Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
We had a good visit w/ the head nurse and one of the doctor team members who will be
doing the gamma knife procedure on the remaining part of the meningioma (growth)
that is remaining in my head and the growth that is on my left IAC (Inner Auditory
Canal). The lead doctor was not in the office, so we were not able to meet her
today. The two we met were very nice and helpful - very willing to answer questions
and explain the procedure. I can see why these consultations ahead of the surgery
are necessary, but I wish I had understood from the beginning what this appointment
It will probsbly be at least a couple of weeks before the radiation can be
scheduled. Several people will be a part of the team, so they have to schedule the
radiation around their availability. The DR said that on the day of the radiation,
we'll get started very early (5-6 am). First thing they'll do is fasten my head
inside a metal frame. Then I'll have an very detailed MRI. After that the medical
team will meet to map out the procedure. Each treatment is specifically designed
for that particular patient. For some, the radiation is fairly quick, but, from the
way Dr. White talked earlier and from what the DR today said, it will be several
hours. They may even take me out of the machine and let me sit up. Not sure how
that will work! I think the purpose will be to let me change positions, but, more
importantly, to allow time for the doctors to map out the next part of their plan as
they move to another area.
I will not be under a general anesthesia. They will provide local anesthesia to the
areas of my head where the frame will be attached. They said I will not even feel
this part, which will be done by my neurosurgeon, Dr. White. After that and the
MRI, I will be given something during the radiation to help me relax and I will
probably sleep during most of the radiation. The RN & DR were both very reassuring
about the gamma knife radiation treatment and said it will not be a difficult,
Sorry I did not get this to you sooner. I rested some when I got home. We'll let
you know when we hear about a date.
Love you all,
Friday, January 9, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
TO: Members of S.O.S. www.supportoursam.com
It is so good to write to you!!
Following the successful removal of the large tumor from back of my head, I have developed a new appreciation for the fact that I can say, "Good to see you . . . talk to you . . . be with you, etc." But, now, there is a special joy in being able to write to you, as a large number of people I have never met, yet you have been so amazingly caring, thoughtful, and generous. I know this is the result of your knowing one or both of my sons-in-law, Joshua Bingaman and Mauricio Cremer. Jenny and I are very blessed to have these men and a third man, Dan Gridley (here in OKC), as members of our family. I believe you can see from their writings that they are not just "sons" by the legal terms of marriage, they are "sons" in honor, integrity, love, respect, and comfort. The giving of themselves, along with my wonderful daughters, during my hospital stay and home recovery has been a truly remarkable picture of how people can provide comfort, protection, and encouragement to someone in need. Out of your relationship with them, you have chosen to graciously and generously give to me your thoughts, prayers and financial gifts. I am humbled and my heart is filled with gratitude by your participation through S.O.S.
I came home from the hospital on Monday, 12/22, one week after surgery, which was amazing in itself. I hope you have read the previous update by Joshua on the surgery, so I won't bother with going over that. We truly rejoice over the fact that there were no major repercussions from the presence and removal of the tumors, especially given the size of the growths. Healing of the incision has gone well. Staples were placed in the back of my head down to my neck to close the incision and they were removed last Tuesday, 12/30. There is still some swelling in the area of the incision, but nothing to unduly concern the Dr. Overall the medical team is pleased with the surgery and the progress I've made. I have been able to come completely off the high-powered pain medication which was prescribed for use during recovery. I still have pain, especially in my neck and down to my left shoulder area, due to some muscles having to be moved during surgery. There are also some pains that come and go in my head as healing takes place, but these can now be taken care of through over the counter meds. I am very thankful for this.
Since I have never been through surgery before, I had not anticipated some of the breathing, swallowing, digestion, and sleeping problems which I have encountered. This made my first week at home a little difficult at times. But, thankfully, these are no longer issues of concern.
Other than wait for my body to heal itself through God's miraculous design and healing presence, the next step will be radiation for the remaining 2% of the large area of growth near the top of the spinal column and the growth located on my left auditory canal, which is fairly large and has caused considerable hearing loss in my left area. We thought this radiation would be later in January, but they it scheduled on Friday, January 9. I will very much appreciate your thoughts and prayers on this day.
Well, I must close. Jenny and I are truly overwhelmed by your support. The presence of a God who is always faithful and the knowledge of a crowd of people like you who have simply made the choice to enter our world is a truly awesome thing. Every day I think of you and thank God for you all.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,