Friday, October 10, 2008

The Home Stretch

Yesterday was my final follow up with one of three surgeons. A few questions, some explanations, and a consent form.
A decent fellow with an accent and a funny name, he does exude this strong air of confidence and professionalism. I feel that I'm in good hands with him, not that I have much choice in the matter unless I wanted to do the job myself.
And he only stands 'bout 5'2", but since I'll be laying down for the procedure I'm hoping that may not be an issue.
On the way out, I stopped by Imaging and requested a copy of my MRI images. Kinda cool to look at. I've been doing so for hours,already.

This morning I had to report for a swallow study. Basic procedure: shove a thin tube with a camera attached down my nostril and into my throat; force feed me; and then record the videos.
After a few spoons of applesauce,apple juice, diced peaches, and graham cracker, we were done. I did get to watch everything on the monitor. Ever actually seen yourself eat? Kind weird.
The purpose of all this was to establish a baseline for comparison's sake should I suffer nerve damage to my throat muscles during the procedure. One more thing to worry about that I flat out refuse to worry about.
I meet with the neurosurgeon Monday to go over this last, and finally final, diagnostic test.

Now for some show and tell:
This is an MRI view of the right side of my face.

The circled area should be, I think, the main body of the tumor.
(That is, if I know what I'm looking at.)

It's about the size and shape of an egg. Unfortunately, that's not the part that seems to be the concern.

The big deal is the less defined, irregularly shape region just to the north, at about 1-2 o'clock.

They still haven't managed to get a clear enough picture of just what is what in this region. It's also the most critical, what with the location of various nerves and what have you.

And they still are not sure just exactly how far up into the skull it goes. Sure, they got a general idea, but nothing precise. And they won't til they get there.
Or so I'm told.

To the right: an underside view, looking up past my chin into my skull right about even with the lower jaw line. Again, with the tumor circled.

Noticeable, in the outline contours of my face, is the swollen appearance that first got my attention. (It was smaller when I started this process.)

As the mass grows, it constricts other things in the region.

Not bothering me now, but if left unchecked it could cause loss of sensation, difficulty swallowing, tingles or numbness in my right extremities... and some other stuff. Already, there is a noticeable protrusion in my throat when I look into my mouth.

This is my brain on Happy Gas.
Nothing much is happening here.

O.K., show's over.

Two more follow-ups next week, then I'm off to deer season.
It was a bit of a finagle, but I was successful in postponing the endgame til October 30th.


nukeitfromorbit said...

Good luck Gino. Just went through my own (much more minor) surgery. It's no fun, but worth it in the end. Best wishes from Minnesota.

kingdavid said...

In the two years I've been visiting your site, these are the first pictures I've ever seen of you; I hope to hell you're a lot better looking in person.

We shall keep you in our prayers. You have quite the contingent of fans in MN. You're gonna have to make a trip out some day. Maybe you can come out for the Hammer and Mall Diva's wedding in May.

ginoissosexy! said...

What a Stud!

Post more pictures for me, sexy!

Gino said...

control yourself, mark.

tully said...

My apologies, your studliness...

Jade said...

Good luck with everything (deer season and the surgery)

I don't suppose there is someone who could pop online and give some sort of electronic thumbs-up to us right after the surgery?

Gino said...


jade: i'm gonna be working on that.

kr said...


God bless :).

Hammerswing75 said...

Yeah, I'll go ditto on both of kingdavid's points.

Oh, by the way, sorry I didn't take a picture of Gino the Oregano Plant, but I did want to tell you that he produced well and I snagged a fair bit for use later on.

Gino said...

but how did the tully eggplant come out?

Hammerswing75 said...

For the last time, there was no eggplant! I fart in its general direction.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

That is fascinating.