I have some bad news to share. In my last post, I wrote about feeling vey fatigued. I had also been struggling with some headaches. To be safe, I had an MRI on Sunday and unfortunately, the results were not what we had hoped for. The scan showed that a mass was growing on the right side of my brain. I was told to go directly to the hospital and that I would likely need to have brain surgery. It looks like the cancer has returned. I know this sounds like catastrophic, bad news. And, yes, it is horrible, but there are some good things – the tumour appears to be contained to one spot (on my right side), and it isn’t affecting my speech or vision and the operation is unlikely to disrupt these things in any long-term way, which is great. The fact that it is one, localized tumor, as opposed to many small ones, also makes the chances of a successful surgery much better. The neurosurgeons here are excellent and do this procedure often. The fact that it is operable is very good. And the fact that it is being treated quickly is also very good. The doctors have told us that many people recover well from this procedure and go on to live long, healthy lives. This is our hope.
To manage expectations, I want to say that the surgeon expects that they will be able to remove a large majority of the tumor but because of its location, they may need to leave some (so as not to cause damage). The rest will be treated by radiation, which is very effective and could shrink it to nonexistence. (It is so effective that they call if radio-surgery.)
I am at the hospital now and will likely be having surgery today. We don’t know the exact time yet, but they are saying around mid-day, and it will likely last about 3 – 4 hours, but could be longer. Everything is happening very quickly. It seems I was premature in titling my last post, “after cancer,” as it appears that I was only “between cancers.”
A while ago, someone asked me what advice I would give to someone newly diagnosed with breast cancer, and I had a hard time answering. I thought about it for a while and decided that I would say, “It is going to be hard, but you will learn that you are stronger and more loved than you could ever know.” So, I am taking my own advice to heart. And friends, let me say this, “I feel strong, and loved, and I am ready to fight!”
And, I know I’ve posted this photo of Nate before, but it seems pretty perfect for the moment:
Friends, we are staying positive, so please stay positive with us. I love you.
We will try to update people when we can.