Brain Tumor Surgery Experience
About 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.
So 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 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!
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