Last week I had brain surgery.
That is not a sentence I ever thought I’d write! 😉 Some things you just don’t expect! Brain tumor is is a diagnosis that is scary and not fun. But God has been walking with me each step of the way, and He has kept me free from fear and worry.
If you missed that post, you can find it here: Brain Tumor diagnosis.
I was diagnosed on Jan 26, and surgery was Feb 21. It was a fast month, from diagnosis to surgery. I was happy with that – just get it over with, you know?
They believe the tumor is a meningioma – one of the more common types of primary brain tumors, more common in women. Meningioma’s are about 90% benign, 7 % atypical, and 2-3% malignant. It will take several weeks for my pathology results to be finished, but the Neurosurgeon is confident that mine was benign.
We dropped off our kids on Tuesday morning with some babysitters, and my husband and I drove down to Denver. Tuesday was pre-op procedures, MRI, bloodwork, EKG, all that fun stuff to make sure that I was healthy enough for major surgery. By afternoon, I was finished and we settled into a hotel for a night of rest.
My husband took me to my favorite restaurant (Outback) for a tasty dinner of ribs. It was delicious!
My Mother-in-law flew in that evening to be with my husband during surgery. We picked her up at the airport, then got a few hours of sleep.
At 5:30 am we were walking in to the hospital in the dark pre-dawn hours of cold. It was about 12 degrees, I believe. Brrr! I checked in, Cliff got his update instructions, and I was prepped for surgery. Thankfully, they just started one IV on me, then did all the other prep stuff after I was out. 😉 I always try to stay awake when I am getting anesthesia, but of course it’s inevitable – I am out like a light! Haha!
It took about 5 hours of actual surgery, but I was out cold for a total of about 8 hrs. For some reason I took awhile to wake up. I was so drowsy and couldn’t open my eyes for a long time. It felt good to drowse in and out of consciousness. 🙂 Finally I woke up enough to recognize my husband and sister.
The worst pain was headache/neck pain the first day, but by the second day I was feeling better. I went from surgery to ICU the first day. Then at 11:30 pm I had to get a follow-up MRI, so the surgeon could see if he’d removed all of it. He had! He is very happy with the results. That late night MRI was unpleasant but not too bad. I was still groggy enough that I didn’t have much pain.
In 24 hrs, they moved me to a room on the general Neuro ward. The sounds of pain and agony and retching from my neighbors rooms was enough to make me turn on the Olympics just to cover the noise! It was awful. Apparently not everyone has such a good experience with brain trauma as what I did! 🙁
On day 3, they sent me home! I was a bit scared to leave the safety of the hospital so quickly after brain surgery, but the Dr assured me that he wouldn’t send me home if I wasn’t ready, and that I would have the best chance of avoiding infection at home. So I trusted him. After one day of listening to people puking and moaning, I was ready to leave, anyways. So my husband packed me up and took me to a friends’ house an hour away. We stayed there for a day and half.
The drive from the hospital to home is nearly 4 hrs, and I didn’t feel up to it at one time. Sunday afternoon we drove home. It is SO good to be home!
We have been gifted so many delicious meals, beautiful flowers, gifts to pass my time while I am on mandatory rest, gifts to make life easier, offers of help… I am so humbled and blessed. I truly deserve nothing.
Jesus has been with me each step of this little trial, and I can’t say enough about His goodness and the goodness of His people. Each of you are so special to me and our family during this bump in the road.
My recovery is supposed to be quiet and ‘lazy’, in the words of my neurosurgeon. 😉 I am not supposed to lift anything for 2 weeks minimum. No driving or working, etc. At my 2 & 4 week appointments I will be re-evaluated for what I am allowed to do.
I am trying so hard to be ‘good’, because I do NOT want a set-back! I want to recover the best way possible, and then get on with life! But being lazy gets old with me, I am afraid! 😀 I am glad my sisters gave me some art products to keep me busy. That will help.
Future ramifications: I will need several MRI’s in the next months, then a yearly one for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, even benign tumors have a tendency to regrow, and we need to catch it if it decides to be ornery. But the Dr (and myself) are hopeful for a good outcome.
And that was my week! 🙂 Hope yours was less eventful!
For more reading: 6 week post-op brain surgery update.