Brain Tumor Surgery Experience

Brain Tumor Surgery Experience

brain surgeryAbout 5 weeks ago I went in for a surgery to have a tumor on my brain removed. I wanted to let everyone know I am doing good and recovering well.

Everyday lots of people reach out to me and ask me about my brain tumor surgery, which is called an Acoustic Neuromoa, so I figured I would blog about my experience. I’m also surprised about the number of people that think they might have a brain tumor and are scared to do something about it.

Let’s face it no one wants to hear from their doctor they have a brain tumor. The scariest part in my experience was the doctor telling me I had one. But he also said you will be fine once it is removed.

Misdiagnosed Brain Tumor

About 4 years ago on the right side of my brain I started to get headaches, pressure and other symptoms. It was then I decided to go to the primary doctor. He then sent me to a neurologist which did some tests and said I was fine, but sent me to a radiologist for an MRI just in case. Well the doctors misread the MRI and said there was no tumor on the scan.

Finding My Brain Tumor

I continued to live with the symptoms and just thought that is the way it is because the doctors told me I was fine. The symptoms started to gradually get worse, my face started to get numb, hearing loss, dizzy etc. One day I was riding a bike in the park and I was so dizzy I completely fell over. At this time I just started to see a new primary doctor.

I told him everything and he said, “I don’t like what you are telling me, let’s start all over.” So he sent me for an MRI, less than an hour later his office called and said to come in. When I got that call I knew something was not right, it was way to soon. My doctor was smiling and very calm (which made me feel comfortable) and said, “we found out why you are having symptoms.” You have a brain tumor and all of your symptoms will disappear, but the tumor has to come out, it’s not cancer and is treatable.

What Did I Did Next

After the news I immediately started making appointments with brain surgeons. All the surgeons told me the type of tumor I had was called Acoustic Neuroma. The problem with it was because it wasn’t found early on it had to be removed right away and was life threatening. If the tumor was found when I got the first MRI I would of been able to get Gamma Knife. This is not a surgery, its like getting an MRI. They hit the tumor with radiation just once and you leave the hospital that day.

My tumor was the size of a tangerine and it was pushing on my upper and mid brain. So I picked a surgeon I felt comfortable with and I wasn’t even nervous because my primary doctor and surgeon made me very comfortable. You have to understand what doct0rs can do with technology these days. They can pull tumors out of your head through your ear, nose, mouth and even your leg. Isn’t that amazing? They way mine was removed was through the back of my ear.

My Surgery

brain surgery beforeSo my surgery was suppose to last around 5 to 7 hours. It ended up being 9 hours long. During the surgery acupuncturist had sensors on my face while the surgeon removed the tumor to make sure no nerves were being affected in my face.

After the surgery I went to ICU for a few days. Something that was expected to happen was I would not be able to talk or swallow for a while. Well that happen it was very hard to talk and I could not swallow. Because of this I had to be put on a feeding tube through me nose while it healed. This was not fun imagine not eating or drinking even water for two weeks.

Everyone that was involved with putting me on the feeding tube would check on me a few times a day. They told me you have to take a test before you can swallow food and liquids again.  It’s unlikely you will pass, it takes a while to heal. They weren’t being negative they just wanted to prepare me from what they seen before.

The moment I heard that I said, “no I am passing that test.” So everyday I would say in my head I am going to pass that test. The day came I took the test and passed it. Everyone was happy, excited and amazed that I passed. After not eating or drinking for two weeks I weighed myself and I lost thirty pounds.

Besides from that I couldn’t do anything on my own yet going to the bathroom, walking, writing, texting, typing and almost everything. I am a very independent person so to be honest I felt helpless. I never thought I would feel like this. The good news is everyday I would improve. It’s a miracle how much I have improved in five weeks. I am so grateful.

Thank You

Thank you to all my family who supported me during my surgery.

Thank you to Dr. Howard Hertz at Babylon Medical Practice who found my tumor.

Thank you to Dr. Micheal Schulder my neurosurgeon who removed my tumor.

Thank you to all my friends online and offline who thought about me during my surgery.

Thank you to my moms cousins Al Musella who runs The Musella Foundaton For Brain Tumor Research & Information, Inc and referred me to my surgeon.

