Archive for the ‘Brain Tumour’ Category

There are different types of Astrocytoma but I have not exactly been told what mine is.

What is it?

Astrocytomas are tumours that arise from astrocytes, astrocytes are star shaped cells that make up the “glue-like” or supportive tissue of the brain and spinal cord. While they are described as star shaped that is a basic description, if you look at images of them they basically have a central point followed by star shaped legs and then roots. It appears as though the tumours sit in the center of the astrocyte but I’m sure your consultant will be able to tell you more.

So, what types are there?

Below are descriptions of the various grades of these tumors:

  • Pilocytic Astrocytoma (also called Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma)—These are grade I astrocytomas typically stay in the area where they started and do not spread. They are considered the “most benign” (noncancerous) of all the astrocytomas. Two other, less well known grade I astrocytomas are cerebellar astrocytoma and desmoplastic infantile astrocytoma. Pilocytic Astrocytomas generally form sacs of fluid (cysts), or may be enclosed within a cyst. Although they are usually slow-growing, these tumours can become very large.
  • Diffuse Astrocytoma (also called Low-Grade or Astrocytoma Grade II) Types: Fibrillary, Gemistocytic, Protoplasmic Astrocytoma—These grade II astrocytomas tend to invade surrounding tissue and grow at a relatively slow pace. Diffuse Astrocytomas tend to contain microcysts and mucous-like fluid. They are grouped by the appearance and behavior of the cells for which they are named.
  • Anaplastic Astrocytoma—An anaplastic astrocytoma is a grade III tumour. These rare tumours require more aggressive treatment than benign pilocytic astrocytoma. Anaplastic Astrocytomas tend to have tentacle-like projections that grow into surrounding tissue, making them difficult to completely remove during surgery.
  • Astrocytoma Grade IV (also called Glioblastoma, previously named “Glioblastoma Multiforme,” “Grade IV Glioblastoma,” and “GBM”)— There are two types of astrocytoma grade IV—primary, or de novo, and secondary. Primary tumours are very aggressive and the most common form of astrocytoma grade IV. The secondary tumours are those which originate as a lower-grade tumour and evolve into a grade IV tumour. Astrocytoma Grade IV (glioblastoma) may contain cystic material, calcium deposits, blood vessels, and/or a mixed grade of cells.
  • Subependymal Giant Cell Astrocytoma—Subependymal giant cell astrocytomas are ventricular tumours associated with tuberous sclerosis.

Location 

Astrocytomas can appear in various parts of the brain and nervous system, including the cerebellum, the cerebrum, the central areas of the brain, the brainstem, and the spinal cord.

Symptoms

Headaches, seizures, memory loss, and changes in behavior are the most common early symptoms of astrocytoma. Other symptoms may occur depending on the size and location of the tumour. With my Astromcytoma being grade 2 I guess this is why I had plenty of headaches, mine was only found after having a major seizure that came on all of a sudden with no other seizures previously. My memory has always been bad so I can’t comment on that but maybe I’ve had it all my life as I’ve never had brain scans.

Cause

Like many tumour types, the exact cause of astrocytoma is not known.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on the type, size, and location of the tumour, if and how far it has spread, previous treatment received, and the patient’s overall health. Treatment methods for the various types of astrocytomas are briefly explained below.

  • Pilocytic Astrocytoma: These tumours are often removed by surgery alone. In adults and older children, radiation may follow surgery if the tumour cannot be completely removed. Or, the patient may be watched carefully for signs that the tumour has returned.
  • Diffuse Astrocytoma: If the tumour is accessible and can be completely removed, the only additional care required is follow-up scans. In adults and older children, radiation may be suggested in addition to surgery. Radiation may also be used to treat an unremovable low-grade astrocytoma. The role of chemotherapy in treating these tumours is being investigated. I my consultations I was told that chemotherapy and radiotherapy are unlikely to work.
  • Anaplastic Astrocytoma: The first step in treatment of anaplastic astrocytoma is surgery. Radiation is then used to treat the remaining tumour. Chemotherapy may be recommended immediately after radiation or when and if the tumour recurs.
  • Astrocytoma Grade IV: The first treatment step is surgery to remove as much tumor as possible. Surgery is almost always followed by radiation. Chemotherapy is often given at the same time as radiation and may be used to delay radiation in young children.

