Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Surgery Update

Not sure how to explain this without being very graphic. Last week on Tuesday, 4/21, I had a craniotomy; this means the neurosurgeon opened a hole in my skull in the right temple area to reach the tumor that was compressing the optic nerve and causing some peripheral vision loss.
When you think of peripheral vision being impaired, you don't immediately think they will have to open your skull and move your brain out of the way to fix the problem. But basically, that's what they did. The sort of tumor I have is fairly common and usually non-cancerous; it's called a Meningioma. It was just in a bad spot where there wasn't much room for it to exist. This is my second time around, having had the exact same surgery in 2008. This time the neurosurgeon removed more bone above the optic nerve to give it room. He wasn't able to remove any more tumor or scar tissue under the nerve because the nerve itself was too fragile and could have been destroyed by further manipulation. I am able to see, but it will probably take a visual field test to determine if I have any loss in my peripheral vision.
Yes, I'm on some very good meds, so no, it doesn't hurt. Mostly my head is numb. Mostly I'm really doing good. Mostly I'm amazed by medicine and what we're capable of doing to the human body.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Woo hoo I can open my eye!
No, it doesn't hurt, but it sure looks gross.

And I have a zipper on my head.

Hope you're having a great week!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Free-for-All

Hangin' out at Caribou with Donna G. 
I'm going on vacation soon.

Not a real vacation, mind you.

Not even a sta-cation.

But I will be absent and away from home for a few days, and then I'll be house-bound for a while.

I'm having surgery on Tuesday to remove a very small Meningioma that sits at the base of the optic nerve canal. The tumor is small, but it is causing me to lose some of the vision in my right eye.

I've had this done once before, in 2008. Different surgeon. Same hospital. Could be the same tumor as far as I know. This type of tumor is usually benign and slow-growing. It's actually compressing the optic nerve and is affecting my peripheral vision on the right side. I don't see cars that come along side of mine unless I turn my head, which sometimes I forget to do. The impact to my vision is easily discernible on a visual field test which has shown a slow degradation on the entire right side of my vision in my right eye.

My vision will slowly get worse as time goes by and will go away completely if I don't have this surgery.

Since I've been through it before, I know what to expect. That is both good and bad. Good because I won't be surprised. Bad because I know what's involved and how long it will take to recover.

When I mention my vision being impaired, most people think this is some kind of eye surgery, or that they'll go through my nose or my eye to remove the very small tumor.


In order to resect (remove) the tumor, the doctor will actually remove a portion of my skull and move the brain out of the way.

It's amazing what doctors can do these days. And with technology like the internet and Youtube, I've actually watched a few videos of this type of surgery being done on other people. I wasn't freaked out or grossed out at all. I thought it was fascinating.

But maybe that's just me.

I have a cute little diagram that shows what they're going to do. I've also seen images that are a little more life-like. You probably don't want to see any of them.

Anyway, I'll be in the hospital for 3 to 5 days, and will be somewhat limited in mobility for a week or so. Last time, my husband banished me to the living room and bedroom level of our 4-level home. I expect to sleep a lot, but I also need to walk more than I did the first time around. I would like to be stronger sooner. Thankfully I'm not working right now so I don't have to worry about taking a leave of absence, but I also don't want to drag it out any more than it needs to be.

While they don't actually call my tumor a "brain tumor" because it isn't attached to the brain, basically I am having brain surgery.

So keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Tuesday, April 21st at 12:00 CST.

Hopefully I'll be back soon!