March 03, 2005
Awake craniotomy good. Pertussis bad.
|Ripley: I say we take
off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.
Hudson: F**kin' A...
Burke: Ho-ho-hold on one second. This installation has a substantial dollar value attached to it.
Ripley: They can *bill* me.
Beloved friends and family,
I strode into hospital the morning of surgery feeling "Let's do this thing". As Jennifer will have told you, my awake craniotomy was a great success. The surgeons seem to have removed almost my entire tumour while I was awake while taking care to drug me to the extent that although I was conscious nothing was bothering me and I can recall almost none of the hour and a half during which they kept me communicating. Works for me. It's the only way to be sure.
We've been home for around ten days, during which time I've had a variety of strange emotional outbursts that seem to stem from some of the drugs they gave me to control swelling (anger) and possibly the surgery itself (maniacal laughter, light with closed eyes). I'm not worried about any of it. It will pass. And anyway, the laughter can be pretty funny and is probably merely emotional release... not insanity. I had only a single mild seizure even a couple days ago, and when I visit a neurologist again it may be that I can drop my anti-seizure medication. That would be nice; who knows what it's doing to me. Perhaps it's making me laugh like a loon.
Less fun is the fact that Chloe caught pertussis (whooping cough) a month ago and now we all have it. It's truly awful, causing racking coughing and gagging all day and all night for weeks. Oh, and it's apparently incurable, tapering off and going away after a couple months. For as supported by the universe as Jennifer and I feel about my tumour, we just don't get this pertussis thing. It just hammers you flat. I not like, and Jennifer is utterly wrecked from lack of sleep between hew own coughing and Dylan's. Chloe, at least, appears to be getting better.
Although my various language and memory problems are the same now as prior to surgery--and may or may not improve--I do seem to be somewhat better again with this computer. I added as many photos as I could find to my address book of friends and family, along with adding names of related people so that when my brain won't produce a name I have a better chance of finding my way to a person through related people whose name I might recall at the moment.
We heard last night from the doctor running the dendritic cell vaccine trial in Brisbane. He is ready to divest me of some blood to start training my immune system to "nuke from orbit", although I'm not sure if he'll need to wait until pertussis goes back to hell. Jennifer and I also cancelled our appointments with the chemotherapy and radiation oncology specialists until we're more energetic again, although those are things to be looked at fresh before we decide to get radical.
Over the past few days I've been able to journal again, and posted a long entry at http://www.peterlalor.org/ covering the period from the last entry to now. I even managed to post the entry myself for the first time without causing any technology to burst into flame, which is a good sign. Enjoy.
Death may have lost interest in me, or perhaps not. But if it comes for anything I'm going to offer it pertussis. Have a nice day.
Lots of love,