Thursday, November 8, 2012

On becoming an expert.

Two weeks ago, the extent of my knowledge on the subject of brain tumors was is it malignant or benign.  Today, I can say I am a borderline physician.  Doctors have an obligation to themselves as well as their patients to be honest, but not over step bounds and make incorrect diagnosis. I am beginning to realize that as far as reading an MRI to diagnose a mass in the brain, it is comprable to trying to determine the genetic makeup of a human by looking in their eyes.  I have now had conversations with 4 neurosurgeons, 2 general practitioners, 1 ophthalmologist and a partridge in a pear tree.  Tomorrow I will meet with yet another brain surgeon.  Dr. Charles Liu at USC Medical- he is basically one of the best surgeons on the West Coast if not that nation, and perhaps the world.  Between his input and the input of the copious amounts of other doctors I have spoken to, I hope to have some kind of understanding of what might be going on up in my ticker.  Each doctor has told me considerably different things and this is to be expected.  Each doctor will read an MRI based on their own past experiences.  These experiences include education, residency and surgeries performed.  EVERY doctor has a different story.  I have come to appreciate every opinion and it is up to me to decide who I actually trust the most to put my life in their hands.  

I have gone out of my way to not go out of my way.  By this I mean that's search history will not have a single query regarding anything to do with a craniotomy.  I know that every case is different, every person will experience different side affects and I do not want to scare myself.  The way I see it, the more I know the better I am prepared- true, but at the same time I can read things that will stress me out beyond what I already am.  What Ido know is this is a MAJOR surgery.  There aren't too many that are more technical aside from maybe the heart.  I know that a fairly large piece of my brain will be removed.  I know that my brain is the most important organ in my body.  And I know I will be different, for the better!  

When this is all said and done I will look back on this experience as one of the best times in my life.  I have already grown more in the last two weeks than in the past 2 years.  I was stagnent and treading water.  I now feel motivated and energized more than I can ever recall.  

The affects of the tumor are kind of showing their nasty heads a bit more, but I am strong and they will not bother me.  I know they only have another couple weeks left so I will allow them their time.  And when it is time for this monster to come out, I will take my time back and I will be stronger than I was going in. 

Today was supposed to be my surgery day, I should be sitting in a room in the ICU right now starting my recovery.  I should be past the first step of my journey, but it was delayed.  It was delayed for the better and the more I know about my monster, the better off I will be in the long run.  This is after all a marathon, not a sprint.

I leave you with some words of wisdom from Mr. Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay and pseudo God, "Just because I'm losing, doesn't mean I've lost."


I present to you - Water!


  1. Ryan

    Here is a quote that resonates:

    And once the storm is over
    You won't remember how you made it through,
    How you managed to survive.
    You won't even be sure, in fact,
    Whether the storm is really over.

    But one thing is certain.....

    When you come out of the storm
    You won't be the same person who walked in.

    1. I really like this. What is it from?

    2. Ryan...

      This is taken from a passage in a book written by Haruki Murakami...."Kafka on the Shore". The last sentence is omitted: "And this is what that storm is all about."

      I must confess I have not read the book, but it is on my bucket list. Go to Google and search for "Haruki Murakami quotes"....very insightful.