On March 7th, I went in for a checkup while I was visiting Tupelo. I had not been to a doctor in quite some time. I am going to attempt to make this story as short as I can.... bare with me! Long story short... After everything Dr. Mary Pace and I discussed during my visit, she sent me right over to have CT scans done on my head. I believe she saved my life! We found out immediately that I had a brain tumor. After discussing the different places for surgery, we carefully decided on the Cleveland Clinic.
I must start by saying the Cleveland Clinic is the most amazing place! We all are still completely blown away by this hospital... from every doctor, nurse, aide, and person that we came in contact with. They are so eager to help and go above and beyond their call of duty! This place is just unbelievable! Next: Dr. Michael Vogelbaum. My Doctor (voted best doctor in 2006, 2007)! Not only was I placed in the BEST facility but with the BEST doctor! This man is the smartest man in the world! I have complete confidence/faith in him and with everyone in the Cleveland Clinic! It has been such a great feeling! I could go on and on.....
My tumor was a very large tumor that has been slow growing for a long time. It was on the left frontal lobe of my brain, near the areas that controlled my speech and motor skills for the right side of my body. This was a very delicate area! So, my surgery was an "awake craniotomy". It was about 9 hours and they woke me up during part of it. I had to look through a tunnel sort of thing while a man asked me questions. I had to repeat numbers, months, etc... It was crazy! I could hear Dr. Vogelbaum talking and I can only remember parts of being awake. Dr. Jose Valerio-Pascua was another one of my favorite doctors that was in surgery with me. Love him!!!
I have been on Steroids and other meds for the past 6 weeks! I am so happy to say that on Monday I will be OFF steroids!!!! Unfortunately I have had every side-effect possible. Let me just put it this way... I have not been myself... physically and mentally! I look nothing like "Maggie!" but I must say I am so thankful for all of the medicine I am on!
Now, onto great news that I received yesterday! Got my staples out (which go from the top of my head all the way down to my left ear). Got a good report. Dr. Vogelbaum (THE BOMB!) is so pleased! Dr. Valerio-Pascua said that he has been doing this for twenty years and this was one of the most challenging cases he has ever worked on. He also said that I was one of the reasons why he woke up every morning to be thankful he was in medicine! I am so thankful he is in medicine as well as Dr. Vogelbaum. I look up to them so much! My great report: I have a grade 2 Glioma, which is a low grade tumor. We are still waiting on one more piece of info. They will follow me with an MRI every 3 months. If my tumor starts to grow again, then I will be treated with mild chemo and/or radiation. I meet with another doctor next week and we will take it from there! I feel so so so great about everything! :-)
I have truly, truly, truly been blessed more than I can even begin to express. God has shown me more beauty than I could ever imagine in my entire life. I am so thankful for each and everyone of you who have shown me so much love, care, wisdom, faith, kindness, and prayer. I thank God for my sweet, loving, caring, gentle-kind husband. He is such a perfect man in every-way. And my unbelievable family.... words cannot express the love I have for my family. Words just cannot describe how AMAZING my family is!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you all for your kindness and love. You have no idea how grateful I am for every single one of you!