February 9, 2006
To my family and friends:
I met with my neurosurgeon today about the results of the MRI done last week week. By way of background, its been six months since the brain surgery to remove the large meningioma which caused the seizure and airplane crash on June 30.
The MRI report contains both good news and bad news.
The good news is that the original tumor on the left side of my brain is gone and shows no signs of regrowth (although the excavation left behind by the neurosurgeon is impressively large).
The bad news is that I have another tumor growing on the right side, not far from the first tumor. Its classified as "small" (0.7 cm), whereas the first tumor was roughly 4 cm.
Surgery to remove this newest tumor is now scheduled for Wednesday, April 19.
I can't say I'm totally surprised: in the recovery room just after the surgery on August 2, I was told that a second, very small tumor showed up on the MRI taken that morning to plot the exact location and depths for surgery. At the time (and for the last six months) I was preoccupied with more pressing matters, like recovering from the paralysis of the right arm and leg following surgery. It turns out that that small tumor has not grown at all in the past six months, and that the tumor to be removed in April is new and growing at an above-average rate.
My perspective on this latest development is as follows:
I'm inclined to view this parade of brain tumors as a chronic problem that can (and will) be treated through regular monitoring and intervention.
I'm grateful that my health is otherwise excellent and I've been able to resume virtually all of the physical activities that I did before the crash.
I feel that I've passed the toughest stage of post-traumatic stress arising from the crash and surgery, since the first tumor was located near the motor and sensory centers of the brain; whereas the newest tumors are near areas of insignificance.