Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tomorrow's the Day

It's been a busy week. Besides finishing up work I also had to take my car to the shop (small fender bender), attend a memorial for one of my favorite patients, have my Lasik surgery follow up - which required a second follow up for a small fiber under my corneal flap to be removed (eww), and see my primary and have blood work, an EKG & a chest xray. I've also had to figure out insurance, FMLA and short term disability...which I'm still working on. The week concluded with a 7 am MRI this morning to get all the pre-op "brain mapping" done. I also squeezed in as many visits with friends as possible. I'm exhausted!

Surgery is scheduled for "first case" tomorrow morning which means we have to leave Virginia at 4:30 to get there by 5:30. I have a 7:30 start time. My last surgery was somewhere in the ballpark of 5-6 hours long. Katie will try to post an update on Facebook when it's over. Right now we are planning on a one night stay in the ICU, one night on the step down and then discharge - that's how it went last time so I'm hoping it's the same this time around.

Out to brunch after my early MRI, stuffed french toast!
Wearing the "fidicules" that help with the brain mapping. They stay on until surgery.

Thank you to everyone who has called/emailed/texted/facebook messaged prayers, well wishes and good vibes. I don't think I've gotten around to responding to everyone but I appreciate them all! Special thank you to Betsy who joined me for the car ride to that 7am MRI, really appreciated the company!

I'm off to bed now, early morning tomorrow!
Check back in at the end of the week for a new update.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Well now that my hair's grown back...

It's been a rather uneventful, quiet and HOT summer around here. Unfortunately it just got interesting. I had a routine MRI two weeks ago and it showed new growth of my tumor. The new tumor is just to the left of where my previous tumor was which means it's likely grown back from some of the tumor cells left behind previously (surgeon's can't get them ALL out). This new tumor turned up in about a four month time frame too since it was not noticible on my last scan in February.

It's not enterierly unexpected, this is why I get MRI's so frequently. However my doctors originally predicted 10-20 years before regrowth, not 20 months, so a little surprise there. I've had mild headaches but nothing even close to what I had previously, and no other symptoms. It was caught early and is only about 1/5th the size of my original tumor.

Original Tumor - November 2011

Last clear MRI - February 2013

New Tumor - July 2013
So what now? My surgeon doesn't want to wait very long. I will have it removed THIS Monday July 29th. I will follow up with him a few weeks after and will most likely have some kind of additional treatments. Both radiation & chemo were mentioned. Nothing will be final until they have seen the tumor. My surgeon did say though that now is the time to be aggressive. We did the "watch and wait" approach and this thing has decided it wants to stick around so now we have to hit it harder.

Once again I will stay in Virginia for a week or two post-op until I get my staples out and have my follow-up. Then I will head home to Massachusetts (at least I'll be out of this heat!). What happens after that will be up to my doctors to decide, depending on what kind of additional treatment they want to do - I may do part or all of that in Boston. I do have a trip planned for the end of August to spend a long weekend in Chicago with a friend I haven't seen in a very long time, so as long as I am able to stand on two feet (which I don't anticipate any issues with) I am planning on going on that trip.

I'll try to keep this updated with my progress, but give it a few days after surgery :-) If you're friends with me on facebook you might get more info there for the first week.

Now to do some fun summer hat shopping because my poor scalp won't know what hit it with this sun!