Craniotomy in 9 days

Posted by jhbl @jhbl, Aug 13 12:16am

In September 2021, I went for a routine MRI for my MS and a new 7mm tentorial meningioma was discovered. This was at the Mayo Rochester. That neurologist said he’d see me in 2 years. I was already having headaches along with increased fatigue and nausea. I went for a second opinion with a neurosurgeon; since the MRI in September 2021 I’ve had 2 subsequent scans which have shown growth and I now have mass effect so in 9 days I’m having a left occipital craniotomy. I know there are so many variables with different outcomes but I’d like to hear from others that have gone through this surgery and recovery.

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Dear jhbl, I wish you well with your upcoming surgery. To help put your mind ate ease, this note is to let you know that, while daunting to think about, craniotomies can have good outcomes. I had this surgery 4 years ago due to very large meningioma (“tangerine sized,” per neurosurgeon). I was fortunate in that I was mostly asymptomatic before surgery. It was a 13.5 hr surgery that resulted in removal of most of the tumor. The decision to leave about 10% of it in place was based on its close association with my optic nerve and cerebral artery.
I was fortunate to have little or no pain following the surgery. The parts that I did not see coming were the scheduling of about 3 months of physical, occupational, and speech therapy after the surgery, which I was able to do in my hometown after release from the hospital and that I would need to be approved by a doctor and our DMV to resume driving again. I did these things 3 months after my surgery and was able to resume driving at that time. I recall my sentiments in the weeks before my surgery, where you are now: there was one part of me that just wanted to get this over with and put it behind me, while another part of me dreaded the arrival of my impending surgery date. In the end, I had a terrific talented and caring medical team and received great care that has allowed a smooth, event free recovery. I trust that you are also in good hands, which should help ease your mind some. I do have an annual MRI to check on whether the residual meningioma is growing again, so far it is not.
I wish you the best as you go forward and hope that your surgery goes well, bringing relief from your symptoms. It is a worthwhile step to take, and we are both fortunate to have this type of medical care available to us. Best wishes!

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@fiddlinchuck

Dear jhbl, I wish you well with your upcoming surgery. To help put your mind ate ease, this note is to let you know that, while daunting to think about, craniotomies can have good outcomes. I had this surgery 4 years ago due to very large meningioma (“tangerine sized,” per neurosurgeon). I was fortunate in that I was mostly asymptomatic before surgery. It was a 13.5 hr surgery that resulted in removal of most of the tumor. The decision to leave about 10% of it in place was based on its close association with my optic nerve and cerebral artery.
I was fortunate to have little or no pain following the surgery. The parts that I did not see coming were the scheduling of about 3 months of physical, occupational, and speech therapy after the surgery, which I was able to do in my hometown after release from the hospital and that I would need to be approved by a doctor and our DMV to resume driving again. I did these things 3 months after my surgery and was able to resume driving at that time. I recall my sentiments in the weeks before my surgery, where you are now: there was one part of me that just wanted to get this over with and put it behind me, while another part of me dreaded the arrival of my impending surgery date. In the end, I had a terrific talented and caring medical team and received great care that has allowed a smooth, event free recovery. I trust that you are also in good hands, which should help ease your mind some. I do have an annual MRI to check on whether the residual meningioma is growing again, so far it is not.
I wish you the best as you go forward and hope that your surgery goes well, bringing relief from your symptoms. It is a worthwhile step to take, and we are both fortunate to have this type of medical care available to us. Best wishes!

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Agree with all that "fiddinchuck". Best wishes.

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I agree with "fiddinchuck" that while one is very anxious anticipating craniotomy, cranitomies do produce very good results. I had "awake" craniotomy on 9 July 2021 at Mayo JAX for oligodendroglioma in the speech portion of my brain. I was awake and conscious while talking with the surgeons throughout the entire craniotomy. Though most people refuse "awake" craniotomy, I approached it with curiosity and fascination. The 6 weeks of followup Radiation and Chem treatment were worst than the surgery, and it took about 6 months to get back to normal after finishing Chemo. The staff at Mayo Jax has been outstanding throughout my treatment.
The good news is a year later I feel outstanding; working out in a gym; my speech is good (though there was fear I would not speak again); driving again and traveling often. My Oncologist is happy with results and intends to put me on annual check-ups after my next MRI.
I recommend you take 2 non-prescription nutrient supplements which worked well for me.
1. Take Colostrum. All mammal mothers produce colostrum in milk immediately after giving birth. You can easily obtain colostrum supplements made from cows milk collected after calving. In addition to forming immunization in babies, it also heals wounds. Start taking heavy doses now, before surgery and continue after surgery. It will rapidly heal your surgical wound. My wound healed within a week of the surgery. My Significant Other's plastic surgeon put her on this when she had surgery,
2. Take IP6. Our bodies produce IP6 to strengthen immunity, but, production reduces with age. IP6 supplements are usually produced from rice husks. IP6 chelates iron. Because cancer cells are dependent upon digesting excess iron, IP6 effectively starves the cancer cells. My cancer has shrunk each MRI I have been taking IP6. My Significant Other has been a health insurance agent for 30 years, she has many cancer clients who responded well while taking IP6 with treatment. Start taking now before surgery, and continue. Both can be found at any local Health store and Amazon. Both are natural human nutrients, and cause no toxic side effects.
Anxiety and fear are to be expected before surgery. But, there is much you can look forward to. After my surgery, I feel wonderful. I wish you the best results. My prayers are with you.

