And it’s cancer, probably. It’s been a tough few days for my family. On Friday, I went in for an MRI after dealing with sinus headaches and some dizziness over the last few months. Doc calls me on the way back from the appointment and tells me I have a brain tumor. Seriously? I’m 32, have little kids, this can’t be happening.
Friday night, my wife goes into labor. She’s only a few days away from her due date but I’m sure the news 8 hours earlier triggered it. So, now I have a daughter, which is nothing but awesome, but I can’t help thinking about her future and mine, and how much they’ll overlap.
Today is Monday. I met with Dr. Rostomily at UW who specializes in base of the skull tumors. I know more now, but still not enough. I have to undergo a series of tests over the next week to fully evaluate what I’ve got. In 2 weeks, I’ll have surgery. It’ll be a 12 hour surgery, I’ll stay in the hospital for a week and then I’ll get radiation treatment after.
I’ve shared the news with some people but not everyone. It’s a strange thing anyway – “hey, check out photos of my gorgeous daughter and by the way, I have brain cancer.” Every conversation is emotionally draining for me. Sadness in their voices, questions I don’t know the answers to, awkward silences – it’s a little too much sometimes. So, to my friends and family I haven’t talked to, sincerely sorry but this is what you’re gonna get. I’ll give as much info as I know here…
Most common question “are you going to live?” If it’s at all beatable, I’ll beat it. At this point, it looks like it is, but they’re still doing more tests. I have a spinal MRI, ecco and a slew of other tests this week. And I likely have to do an angioplasty. I have a vague recollection of what that is from one of those doctor shows, but I haven’t looked it up b/c I may not have to do it and I feel like it’s probably going to suck.
The tumor is an ependymoma. I have my MRI scans where you can see it. I naively asked for the images thinking it would be cool before I knew what was in them – in retrospect, not as cool when you have a life threatening tumor you can see. It’s 4cm on the longest side, so a couple of inches. It’s a big tumor, but it’s not growing in my brain matter, it’s growing in some empty space near my cerebellum. If it grows more, I could lose my hearing, facial muscle control, balance (like I can’t walk anymore), or I could get hydrocephalus. Right now the tumor isn’t cutting off any of my CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) which is what could cause hydrocephalus.
Thanks for all the texts, positive thoughts and prayers.