Stu and Lin: Lin's medical situation

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lin's medical situation
Jan 16, 2008

Hi all,

Well, Life seems to be a bumpy road that throws you into paths you never expected. The unexpected is exactly what drew us to our current lifestyle. A lifestyle we intend to continue for a long time.

Pauline has given you guys the gist of our current situation and we really appreciate her friendship. (Her email is copied below) We will continue to stay in touch with her and with her assistance, keep everyone informed as we progress to a full recovery. We will email everyone as time allows and call Pauline when we can't email. We will update the WEB site as this new journey proceeds.

Now to the details (as they say "the devil is in the details"). As we traveled to Branson for our Christmas "HOP", Lin complained of some double vision and numbness on the left side of her face. Stu accessed his rusty paramedic hard drive and ruled out strokes and other serious maladies. The symptoms seemed vague and more annoying then serious. We had a great time in Branson.

As we traveled to TX the symptoms got a little more worrisome. We arrived in TX and located a local Doctor. He ordered a MRI and lo and behold there was a tumor located adjacent to the Pons/brain stem. The medical term is a Meningioma. Meningiomas are the most common benign tumors of the brain (95% of benign tumors). The tumor is very slow growing. Off to the neurosurgeon for probable surgery. That was yesterday 1/15/08. The surgeon was located by a means we will discuss at a later date (a higher power was at work). This guy is one of the leading neurosurgeons in the nation and has performed very sophisticated and advance techniques for the last two decades. Needless to say we are going to stay here for the surgery. The only other surgeon of this caliber is in Pittsburgh. We are not going to snow country.

Surgery will involve two procedures and plenty of tests. MRIs CAT scans and other tests will provide the surgeon with the level of detail necessary to know exactly how to move forward with the procedures. The first surgery will be traditional knife and removal of gross amounts of tumor. The surgeon estimates about 90-95% removal with this technique. Additional removal via knife increases the risk of damage to adjacent nerves, vessels etc. Lin will be in the hospital for about a week. About two months later a "gamma knife" will be used to remove the remainder of the growth. The Gamma Knife directs up to 201 precisely focused beams of radiation at the target tissue. This will be done on an out patient basis.

So, that's it in a nutshell. We have discussed our plans with family and friends. We really appreciate all their support. It is the glue that holds a very fragile world together and the only really important thing right now.

God bless us all!



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