Tumour re-growth can be treated with additional surgery, another form of radiation, a different chemotherapy drug (or combination of drugs), or any number of new approaches to treatment currently in development.

With my Astrocytoma it is a wait and watch with MRI scans, 99% has been removed (debulking they call it) but it has not been followed up with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Like all tumours whether they are benign or cancerous, you never know if it’s “cured” but from my understanding in any of the cases you are just buying time, we all have to die I guess but some of us sooner than we’d like. If you are physically and mentally fit like me, we just carry on in the rat race with most of us doing jobs we don’t like to make our bosses happy and richer than us. Personally I would like to pack my job in and spend what time I have with my family but thats not financially viable.

I have been told I could have 5, 10, 15, or even 20 years left on this planet and I would like to hear stories of people living longer than 20 years after diagnosis. Those of you with grade 3 or 4 maybe reading this and thinking how lucky I am, I have told I am lucky, Really! none of us are lucky but some have more time than others.

It is now 26th November 2017 and I have an MRI scan on the 15th december while I won’t be updating this post, the result will be found blogs menu or in treatment section if I have bad news.

All of you who read this, I wish you all the best.

Advertisements

Classes of Brain Tumours

Posted: November 26, 2017 in Classes of Brain Tumour

There are many types of brain tumours, the most common are low grade and classed as benign, they are graded 1 to 4. The below is general information as not all cases are the same. I am not in the medical professional and can only comment on what I’ve found on the internet and my own experiences.

1 – Benign – Can be removed and may never return.

2 – Can be removed but almost always grow back and according to some sites survival rate is around 5yrs without treatment.(kind of a no brainer really 😉 ) With treatment you can expect a lot longer but nothing is certain as it all depends on your tumour.

3 – Cancer, can be removed but life expectancy low. Around 18months without treatment. With treatment you can expect longer but nothing is certain as it all depends on your tumour.

4 – Cancer, grows fast and spreads through the brain and can’t be removed. Survival without treatment is about 3 months and even with treatment not many survive past 3yrs. Again this may not always be the case and best to seek advice from a professional.

As explained in the blog, mine is a grade 2 and as 99% has been removed we have no idea on my life expectancy. People say money can’t buy you happiness but it certainly would for me, I got some time to do things I would like to do before I die!

Back to point 2, I’ve read many websites and even white papers regarding the classification of a grade 2 being cancer or not. Theory is that it is slow growing so is cancer, I’d be interested in other views or experiences so feel free to contact me.

Bear in mind that a lot of what you find is based on American studies, the UK seems to be lacking. One thing for certain is “DON’T LEAVE IT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT”, I took a year to think about what I was going to do and in that time it could have got worse and become inoperable.

My Astrocytoma

Posted: November 21, 2017 in My Astrocytoma

As you can see by the huge print on the website, I have an Astrocytoma brain tumour in my right frontal lobe near the motorstrip. I had the operation and they got 99% out, what does this mean? Simply I am not “cured” and have an uncertain future, I am on what they call the “wait and see” list of patients.

So, what is my Astrocytoma?

An astrocytoma is a type of glioma that develops from star-shaped cells (astrocytes) that support the nerve cells. These are classified a low-grade astrocytoma as a grade II tumour, there is a question on whether this is classed as cancer because it is slow growing.

