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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Update - MEDICAL

In two days I follow up with the Ear, Nose & Throat surgeon, and next week I follow up with the neurosurgeon, who will likely order another MRI. My hormone levels will be re-tested in six weeks and my dosages will be adjusted accordingly.

In a nutshell, here is where I stand today:

THE GOOD—No signs of “major” setbacks following brain surgery. No infection, no fever, no blood clots, no spinal fluid pouring out my nose. My hormonal shortages can be replaced. My vision is about 90% back and all my limbs are still attached. Also, I’m not a professional golfer with P.R. trouble and a lot of splainin’ to do to my wife.

-Headaches persist (in some ways getting worse), and they are not supposed to have gone on this long.

-The top of my scalp is once again “tingly” as it was before each of the positive MRIs.

-The ringing in my ears is once again constant as it was before each of the positive MRIs

-My vision—though greatly improved—is now quirky and unreliable: paragraphs pop unexpectedly when I read. I worry that my optic nerves have been damaged permanently.

-I’ve had strange bloody discharges from my right nostril, the point of entry for the surgery.

-I’m not good enough at golf to do it professionally. If I could, that would be awesome.

MY PREDICTION—The follow-up with the ENT won’t tell me much, but I might get an answer about the strange bloody noses. Next week the neurosurgeon will order an MRI to see why some of these symptoms are returning. I know what to look for in the scans, and by now I know BIG WHITE SPOT = BAD. But perhaps it is nothing. With the rarity of my tumor, there is little to compare it to.

I have done plenty of reading, and it is unthinkable the tumor—a benign one at that—could return a third time so quickly. Then again when it returned the second time no one predicted that either. Let it be known I can feel inside my head something is not right. My intuition is that simple. Yet from a medical point of view, the excision of the tumor walls (not done the first time) would preclude so quick a return. Yet my feeling persists, and when I get one of these sensations I am rarely wrong.

The liberating thing is there is not anything I can do in the meantime, so I enjoy every day as it comes. I have had plenty of time to be philosophical the past two months, and in a lot of ways life seems simpler than it did before. I didn’t choose my brain tumor, so I’m not depressed. I count my blessings, and I have many. In life, we either have circumstances thrust upon us (which we cannot control) or we have choices (which we can control). I have beaten myself up and learned from bad choices—and I have made a few notable ones—but I won’t expend energy worrying about things I can’t control. Life is too beautiful to waste time crying about circumstances you didn’t create.

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