REPLY
@fiddlinchuck

Dear jhbl, I wish you well with your upcoming surgery. To help put your mind ate ease, this note is to let you know that, while daunting to think about, craniotomies can have good outcomes. I had this surgery 4 years ago due to very large meningioma (“tangerine sized,” per neurosurgeon). I was fortunate in that I was mostly asymptomatic before surgery. It was a 13.5 hr surgery that resulted in removal of most of the tumor. The decision to leave about 10% of it in place was based on its close association with my optic nerve and cerebral artery.
I was fortunate to have little or no pain following the surgery. The parts that I did not see coming were the scheduling of about 3 months of physical, occupational, and speech therapy after the surgery, which I was able to do in my hometown after release from the hospital and that I would need to be approved by a doctor and our DMV to resume driving again. I did these things 3 months after my surgery and was able to resume driving at that time. I recall my sentiments in the weeks before my surgery, where you are now: there was one part of me that just wanted to get this over with and put it behind me, while another part of me dreaded the arrival of my impending surgery date. In the end, I had a terrific talented and caring medical team and received great care that has allowed a smooth, event free recovery. I trust that you are also in good hands, which should help ease your mind some. I do have an annual MRI to check on whether the residual meningioma is growing again, so far it is not.
I wish you the best as you go forward and hope that your surgery goes well, bringing relief from your symptoms. It is a worthwhile step to take, and we are both fortunate to have this type of medical care available to us. Best wishes!

Jump to this post

I love hearing the success stories! Thank you 😊. I hope mine goes as smoothly as yours. I’m an eternal pessimist and my mind is reeling, thinking about each and every possible complication. I didn’t think about the DMV…

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@dbprof

I agree with "fiddinchuck" that while one is very anxious anticipating craniotomy, cranitomies do produce very good results. I had "awake" craniotomy on 9 July 2021 at Mayo JAX for oligodendroglioma in the speech portion of my brain. I was awake and conscious while talking with the surgeons throughout the entire craniotomy. Though most people refuse "awake" craniotomy, I approached it with curiosity and fascination. The 6 weeks of followup Radiation and Chem treatment were worst than the surgery, and it took about 6 months to get back to normal after finishing Chemo. The staff at Mayo Jax has been outstanding throughout my treatment.
The good news is a year later I feel outstanding; working out in a gym; my speech is good (though there was fear I would not speak again); driving again and traveling often. My Oncologist is happy with results and intends to put me on annual check-ups after my next MRI.
I recommend you take 2 non-prescription nutrient supplements which worked well for me.
1. Take Colostrum. All mammal mothers produce colostrum in milk immediately after giving birth. You can easily obtain colostrum supplements made from cows milk collected after calving. In addition to forming immunization in babies, it also heals wounds. Start taking heavy doses now, before surgery and continue after surgery. It will rapidly heal your surgical wound. My wound healed within a week of the surgery. My Significant Other's plastic surgeon put her on this when she had surgery,
2. Take IP6. Our bodies produce IP6 to strengthen immunity, but, production reduces with age. IP6 supplements are usually produced from rice husks. IP6 chelates iron. Because cancer cells are dependent upon digesting excess iron, IP6 effectively starves the cancer cells. My cancer has shrunk each MRI I have been taking IP6. My Significant Other has been a health insurance agent for 30 years, she has many cancer clients who responded well while taking IP6 with treatment. Start taking now before surgery, and continue. Both can be found at any local Health store and Amazon. Both are natural human nutrients, and cause no toxic side effects.
Anxiety and fear are to be expected before surgery. But, there is much you can look forward to. After my surgery, I feel wonderful. I wish you the best results. My prayers are with you.

Jump to this post

Thank you for the suggestions. I’ll do some research! I’m so happy to hear that you are doing well and that your surgery was a success! Those are the things I need to focus on. 7 days…😩

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@jhbl

I love hearing the success stories! Thank you 😊. I hope mine goes as smoothly as yours. I’m an eternal pessimist and my mind is reeling, thinking about each and every possible complication. I didn’t think about the DMV…

Jump to this post

Regarding the DMV, I was told by the neurosurgeon and Physical therapy doctor to not drive until I was cleared by the DMV to do, but it was entirely on the honor system, as no one confiscated my license and I was not suspended. I followed the rules because I did I not want to cause an auto accident and I was concerned that, if I was involved in an incident, whether my fault or the other guy’s, would my insurance cover me, given the situation? So, I gotta my doctor’s and my opthamologist s approvals, and then passed the DMV written and practical exams, just like a teenager getting my first license, and then resumed driving again. The whole process took about 3 months. I could have ignored the neurosurgeon’s comment and kept on driving anyway and no one would have known the difference, but it was ethically the wrong thing to do and I am glad that I took the path that I followed. Best of luck to you, as your surgery date looks to be approaching soon.

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@jhbl

Thank you for the suggestions. I’ll do some research! I’m so happy to hear that you are doing well and that your surgery was a success! Those are the things I need to focus on. 7 days…😩

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Hi @jhbl, just want you to know that I'm thinking of you as you recover from surgery.

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Hi! I want you to know I've been thinking about you and praying for you. You may be in the midst of the post op process that may be a challenge. Remember that you're on the side of recovery now! I know you will have the strength to persevere since you showed the courage to face your surgery to begin with. I look forward to the time when you rejoin posting.

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