Characteristics

  • Slow growing – mine was found in 2013 after having a tonic clonic seizure
  • Rarely spreads to other parts of the CNS – at present mine hasn’t either
  • Borders not well defined – mine was hard to see until cracking my skull open
  • Common among men and women in their 20s-50s – Well I was 39

Treatment

Treatment depends on the size and location of the tumor. The doctor will most likely perform a biopsy or surgery to remove the tumour. Partial resections or inoperable tumors may be treated with radiation. Recurring tumors may require additional surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. My doctor decided to go straight for the surgery as a biopsy would mean two operations and up to now (21st November 2017) I have not needed any other treatment apart from anti-seizure tablets.

Recovery First Night

Posted: November 20, 2017 in The First Night

23rd July 2014

The night after surgery was a welcoming sight, the ward was so hot because the aircon was broke.  With a window open and a slight breeze it was lovely but that was not the problem. Remember me saying your neck feels like it’s been over stretched? Well it is a major problem trying to get comfortable, no matter what position you lay in your neck aches like hell. I tried all sorts of positions with and without pillows and finally found that having the bed up about 45 degree, a pillow at lower back, a pillow at neck/head and then a rolled up towel at base of skull reduce the ache enough sleep. Great I can get some sleep!

Hell no you can’t, due to major surgery the nurses have to check your vitals every hour and once satisfied every two hours. How the hell this aids recovery I do not know! Anyway, I was quite lucky in that my vitals were fine and they actually told me they have never seen someone so calm and with normal bloody pressure matching what it was prior surgery. The trick here is explained in my decision to have surgery reasons if you remember that one.

After constant broke sleep and refusing painkillers because I didn’t need them (it was if they were trying to force you to have them, at one point I thought they were going to beg) I managed to get some sleep when they switched from 1 hour monitoring to two hour monitoring. Finally morning was breaking through and I was starving.

Continue to Recovery Day 1…

 

Recovery Day Two

Posted: September 9, 2015 in Recovery Day Two
Tags: , ,

Friday 25th July 2014

Today started off a bit more positive with the thought of I could go home. A group of doctors and nurses came around this morning looking at my notes and discussing things, asked me a few questions but still unable to talk properly I managed to answer them.

The surgeon came to see me and advised as thought it is a grade 2 Astrocytoma and they got around 99% out, recovery has gone well and asked me how I was doing.

My reply was I’m fed up of being stuck in here, most people have left the ward and it was lovelly outside again. To this he replied with I can see no problem why you can’t go home. I phoned my wife and advised she can pick me up. After a quick check over a nurse noticed I still had my heart IV line in. Removing this did make my stomach turn a little with it being quite a big line and the nurse putting pressure on which hurt adding to it.

My wife came to pick me up but I couldn’t go until after the MRI scan that has already been booked, nice communication there!

No problem at all, MRI scans don’t bother me other than I can’t stand needles and they always put a contrast die in. On this particular occasion it did not bother me though.

This is the fun bit (try not to laugh too hard), the way I deal with MRI scans is simply close my eyes and let them get on with it. This time I almost actually fell asleep in there! Being so high on drugs and head all over the place I closed my eyes, ignored the noise and felt as if i was floating. This sounds crazy but I was imagining I was floating in a space station – lol. If you know about MRI scans you will know that they take different scans and each time the noise changes. With me floating in a space station in my head, every time the noise changed a bulk head door opened and I floated in the the next section and this repeated until the scan was over.

Why a space station? I have no idea but think is what started off my weird dreams in the days to come.

After the scan was complete and moved back to the ward I was able to go home. Some nurses came around with meds, advice, support groups etc etc. You get these at every appointment so by now I was bored of them. Most of this information is about coping brain cancer, what help is available and the charities.

Ok, not much to report regarding night 2 as it was pretty much the same as night 1 but this time I slept in chair with the nurses checking on me every so often and trying to force painkillers down my neck. These were refused again as I wasn’t in pain probably due to the concoction of tablets given throughout the day, I couldn’t even tell you what these were.

