Surgery 06:46amApril 23, 2008
Yesterday at exactly 11am we were admitted to the Neurosurgry ward. We had to go throught the hassle with the “foodlists” (as a vegetarian you need different ones but they give you the opportunity to find that out yourself). Then a nurse and co-assistant came to see me, lots of questions there. The doctor of the ward passed by, all very friendly, and she performed a number a checks as well.
The highlight of the day was however the meeting with Dr. dWH and Dr. B. They took us to their library to show us the outcome of the 3D navigation model in my case. And it was impressive. First of all I recognized myself from the skull. I hadn’t expected that. More importantly of course were the size and location of the tumor. It sits like a mass of a little over 6cm x 4cm X 4cm in my head but has branches. There is a second tumor body, smaller in size but apparently more active, in the speech area. They are likely to be connected through the branches.
On the navigation screeens we could see which functional areas located where and how these have been invaded (or not) by the tumor. It is clear that a total resection is no longer a possibility. My Main Motor Area has been invaded and must be spared. The SMA can probably largely be taken away as this will be regenerated by either the right side or the remianing left side functions.
To my surprise we learned yesterday that the tumor had also invaded the right side of the brain. This is a process that has been going on since the beginning. They will remove this connection as good as they can.Then the speech area. Although my analyses was spot on (regarding Broca and Wernicke) did especially Dr. B discourage me to go for an alternative plan (I asked for a sacrifice of motor functions in favor of speech). Also then it became clear that there will be no major surgery planned in the speech area as the tumor is already too close to it. The Neurosurgeons will have to rely on their navigation system in combination with a visual check to see what they can and must do.
And that includes finding out the grade of the tumor. We have heard many ways of describing it by now: a 2, a “good” 2 and a “bad” 2, a 3 that behaves like a 2, definitely no 4. In the end I believe we will only know when the result of the biopsy is known.
Finally we answered questions from Dr. B and Dr. dWH about the exact nature of my problems. Dr. B suggested that the problems with my hand may very well be small seizures. They stayed behind to discuss my “Plan of Attack” a bit further. I believe that especially Dr. B asked for a different safety margin.
Marcus came to see me and told me about a lunch he arranged for his friends. I was surprised to hear that until he told me that it was his birthday. I’m soooo stupid. My wife tried to take my mind off things by taking me through the new mortgage of Ruud and the cost of the appartment.
Then my parents came to see me with a great sweatshirt. We talked and I explained the visit to the Neurosurgeons. I was alone for a few hours, quietly overthinking my sins ;-) until I realized that I had this opportunity: e-mail! So I read your wishes, wrote some answers and now this report. A friendly nurse washed me this morning, especially my hair and it is now 6:45am. They will come to prepare me for surgery soon.
Take care out there all of you and stay safe.