Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Diagnostic brain surgery planned. Now waiting......

This has been a confusing, somewhat chaotic week of plans, changes, and an overload of medical information. John, Mason, and I have learned way more than we ever wanted to know about craniotomy, brain biopsies, infection, treatments for infections, being rushed, and then....and then..... waiting.

Which is what we are doing now. Having agreed that a biopsy of the infection or lesion is necessary before treating the problem, we are now awaiting word from the neurosurgery folks about when the surgery will occur and which surgeon will do it.

The brain surgery will probably happen on Friday of this week or early next week. The procedure, a diagnostic craniotomy (anaesthesia, drilling hole in side of skull, removing tissue, then replacing bone), will take around 3 hours. John will be in intensive care the first night and then back to a normal room. He will be up walking around within 24 hours. The sole reason for the surgery is diagnostic. They won't be removing anything except the biopsy tissue in an area of the right frontal lobe in an area in which it is apparently safe to operate. All of the doctors feel they really need to know what they are treating before they start any treatments for the mystery areas they are seeing on the MRI.

The treatments that come after the surgery are likely to be anti-infection drugs delivered intravenously to target whatever they find. If they find leukemia, which they say is unlkely, the will do radiation, and that still would have a good chance of long term healing for John. If he has the infusions, he can likely have the treatments in Austin, after staying here to heal from surgery and start the drugs.

To us, brain surgery is scary. I do not feel strong, although up til now, I've felt pretty strong and that's been spontaneous. John says he is scared as hell AND he is choosing to do this as the best path to full healing. I am envisioning very skilled and "beautiful" surgery to gain all positive benefits for John. We will ask for your healing energies and prayers during and after the procedure.

The good news in all of this is that they are now sure that what they see on the MRI is the root cause of John's dizziness, speech and impaired right arm problems. Identifying and treating this root cause has a high likelihood of relieving these problems.

More as soon as we know details. Many many hugs and kisses, Anna and John

Many many hugs and kisses, Anna and John


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