Again throughout the night my stats were normal and they were considering letting me home in the morning. When you think about it, it is quite amazing (or at least it is to me, maybe it is the same for everyone?)…

23rd July 2014  –  5hr operation in morning with recovery in afternoon and night.

24th  July 2014  –  Recovery day and night

25th July 2014  –  Possibly going home in morning

See time to go home…

 

24th July 2014

Day one of recovery was a little better but not by much, constant feeling of your head being in space and body back on earth made it all feel less real.

Breakfast was fine, (infact better than at home as I never have any as i feel sick after it)cereal followed by toast and a cup of tea and never had a problem keeping it down. Now came the time of getting up and getting washed, with your head feeling 10 times larger than it is and your spacial awarness all over the place I found it hard to wash from a bowl as I was still not fit for a shower.

One of the hardest things I found was the simple brushing of teeth, every stroke of the toothbrush could be felt vibrating through my head so I didn’t bother, yep I chose dog breath instead.

The day got better as it went by and I had my parents and wife visit me giving support which puts you in a better frame of mind, and as you may know a postive frame of mind helps recovery. I chose not to have my kids visit me as I believe it would have been good to see them but I think it would have upset them to see in such a state compared to how I usually am.

After being told it is possible for patients to go home the next day after surgery I got a little excited but there was one problem, for you to go home they checked if you had bowl movements – lol. Unfortunately for me this was not happening despite being given natural laxatives so I had to stay in. I was offered a suppository which I quite happily declined as I had been probed enough!

Today 24th July 2014, I was able to walk unaided so made a few trips to the bathroom myself with the thought of a suppository as motivation. No luck so I guessed I was in for another night.

The UK is not known for hot weather but the worst thing about this day of recovery was that the aircon was broke and it was a hot day outside(around 30 degree’s celcius is good for UK), this was making inside like greenhouse and the fans just blowing warm air around. At this point I was starting to get frustrated at the whole situation and just wanted to go home.

Couldn’t have a bath as they none, couldn’t shower as I couldn’t get my wound wet, the only way to keep cool was damping myself and drinking water. Even the water was getting warm quite quick!

As dusk was approaching the temperature started dropping and sitting by an open window gave respite and comfort.

While all this was going on in my head I couldn’t help but feel guilty after hearing an old man across the ward being told he had 3 types of cancer in his brain making it inoperable, the poor man only had about 3 months left on this planet and it cast my mind back to when my grandfather had lung cancer and fought to the end despite it being terminal. The old man seemed to take news well but as with this blog you just don’t know what going on in the head. It certain puts a different perspective on things!

See recovery night 1…

24th July 2014

The night after surgery was a welcoming sight, the ward was so hot because the aircon was broke.  With a window open and a slight breeze it was lovely but that was not the problem. Remember me saying your neck feels like it’s been over stretched? Well it is a major problem trying to get comfortable, no matter what position you lay in your neck aches like hell. I tried all sorts of positions with and without pillows and finally found that having the bed up about 45 degree, a pillow at lower back, a pillow at neck/head and then a rolled up towel at base of skull reduce the ache enough sleep. Great I can get some sleep!

Hell no you can’t, due to major surgery the nurses have to check your vitals every hour and once satisfied every two hours. How the hell this aids recovery I do not know! Anyway, I was quite lucky in that my vitals were fine and they actually told me they have never seen someone so calm and with normal bloody pressure matching what it was prior surgery. The trick here is explained in my decision to have surgery reasons if you remember that one.

After constant broke sleep and refusing painkillers because I didn’t need them (it was if they were trying to force you to have them, at one point I thought they were going to beg) I managed to get some sleep when they switched from 1 hour monitoring to two hour monitoring. Finally morning was breaking through and I was starving.

Continue to Recovery Day 2…

23 July 2014

Recovery Room

After the surgery I was ushered into a recovery area with constant monitoring. Feeling a little groggy and not quite with it I did have a major issue with my neck. I guess it is the same for most people after being strapped to a bench by the head for 5 hours and the only way I can describe it is every muscle feeling over stretched and a constant ache.

