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

Today I went to Moffitt with Mike and my Mom, Betty, and saw my brain surgeon/neurologist, Dr. Etamé.  We looked through the MRI information with Dr. Etamé.  He always explains his research and findings quite specific in an open, understanding manner.  So, generally speaking, the leftovers in my brain have diminished since our last visit and MRI three months ago.

Overall, it’s looking good in there!

Me with Dr Etamé

At the recent visit to see Dr. Etame, I finally remembered to ask him about what that song he was playing before the full operation.  I remember this song because he did an awake operation.  There are certainly some things and parts of the surgery I remember, but not all of it.  When he was at the start, waiting for something to be delivered to the room, I heard him singing along to the song below.  I had never heard it before, but I could feel the positivity coming in.  He also helped him to focus, I believe.  So, here is the “Burning Train” song with Teri Hai Zameen.

(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.