Me & Dr Etame

Me & Dr Etame

The visit with my brain surgeon, Dr. Etame at Moffitt, was excellent today! MRI shows that flair has diminished greatly since the last visit in September. This should continue to decrease and heal in my brain!  He also reviewed how he carefully conducted his surgery to avoid any blood vessels in my brain and take out as much as he could while he continued to chat with me (Yes, I was “awake!”).  He is also allowing me to cut back my Keppra medicine, so those undereye circles should hopefully diminish.

Here is a pic below from my visit two days ago for the MRI at the Moffitt spot a tad closer to home.  Gwen Bowden did a ton of pictures of my brain two days ago.  She did a great job to help the doctors see details of what is going on in there. It was also really nice to read the MRI report by another doctor that says, “In comparison to prior examination, there are stable surgical treatment changes left temporal craniotomy and corticectomy. There is stable non-enhancing oligodendroglioma in the left insular, frontal, and temporal opercular cortex as well as in the mesial left temporal lobe. There is no MRI evidence of interval tumor growth or angiogenesis.  Remainder of brain is stable. No new findings are identified.”

Me & Gwen Bowden

Me & Gwen Bowden

On today last year, I started the day with my daily walk around my neighborhood pond during the sunrise view (see on the right).  Next, shower and get ready for work.  I would be a tad late, because we had the exciting new dish washer installed.  Once complete, I then went to work. The Olympics would open that evening, and I was sooooo excited to watch while cleaning dishes in the new dish washer – lol!

 

That afternoon, I had another usual anxiety attack, but this time right in front of my manager, Jackie W. I was very embarrassed that this had happened at work.  She knew immediately it was a seizure and (THANK YOU!) took me to the local emergency room for an examination. When I think back, my anxiousness had become stronger and more frequent.  I just thought I should go find a therapist, and I would be OK.  But at the ER, my husband, Mike A, and I found out after an MRI that I had a brain tumor.

While I was very scared, it made me know there was a reason for those seizures and we would get them out of me!  I stayed in the hospital a few days (and watched the Olympics!).  The doctors and nurses there treated me so well.  There was even a great view of Clearwater Beach from there.  While we initially thought I would get my tumor removed as soon as possible, we decided to go get some other opinions to ensure we had the right neurosurgeon for me.

 

Here I am today; even though still tired at times and healing still in the works, I appreciate every day!! Yes, the unicorn can show that dreams can come true!!

 

Feeling drugged after the operation.  But not bad overall!  And so glad the Olympics are on TV to watch!

Here are some pictures of me in my room at the hospital:

(Yes, adding this afterward…)  Day of my surgery.  Here’s what the surgeons and hospital call it: Awake left temporal stereotactic craniotomy with tractography for resection of temporal insular glioma.

The operation ended up taking about 12 hours I’ve been told.  I know it was hard for my husband and my mom to wait in a small room for all that time.  I certainly remember arriving at Moffitt early in the morning – still dark! I was quickly hooked up to a lot of meds with needles.  And it did relax me a lot!  I was then sent into the operation room, not very far away.  I remember some chatting between all the people operating throughout the surgery.  I guess Dr. Etame asked me questions before continuing, but I don’t remember that.  I remember hearing some music he played before commencing on the surgery.  I also remember asking for pain meds a few times when the staples were being added to my skull.  That did hurt a lot!

Next thing I know, I was sent to the “wake up” area, where a nurse stopped by frequently asking me questions.  Once I was more fully awake, I was brought to my room.  My husband and mother showed up not too long after that.  They stayed for a half hour, and I was given some more drugs to sleep well that night.