I waited in anticipation. I warded off all of those negative thoughts running through my mind thinking it would result in something positive. Finally, after a long day of sitting and waiting, the door opened and in he walked:
“You’re going to need an operation, Chris.”
I stood there speechless and in shock – how is this happening again? Did he really just say that? Haven’t I already been through enough? Why me?
My MRI showed further growth of the spot we have been watching since day one in 2008 and which was radiated last year. The tumor is the size of a grape and is sitting in the “front lateral horn” of the brain. Thankfully, this is a benign tumor but is acting “atypically”. The typical neurocytoma, once removed and blasted with high dosages of radiation dies off and never grows back. In all of his years, my surgeon has never seen a leftover piece of neurocytoma like mine grow in size after radiation. For whatever reason, likely because this is the story of my life, my tumor did not respond to the gamma knife surgery and is persistent.
In the blink of an eye, I went from being in good spirits and thinking of which restaurant Ashley and I would celebrate at, to looking at my calendar to determine when the surgery would be scheduled for. An exact date has not yet been decided upon but it will be sometime in early January. I’ll have to go down to Yale for my pre-op appointment and go through the rigors of surgery all over again. As I sat there listening and absorbing it all, I thought about myself but also the effect this has on Ashley and my family. I am not worried about what will happen in the operating room as I have the utmost and complete faith in my neurosurgeon and doctors. I am not however looking forward to the process of being operated on again and the days/weeks needed to recover. And for my family, I’m sure this is not easy. But together, we will all get through this and have a happy remainder of 2015.
As I gather more information, I’ll update you. But if you’re on the other side of this post, do me a favor and enjoy every moment of every day because we don’t know when our fortunes may change. Enjoy this holiday season with family and friends and give thanks and blessings for the everyday gifts we have.
Like my family said to me, for a reason that we are all still searching for, I was given this cross to bear and someday/somehow, I will understand why. And you know what, I’m okay with it. I’m not going to stop living or let today’s news bring me down.
My surgery has been scheduled for January 8th. For the past few days and in the midst of enjoying the holiday season, I’ve been reviewing my employer’s short-term disability insurance policy to make sure everything can still be provided for. Then, to top it all off, our company has changed health insurance once again and for the fourth time in four years. Fortunately, my surgeon participates in the plan. As if worrying about my health and the procedure isn’t enough, all of the other stresses that inevitably come along with it hit you like a bullet train…a topic for another day. At least it’s almost Christmas and hopefully I’ll forget about all of this for a day.