Thank you to all the doctors, therapist, nurses, aids and staff at Manhasset LIJ where I had my surgery.

Thank you to all the doctors, therapist, nurses, aids and staff at Southside Hospital where I had my rehab.


Much Success and Gratitude!

Tom Doherty

Tom Doherty

“Your income grows as you grow personally and professionally.”

Skype: tom–doherty
Phone: 631-241-9623 (text or call)

If you enjoyed this post on my brain tumor surgery experience, retweet and comment please!

PS. Work For 50 Weeks. Vacation For 2 Weeks. Is That Fair?

  1. You are amazing! Upbeat and positive and persistent!

  2. I read your story, you are a strong person and I'm so happy it's over with, good luck my friend.

  3. Just said a prayer of gratitude for you, your family, and your friends. Keep on keeping on.. we are all,pulling for your complete recovery.

  4. Amazing story! You are strong! Lot's of positive energy sent your way to a full and healthy recovery!

  5. God bless Tom. Glad you are doing well and wishing you a complete healing and speedy recovery!!

  6. Appreciate you Anne. Thank You!

  7. Thank you Carol!!

  8. Hilary, Thanks for the positive energy!!

  9. Thanks so much Edgar!!

  10. Thanks Ellen! Appreciate you!!

  11. Amazing! Keep up that awesome attitude <3 So happy to hear you are recovering well!!!! Prayers for you always xoxoxox

  12. Thanks Margaret!!

  13. Thanks Margaret!!

  14. I'm glad you are doing better! Keep up the good work!

  15. I'm glad you are doing better! Keep up the good work!

  16. Thanks Terrilynn!

  17. You are strong man & will go so far with that positive attitude! Never lose it =)

  18. So glad you were ok. I was worried when you didn’t post for a while.

  19. Margaret D'Angelo In rehab they said it starts in your mind

  20. my great brother back Thanks God

  21. I believe that =) keep up the great work =) you also have a lot of support & Prayers being sent you way!

  22. Dear Tom:
    I was shocked, when I first heard about you going in for the operation. I just wanted to cheer you up…I never doubted that you would come through a winner!! My son was born at that hospital. I was in there 7 weeks, with all kind of problems. Great Hospital…So glad you are recovering well!! You are a strong person, that first MRI, the tumor was probably too small to see…Keep smiling and shining…That’s what friends are for….lol…Cheryl

  23. Wow Tom love your positive attitude! People can definitely learn a thing or two from you! Thank you for sharing your blog. P.S. love your hospital gown!

    • Thanks Rita!! lol I am glad to be in my regular clothes.

  24. I had no idea you were going through this Tom. I am wishing you a speedy recovery!

  25. Tom,

    Glad you came through the surgery in great shape! I had the exact same tumor at surgery performed at NYU. After interviewing several top surgeons at a number of hospitals, I elected to go with a team at NYU. However, Dr. Schulder certainly was a close second. I always remember he was extremely knowledgeable, supportive regardless which doctor I chose and very patient while I “grilled” him with specific technical questions regarding the surgery and post op. If I have a condition that needs to be treated by a doctor, I always learn as much as I can about the treatment options and the pros and cons of each course of treatment so I can have an intelligent conversation with a doctor and give informed consent. You are your best advocate and never let your guard down with doctors and hospitals. They are only human.

    Here is a playlist of motivational videos that I thought I would share (not that you need them):

    Looking forwrd to working with you soon!

  26. Thanks Richard!!

  27. Rita Wolfe Thanks Rita!! lol I am glad to be in my regular clothes.

  28. so glad you are doing better get well prayers headed your way

  29. Tom this is am amazing story! I'm glad you are ok and your story can open many eyes and remove the fear many have because they might be experiencing the same symptoms. Wishing you a speedy recovery!! Hugs

  30. Thanks Erika! I hope so.

  31. Thank you Rhonda!

  32. Wow. Keep up the determination and positive attitude. Great spirit. Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad to see you are doing well.

  33. Thanks Anthony!

  34. Tom, I am so happy that you came through your surgery and rehab with flying colors. Congratulations and bravo!!!!

  35. Thanks Melody!

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