keep people updated on this, I may end up with my butt kicked.
If you read my last blog, some of this will be a little bit of a repeat, so I apologize.
As I mentioned before, in one of my physical therapy appointments, one of the therapists, saw the reaction of my eye, and suggested an inner ear problem. She sent me on to an ENT. I saw him for the first time 2 weeks ago. The reactions I had to the various tests he performed did not lead him to feeling it was an inner ear problem, but more likely neurological (brain) problem. So he ordered an MRI/MRA (the MRA is where they stop the MRI for a bit and give me a shot of dye. The dye shows them possible abnormalities (I think that's the word I'm looking for)). He also ordered a hearing test to just double check things.
I had the MRI done last week, and the ear test and got the MRI results yesterday. The hearing test is normal! So when I tell everyone to turn it down, or say what when I don't hear, I'm not having problems.
The results from the MRI were not quite as happy.
My eye problem is neurological. Wow even typing how to inform people of this is hard. How do I make it easy on you? Guess I take my doc's approach. Get it out. I have a benign tumor on the left of my Cerebellum. The key word there to be thankful for is benign-non cancerous!!! It also is thankfully a moderate size. Where it is located, it is putting pressure on an area that controls skills of my left side. This explains my problems with my left eye moving, and why I have become clumsy in the past few years, stumbling towards my left side, and so on. Some tests of my skills were quite comical. I can't describe them all, but there is no way I could pass a sobriety test hehe. It is not currently possible for me to walk heal to toe without stumbling or even falling.
Anyway, my ENT got me referred and into a neurosurgeon yesterday. Thankfully the ENT's assistant was right. He really is one of the best.
Ok, now a little bit of a description on the tumor: Best way to describe it is like my mom said, it's a "birth defect" that often doesn't show up till later in life. When my brain was developing as I was a fetus, some of the blood vessels got twisted. These vessels have now created a mass that is putting pressure on my brain.
This mass is going to have to be removed. They don't think much blood is flowing through it right now since I have no signs of past bleeding out. But if it is not removed it could do this and cause me more problems down the road.
The doctor thankfully doesn't want to put it off. Not due to any life threats, but so I don't sit worrying for a long time. For this I am thankful. I've never had surgery before. But heck why not take it like everything else and make my first time a big one.
So the surgery is going to be in about 2 weeks. I have to have some other tests done first. I will have anagiagram to make sure there isn't much blood currently flowing through the mass. And I will have another MRI done. The other one wasn't clear enough for him to use to make out his plan on performing the surgery.
The surgery is going to take approximately 6 hours. This is not due to how long it will take him to cut it out, but how long it will take to cut and to use all the various machines for them to see. One will help him with seeing exactly where he is going, better than just using a scope. And after they have removed it, they will place me in another MRI to make sure they get it all, so they don't have to perform another surgery down the road. The MRI will take a while because they will not close me up when they put me in, so they will have to cover the area and keep it all sterile.
How they will get to the mass: The location of it will have them going through my Cerebellum to get to it. They will be able to go through folds though causing very little damage to brain tissue.
Like all surgeries, there is some threat on your life, but it is a small threat even though they are operating on my brain. The worst possible results would be some damage that causes my current symptoms to be worse. The removal of the tumor out weighs the leaving of it greatly.
So what I need from my readers: Not a bunch of sympathy and pity. This is all still quite shocking to me. Yesterday was very emotional for me and my husband . (I went to the ENT on my own thinking results would be good. So my husband was quite upset to have not been with me. He did come home and was with me at the neurosurgeon). I want to try and continue things right now normally. Much to my husbands protests, I sent him on to work today. I actually wanted to be at the gym right now, but felt the need to get this all down. I will tell you, this news truly does change how you look at the world and life. This is why I want to proceed normally. This change on how I look at things is a bit disturbing. I didn't appreciate my life as much as I should, and I want to do that now. And I want to do that by doing my normal stuff. So please don't send comments. Especially ones that say: Oh my gosh Toby, I'm so sorry!
I would merely appreciate prayers and to know (without you having to say) that I can call on you if I need some help taking care of my family during and after the surgery. If all goes well I will only be in the hospital 4 to 5 days. Only is his word. For having never been in a hospital more than a few hours, 4 or 5 days is forever to me.
So that's it. Please don't pity or worry. I truly feel God will take care of me and do what He feels is best for me. If you have questions, feel free to ask. It may be one I don't know and need to ask myself.
Love and Blessings to you all!!
P.S. To those who talk to my brother: please don't bombard him about this either. I prefer him to be allowed to talk about it with who he chooses to. He has his own stuff going on, and I don't want him sitting thinking about all of this any more than he has to. Please, please, PLEASE respect this request!!! If you HAVE to choose only one to respect, make it this one!!*
Today 7/5/09: My advice to you. Be thankful for each day you have even the scary ones. That day really is the beginning of the rest of your life!This changed how I look at everything around me and I truly worry less and am more thankful for each day and all that is around me!God Bless you all as he has me!