Monday, September 15, 2008

Head Games

Today, I had my meet and greet with the man who would be sticking his fingers into my head*.
He mentioned the probability that this tumor may be a little more further up my skull than previously thought.
I likely will have one of two options:

#1. Go for the 'Home Run' as he called it. Remove all of the tumor. Good bye, and good riddance. The drawback is that it's riskier. I could very well have some irreversible nerve damage.
I told him that since I have a lot of nerve anyway, I may be able to afford to lose a little, and my social life may improve.
He then explained I could lose some abilities that I currently take for granted. Like swallowing, vision,whistling, control over one side of my facial muscles. Small stuff like that.
Not that these things will necessarily occur. It's just a lot more likely.

#2. Remove most of the tumor, and attack the remaining portion with gamma knife therapy. The tumor would still be alive, but no longer growing. I'd carry it in my head for the rest of my days.
Gamma Knife is some sort of radiation procedure where they are able to concentrate all the radiation into one target location. It looks rather involved (see link), but would be a one shot thing.
The drawback is that I would still carry some part of the tumor and enter into a lifelong relationship with my neurosurgeon that includes yearly testing, more MRI's and other fun stuff.

The photo to the right is of a patient going through the gamma knife process.

Can't help but be reminded of a scene from A Clockwork Orange.
(I might like that.)

I already have enough useless mass in my head, so I really don't want to carry an extra load around.
But, I wouldn't want to lose my ability to cast the wife a flirtatious wink. Or to snarl at strangers.
Not yet sure what option I'll take. I still have more time to decide these things, as Mr. Neurosurgeon has ordered up another round of diagnostic studies. This means more delays.

The downside: it doesn't look like I'll make it to the O.R. in time to recover soon enough to make the hunt this year.
Some possible upside: I may be able to put this thing off long enough to make the season opener. Not my preferred time, but I'll take it.

I'll aim for the latter.

*Couldn't help but notice. This guy has some very large fingers. I hope he's not clumsy with them.


kingdavid said...

Talk about getting hit with major life stressers. I don't think you'll be singing it was a very good year when thinking about 2008.

You need this in your life now like a hole in the head. We'll be praying for ya. Of course our prayers will probably be offset by the prayers of the deer in GA.

Gino said...

"a hole in the head"?

thats about right.

Thomas said...

For Option 1, is it possible for some of those abilities lost to be re-learnt. You should ask, I know it happens with stroke victims. The brain reroutes.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Oh wow... *HUGS* This is so huge.

My thoughts are with you.

Kristopher said...

Whoah, whoah whoah! WTF? I didn't even know you had a tumor. WTF is going on. Email me with the details.


Night Writer said...

Those knives are great! They can be easy to lose, though. I had one once and dropped it in the woods - thought I'd never find it again.

Oh wait, gamma knife; I thought you said camo knife!

RW said...

Don't leave us hanging too long Gino.

Hammerswing75 said...

Gino, you're going to be just fine. I look forward to hearing about the surgery. Hopefully it'll be at least a little bit funny, but I'll settle for complete success.

Gino said...

will keep updating as we go along.
its good blog bait.