Friday, December 21, 2012

The past 7 days have been a crazy and emotional roller coaster.  Last Saturday I was sitting at Joe's in DT Fullerton talking and catching up with friends, re-aquatinting old friends and sparking up brand new ones.  I was and still am in a sense of relief.  What I think will be the hardest part of this entire experience is now over.  The surgery was without a doubt a scary thing to go through.  From the time it began until I awoke 6 or so hours later to me seemed only like a matter of minutes.  I know for my family it seemed so much longer and I am so thankful that they were so strong throughout it.  So for those of you interested in how a craniotomy works, from my experience at least here goes nothing!  They did all my pre admittance and paperwork the friday before the procedure.  That means I was at Kaiser in LA for about 8 hours friday afternoon slash evening.  Once we completed the marathon pre-op appointment which consisted of meeting about 8 more doctors, labs, tests, scans and everything in between Tasha and I headed back home.  It was a lonnnnnng drive home in copious amounts of traffic that I can only compare to torture.  Hungry, annoyed and tired, Tasha and I stopped at The Habbit to refill our tummies before getting back to her house.  A refreshing and welcoming meal indeed!  

Saturday was a day for relaxation.  I woke up beyond excited to see the people in my life and they came in masses!  Thank you to everyone who came out to Joe's Saturday afternoon, you will never know how much it truly meant for me to see all of your smiling faces.  The day at Joe's was spent reminiscing, laughing, smiling and trying to forget what was about to come in the next couple days.  Seeing old friends I hadn't seen in years was amazing!  There are some bonds that are just too strong to break and this is the true meaning of what it means to come together in a time of need.  Thank you to everyone who came out again!  Honestly I can not say thank you enough!  I stayed out as late as I could hang and once I knew I was starting to crash I gave Tasha the OK to stay out and hang out with her friends while I hoped in my chariot to whisk me away back home for a good nights sleep.  

Sunday came all too quick, it was a short day filled with last minute preparation, and me trying to calm down my family!  Brain surgery is not a brand new field and I like to think these doctors know what they are doing up there!  We relaxed, watched a movie, played a game, got some tea and settled in for the last night this tumor had.  This tumor has been weighing on me now for coming up on 2 months and I was at the tipping point.  I wanted it out and I needed to get the show started.  I was actually looking forward to Monday morning (waking up at 4:30am was an easy task when faced with the contrary.)  So Monday morning came.  I woke with a smile and a kiss for my girlfriend.  I attempted to make her smile and laugh one more time before we set off, but I think she was still sleeping and my joke simply went unnoticed.  Waking the rest of my family and we set off into the pre-dawn light of the early Southern California day.  The drive was exceptionally peaceful and it was almost as though I had not a care in the world.  I was at peace with however this was going to turn out and was ready to accept whatever my fate may have been.  We arrived at the hospital, checked my in and got changed into my sweet surgery attire.  

Very Stylish I must say!
After We said our goodbyes I left my family and it was time to get the party started!  Brain surgery 2012!  Here is where I kinda got confused.  I was still totally coherent and they had yet to administer any type of anestesia and yet they took me to the operating room.  For anyone who has never been in a serious emergency room type surgery room, it is pretty intimidating.  I am here basically naked with a team of about 10 people introducing themselves to me all at once.  It is FREEEEZING and all the while I am trying to stay calm and courteous.  By this point I was ready for the drugs and a nice nap.  So after about 6 or 7 minutes of chatting (which seemed like about an hour) they told me they were gonna introduce the drugs, which kicked in within a matter of seconds.  Next thing I know I am waking up and trying to get my bearings back.  I initially woke up in a recovery room with hundreds of tubes, ties, ropes, IV's and poles attached to me.  That was a bit overwhelming to I decided to go back to bed for a bit.  The second time I woke up I was greeted with the happy faces of my family.  It was such a welcoming sign and remembering EVERYTHING I knew I was well already on my path to recovery.  They transferred me to the ICU and this is where I would stay for the next day.  They would wake me up every hour on the hour to check something or verify something else.  I literally did not sleep the entire time I was in the ICU and was so ready to get out of that area of the hospital.  Tuesday afternoon they decided I can transfer to a less critical area of the hospital and be monitored from there until my release.  The doctors were all amazed at the rate of my recovery.  I was walking, talking and moving around like nothing even happened.  I had full range of motion and I honestly think my vision has gotten exceptionally better!  The only down sides I have experienced thus far are bad headaches which were taken down by a combination of morphine and a drug 10x stronger than morphine (which I decidedly refused when I found out how potent it was.)  Now I am on a non-narcotic pain med called Tramadol which clears up my pain fairly well.  Aside from the pain, I am almost always tired, which they say is just the side effects of the anestesia wearing out of my body.  I can be wide awake one second and then passed out a second later, kind of a weird feeling!  So after monitoring me and speaking with my doctor I was able to convince them to release me!  I was in and out in less than 3 days, not too bad after such an invasive procedure if I dont say so myself!  I am now home resting and recouping. 

Here is the part I did not want to address, but since we are all in this together you all need to know as much as I know when I know it.  The preliminary report came back possitive for cancer.  That is all they know.  They still dont know what my 'recommended'  treatment will be, nor how fast growing or anything else for that matter.  I prepared for cancer from the beginning and hearing the confirmation was still hard to hear.  In the back of my head I always held out a little hope that maybe it was just a bad tumor and I was gonna have it out and be on with my life again like nothing ever happened, but that stuff usually only happens in fairy tales.  Fairy tales are the epitome of perfection and holding out for an ending like that would only be unfair to myself as well as those I love.  So thats where we are as of today, and let me assure you, writing this blog has taken about 6 hours of starting and stopping!  Not an easy task yet one that you all deserve.  We are in this together and I thank you all for your love and support.  I truly wish you could all know how much I appreciate you all.  It has truly restored a bit of my faith in the human race and I hope through my experience I can somehow help you all.  THANK YOU times a million!

xx
And that goes all the way around!
-Ryan  














  











3 comments:

  1. Where are those neato beenies that Sunita made for you? I think those might be the ticket in this cold weather

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  2. I'm incredibly happy to read that you are doing well. That made my day! No struggle, no progress. I'm waiting for you at the finish line.

    Christina

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  3. I came across this blog tonight out of nowhere, about 10 minutes after hearing that the cancer my grandpa had been fighting had finally taken over. My whole family is at the hospital, but I came home to care for the five dogs that we are taking care of while my family stays at the hospital with grandpa. I heard he cried when he found out that they can't do much more for him, that was the worst part. I just hope he can stay as strong as you. I don't know you but you've helped me get through a really hard night, thanks and you'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

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