Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Meeting the Neurosurgeon

Today I met with the neurosurgeon. "Yep, looks like some kind of 'glioma'" (another vocabulary word).

Definitely wants to take it out. No, a needle biopsy is not the way to go with this one. Open surgery to remove and biopsy the tumor.

I'm right-handed, which is good. The tumor is in the right temporal lobe, so removing it won't affect my speech or other things controlled by my left brain. But it may affect my memory. (Dangit! Should have kept a better journal!)

They have cool tools to help them be very precise in removing the tumor and minimizing trauma to the rest of the brain. They will do a quick screen of the tissue during surgery, and if there is evidence of malignancy they will put a chemotherapy wafer in my brain before they close it up. Chemo wafer is supposedly better than IV chemotherapy - fewer side effects.

Yes, it does appear to be primary. Yes, they rarely spread beyond the brain. But they can spread within the brain, and that can be bad. So we are hoping that doesn't happen.

Surgery is about 5-6 hours from the family's perspective (from kiss good-bye) and about 3 hours from the incision time. Recovery in the hospital is about 48 hours (first day in ICU, next day in regular bed), and then recovery at home is a couple of weeks. (Note to self: get Christmas shopping done early!!!) There is obviously a lot of pain expected, as they will be making a hole in my skull and digging stuff out of my brain.

I asked the ever-important question about my new highlights, and he said that they will need to shave a good chunk from the side of my head. But since my hair is long, I may be able to hide the spot.

Next steps: another MRI (I pretend I am in astronaut training or something), and an appointment next week to plan the surgery.


Faith said...


You know you're in my thoughts and prayers. I'm glad you started the blog; that way I won't be bugging you constantly to see how you're doing. Know that I'm always here if you want to talk or vent.

Love you!

Heather said...


Melissa shared your news with me and you (and your family) have been in our thoughts and prayers since that moment. Like Faith, I'm glad you started a blog so that I can track your progress. We'll both be fasting on Sunday for you, your family, and your surgeons!

Heather (& Steve)

Becka said...

I wanted you to know that I read your latest update and that you are in our thoughts. I know that we are far away but please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Love you,

FryerThighs_69CentsPerLb_Yikes said...


Thanks for keeping me informed. You are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. Keep that positive outlook and sense of humor.



Elaine said...


You will be in our constant prayers. I wish I could hug you.

Elaine (once-upon-a-time member of 2ofus4now)