The feeling in the head is pretty much only the tightness of the skin and a numbness. In my case I also had swelling at back of head and near the temples due to the clamp points breaking the skin in order to hold head down tightly. Other than this I had no further issues and you don’t feel the staples and I never even had a headache.

The Ward

2 hours after being in recovery area it was time to go to the ward with other patients with similar issue’s such as brain surgery and spinal surgery covered under Neurology. A major part of recovery is hydration which means you have to drink often, and guess what that means? Yep you need to leak so within the hour I was out of bed pulling curtains and draining into a pot and called the duty nurse. Sounds quite quick doesn’t it? well that is because it is, your head feels 10 times larger than it is and every time you stand up you can feel pressure in the head like a heartbeat. For the first few trips to the pot I shuffled along like an old man due to spacial awareness all over the place. The reason for a bottle is for checking that you are drinking enough and any abnormalities which you shouldn’t have due to it being brain surgery.

Just after an hour my wife was able to come and visit at which point I was eating dinner. Actually not bad for hospital food! The only problem with visitors coming is that pre-surgery they shove a tube down you throat and in my case I found it very hard to talk like as if you partied too hard and lost your voice the following morning.

Not long after making sure I was drinking enough and able to empty bladder I was able to go to the toilet and encourage to take walks now again around the ward. Finally able to take a trip myself (but aided by my wife) to the bathroom I took a look in the mirror and what a sight! That gown was way too loose fitting. On a serious note; the staples, iodine and dried blood ruined my good looks.

ouch

The funny thing in the mirror was a swollen scalp and a pulsating of fluid through the hole left in skull (reminded me of the film Alien). Now the tricky part was going to the toilet, being so disorientated and a pulsating in head I decided to have a sit down wee. Getting backup was another ball game, pressure in head felt bad and as you get up it feels like fluid moving from you spine to your skull.

My wife helped me back to bed and the cycle started over again.

Continues on Recovery First Night….

 

23rd July 2014

The morning came and I was first on list for 5hr surgery, I had a pre-op assessment and surprisingly the nurse said she has never seen someone so calm and blood pressure normal. Reason for this is as explained while scared of the operation, I had accepted I am a dead man walking (a bit dramatic I know)

Not long after I was dressed in my sexy gown and even sexier compression stockings (after a struggle to get them on, best way is to use the plastic bag they come in to help slide over your feet). I was wheeled of in a wheel chair and transferred to a bed and left in a waiting area while everything prepared (a final check I would imagine).

Not long after this I was wheeled off in to what I can explain as a prep area, I was made comfortable and given a mask with some sort of gas followed by an injection in wrist near the artery. Assuming what followed next general anesthetic straight in to the artery, I shouldn’t have watched but I remember a large needle going in and could see it moving upwards. Obviously no pain was felt and then my eyes were blinking really fast uncontrollably, and that was that.

Next I remember waking up staring at the ceiling strapped to a table with a team around me. My head was in a clamp but couldn’t move despite being able to move my body, at this point my skull was already cut open and surgeon was ready to start. I will stress that this is weird and uncomfortable but not painful. Your head is clamped in position to the operating table and I believe the clamp has pins that pierce the skin to hold skull in place, you don’t notice this until after surgery. In fact if you didn’t know you were having surgery it certainly doesn’t feel like you are.

When you think of a brain surgery you think of a lump growing on or in the brain, in this case it was soft and a sucking tool was to used remove it (a bit like the one used in the dentist) as well as I believe some sort of laser knife as he was cauterising areas at same time. All the while people were talking to you and electric probes were used to test reactions when probing the brain, the only sensation you will feel from this is the twitching of areas the brain controls; in my case it was left hand side of neck, arm and leg.

When they advise you it will be uncomfortable I think they meant the clamping of the head to the table and the inability to move head. This caused a lot of pressure on my neck and that was uncomfortable, bear in mind I was stuck in this position for around 5hrs.

