Dad and I made it to Houston safely yesterday and spent the day in appointments to prepare for tomorrow’s surgery/biopsy. I met first thing with Dr. Weinberg. The first step was to get a new set of lifesavers on my head (see above). It was a bit of deja vu having them added again. And I’m wishing I had them on for Halloween as it seems like everyone loves to sit and stare! Anyway, we reviewed the risks of surgery, and I got more information on how they would approach the tumor from the top of my head to ensure the safest route possible. It sounds like there will be about 1 1/2 inches of incision. Once they open that they will remove a portion of my skull (a small hole) to allow room for the needle. The needle will be tunneled through to carefully avoid an artery on the outside of tumor, and an area that controls critical muscle function on the inside. Obviously it’s not without risks, but Dr. Weinberg is saying there’s only about a 5% risk of severe side effects. We finished the appointment with me signing off on those risks and moving on to anesthesia prep. I’ve been put to sleep so many times for surgery that it seems I’m a bit of an expert. After that we had a bit of time to go grab lunch and hang out at the pool.
It’s now 7:00pm the night before the surgery and I’m back at M.D. Anderson for my last appointment… an MRI of my brain with the lifesavers on my head. This MRI will be part of the map they’ll use for the surgery itself. The building is almost empty right now, but we’re still having tests… 8:00am to 8:30pm. And tomorrow starts EARLY. I’m scheduled for surgery at 5:15am!!
According to Dr. Weinberg, I will be staying at 23-hour watch, so I’ll be in the hospital until Thursday (they don’t know if it will be ICU or regular room until after surgery). Assuming I’m not having any side effects from the surgery, I’ll be able to get out on Thursday, and then we’ll be returning for appointments on Friday to discuss results.
SOooo — a busy night and an early morning. I’ll keep you posted after surgery if/when I can, and will let you know the results once I hear them!
Mission burrito wishes and Amy’s ice cream dreams. Love, Casey