Before Brain Surgery side view.
Before Brain Surgery Front View
After Brain Surgery, head dressing.
After Brain Surgery, head dressing.
After Brain Surgery, head dressing
After Surgery, Side View without bandage. I'm thinking the scar will start to look more defined with time. I'm considering growing a beard and having it longer than the hair on my head. The neurosurgeon said he put two small plates in my head. I was upset to learn that they aren't magnetic. I was thinking of neat tricks I could show my kids if the plates were magnetic.
After Surgery, Front View without bandage. The black eye is from blood pooling. It's funny to say that my wife beats me though. The mark in the front of my forehead is from a brace that held my head still during surgery. There are 2 more such marks on the back of my head.
Today is the day! About 16 months after I was first told I had a likely astrocytoma it is finally being removed today. The neurosurgeon has told me he can remove about 95% of it, but due to its location (near a blood vessel), he won't be able to remove the entire thing. What they are calling a low-grade glioma, likely an astrocytoma is located in my right medial temporal lobe. Some call that area the right mesial temporal lobe. The neurosurgeon told me he will also remove some nearby things that are often involved in the type of partial seizures I have. Hopefully I won't have any more seizures after brain surgery. If I'm seizure free for a few months, I will even be allowed to get a driver's license and drive again.
The waiting has been sooooo long. Being told in August of 2011 about this and then finally being scheduled for surgery, has made for a long wait. Surgery is scheduled for this afternoon, which means more waiting today. I'm not a very patient person by nature and the waiting for test results and a surgery date has been trying my patience. Of course after the surgery I'll be waiting for the pathology results of the lobectomy.
I'm hopefull that I won't have any deficits from the surgery. Several family members are traveling to town for the surgery. I told them they don't get to watch, but they are still interested. I'll try to post as soon as I can.
Maybe I forgot to mention the name of my brain surgeon. It's Doctor House. No joke, that's his real name. It always makes people laugh when I tell them that. He doesn't seem nearly as heartless or sarcastic as the t.v. character. In fact his bedside manner and professionalism make him not at all like the t.v. character.
We are proceeding to surgery without the WADA test. I was wondering why that is and I asked my neurosurgeon's nurse practitioner. She told me it isn't necessary since they already know exactly where they are going in my brain and they won't mess with the areas that could involve speech. The WADA test is typically done prior to brain surgeries partially to verify which side of the brain involves speech. If the wrong areas are damaged a person could be unable to speak or even understand written or spoken words. What a scary prospect that would be. It is assuring knowing that they won't mess with that area, even though my speech is likely on the left and they are operating on the right side of my brain.
Being a pianist and violinist, I am wondering what affect the surgery will have on my playing abilities. I would be interested to find other musicians that have had a right medial temporal lobectomy. At this point I am willing to proceed to surgery even at risk of harming my musical abilities. It just wouldn't make sense not to cut out what is likely a low grade glioma. The risks of leaving it intact would be too great.
My family has decided to celebrate Christmas early this year, since I will get out of the hospital only a few days before Christmas and probably not in any shape to enjoy the holidays. When I had my colectomy in 2007, I specifically waited until after the holidays to schedule surgery, but ulcerative colitis was more of a great inconvenience, and not cancerous.
I am anxious to return to work as soon as possible after surgery. With any luck I could be seizure free the rest of my life. Wouldn't it be nice to make more money next year than I ever have before, and not have to spend much of it on medical bills?
Clip Holverson Jr. began having seizures at the age of 30, and was diagnosed with epilepsy. Follow this blog to read his story.