Unfortunately they were unable to get it all out due to the effect it would have on my left hand side. The area affected was about the size of a 50 pence coin and they managed to get around 99% out. I did ask if he had some father beans and a nice chianti (if you don’t know what this means then watch Silence of the Lambs), I guess this is not the first time he has heard it.

The next step is putting humpty dumpty back together again, this was quite uncomfortable too. At first the bone flap is positioned with what I can only guess is the clamp that was used to take it off. Not sure if it is the same for everyone but in my case it felt like it was being rammed into place, there was a lot of pulling and shoving and sensation of bone against bone grinding. Once in place four small titanium plates were put in place and screwed in with titanium screws, this was slightly uncomfortable and you could feel the pressure increase on the neck with every down stroke twist. After it was screwed in, some sort of spray was used to seal the cracks where it was joined. The next step was to put the skin flap back, this is a weird sensation as there is no pain but a lot of tugging and pushing like trying to fit a cushion in a slightly smaller cushion cover. Once in place it is held with staples, staples are not like I was expecting; it was a slow process but gentle and you can’t feel anything but can hear a kind of squeezing noise. Once all done a plastic type spray was used to further seal it and instead of using a typical dressing.

Hope this wasn’t too gruesome for you!!

Click the link below for next blog.

Next is recovery in recovery post.

The start of a tumourous story

A saying I heard once “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” made me ponder why we bother with the rat race in the pursuit of success forsaking the small things taken for granted.  This came clear in June 2013 when my life changed for ever.

In previous years I thought I had all the bad luck in the world with every corner turned a brick wall appeared to struggle over or take an alternative route.  Unlucky 13 turned out to be more than a superstition in 2013 for me and no doubt many others.

Thursday 11th April 2013 seemed to be a normal day at work with the only exception of finishing work and travelling to parent-in-laws to fix the home computer.  After having something to eat I proceeded to attempt to fix the computer when out of the blue my eyes felt funny as if they were moving to left and head trying to catch up.  Unable to do or saying anything but hearing my father in-law asking what I was looking at was quite scary although it only lasted about a minute, my head had actually turn right level with shoulder and flicking back and forth with no control.  Quite disturbing as at the time it felt like an external force was trying to break my neck.  Not long after this I felt as if I had a headache in the centre of the brain getting stronger and stronger and my eyesight going.  At this point I remember being scared and thinking this is it! Not even a good bye to my wife and kids and what about the baby? And then I became unconscious.

After five minutes it appeared that this was not the case as I came around not knowing who I was, where I was or what happened and wondering why the hell are the ambulance staff picking me up.  Rather then be left on the floor, I was moved to a more comfortable area and laid to rest on the bed while being asked questions and not able to answer them.  One question that stuck in my mind was “what day is it?”, while laughing at the question and thinking how stupid do they think I am the realism suddenly hit that I didn’t have a clue.  This didn’t last too long as my memory returned over the course of a few minutes but it did feel like an eternity.  It was explained that I had a grand mal(or tonic clonic) seizure, this meant nothing to me but thought that’s the last time I go to that chip shop!.

With no history of such events or knowledge of any events in the family I was taken for free bed n breakfast at a very large hotel full of sick people. Being kept in and monitored every two hours throughout the night barely getting any sleep made it feel like it was all a dream. Waking up Saturday morning with my wife at my side made it clear that it wasn’t. It was explained that during the seizure my muscles had locked up and it felt as if every muscle had too long a session at the gym. I had trouble walking but was released after having an EEG booked and advised it could have been caused by a number of things and must be monitored for 24 hours.

Sunday 2nd of June 2013 I took my daughter out for a walk with our camera’s and must have walked about 2 – 3 miles in total through country public pathways. When arriving back home I checked pictures on camera’s and transferred them to computer, all of a sudden I felt the feeling again and I was off for a 5 minute sleep only this time it wasn’t, while my wife was on the phone to the emergency services I started to come around and then slipped back in to another one. The only part of this I remember is being wheeled off to ambulance in a wheel chair and taken to hospital. After being kept in over night I was quickly sent for an MRI scan Monday morning, a few hours after having an MRI scan, a nice young lady drew my curtains looking a little nervous(which isn’t a good thing) and proceeded to tell me that the reason for the seizure was a lesion and started to explain what that was. If you don’t know what that is then it is basically an abnormality on or in the brain, in my case a low grade tumour on the surface of the frontal lobe (no wonder I’ve been a little quackers all my life ;)). Strangely enough this had no effect on me at the time and assuming it is the bodies defences shutting out this news. After being prescribed drugs and a plan on how and when to take them I was released, the medication didn’t seem to work at first as for the following two months I was in and out of hospital with seizures and each time was a precaution in case I had multiple seizures which can damage the brain. The lamotrigine slowly kicked in and seizures were becoming partial/focal but occurred ever two weeks with no warning, no trigger or aura. This was controlled through the use of medication eventually by a Neurologist. A concoction of Lamictal and Keppra was used with a dosage of 300mg per day of the former and 500mg a day of the latter. All of this is the easy part so far which is bad enough and yet the worst is to come. Don’t read the leaflets that comes with these as these scared me to death!!

The realism of it all didn’t seem to kick in until I had a detailed MRI scan at a better equipped hospital with a follow up meeting with a brain surgeon. Nothing can prepare you for the news that the best option is brain surgery, no family, no friends can help and I chose not to speak to other patients as all cases are different. Support groups were offered but never really chased up or encouragement to go to them, at the time I’d rather not talk about and happy to stick head in sand.

After a year of taking tablets and having scans some good news was that it hadn’t changed, so in April 2014 the decision was left with me to have surgery or not. The only responses I ever got from people was that it shouldn’t be there so have surgery, fine for those who don’t have to go through it. As you can see it took a year to get my head around it and go for surgery and I still wasn’t ready. Around June I made the decision to just go for it and roll with what happens afterwards.

It’s not rocket science!!

As previously mentioned I was left with the decision to have surgery or not after driving my wife crazy with my indecision I woke up one morning and said what the hell, advise them I want to go through surgery. Having a meeting with the brain surgeon I chose to have everything explained and nothing held back, which he did.

How you come to the decision is your battle but my thought process was…

  1. If you don’t have surgery, life expectancy could be shorter than having surgery.
  2. If you have surgery they may be able to get all of it and increase your life expectancy.
  3. If you have surgery and they don’t get it all out, life expectancy could be longer than without surgery.
  4. Risks of surgery could end you life during surgery or in recovery.
  5. If you don’t have awake surgery they may be able to get it all out but you could awaken with a disability.
  6. After surgery it could mutate and become cancerous.

No matter how you look at it or morbid this sounds but we all die and some sooner than others, basically I accepted that I am a dead man walking as you rarely (if at all) get cured of a grade 2 tumour as they almost always come back. If I died during surgery I would leave my wife and kids behind but my suffering would be gone and I wouldn’t know. If I came out disabled and depending how serious it was, I would be alive but unhappy about it and dreading the day it comes back. If all went fine but it mutated and became cancer, I will die unless there is a major break through in brain tumour cure.

While I have not looked in to it, I imagine dying from a brain tumour must be horrific as it eats your brain and disables functionality until you are just a shell of your former self. It would be interesting if a family member would explain what they went through in detail. There is a lot of information on the internet but not specifics that I could find that would help me understand.

Before surgery everything was explained but it was still scary (I don’t even like having blood tests so you can imagine how scared I was, I never let this on and even went to work the day before surgery like if it was just a holiday coming)

Back to the brain surgery, do not read further if you do not want to know in detail what it’s like.

Click this link for next blog – surgery.