17 Jun 2011 Not All Great News, But We’re Moving Forwards & Still Very Strong
Last week, I reported of my brain tumour that we just found in my post “A Reminder of our Transience“. The response to that post was awesome! Thanks so much to everyone that left a comment! You have helped me to be strong in a somewhat difficult time. This post is a little bit of an update, following some recent incidents.
I went for my MRI as planned, two days after that post, and went back to the hospital two days ago, on June 15, 2011, to hear the results of that test and my blood tests etc. From the results of the tests, it seems there’s a good chance that what I have is called a Prolactinoma or otherwise put, a Pituitary Macro adenoma.
Apparantly the hormone that produces mother’s milk which should be around 13 is in the 16,000s. If I had the parts to do create it, I’d probably be making a couple of pints of milk a day right now. 🙂
The good news is that these are pretty much always benign, and if that follows through, that’ll save me from having to go through cancer treatment. The bad news is that my Prolactinoma is big and has wrapped itself around the two large veins behind the nose and is putting pressure on my optical nerves. It’s also eaten into the slanted bone behind my nose. All of this is going to make it pretty complicated to remove.
I already knew that this thing was messing with my eyes, beacause four days ago, my eyesight went to pot again. I recognized this as the same sort of thing that happened while I was shooting in Hokkaido before my workshop in February this year. At that time, I thought that part of the cause was that a part inside the viewfinder of my Canon EOS 1D Mark IV had come loose, and that might have been part of the cause, but I was diagnosed as having Presbyopia, as well as a loose part in my 1D Mark IV viewfinder. Canon fixed my viewfinder for me, and the optician did his thing on my eyes by creating me some snazzy new varifocals, that were a right royal pain in the @ss to get used to, but I did get used to them, after a couple of days in Buenos Aires on my way down to Antarctica.
So, although my eyes are still blurred as I type this in my hospital bed after four days of blurry vision, a few other things have happened this week, that scared the hell out of me, and have expediting my admittance to hospital, earlier than we’d expected.
At about 9:30 n the evening of Wednesday the 15th, the day we’d been to receive the results of my tests, I had what for all intent and purposes seems to have been a cerebral infarction. First my left arm went all tingly, then I couldn’t type with it. When I tried to tell my wife that something was wrong, my speech was all slurred, then as we called an ambulance, my left eye went as dark as night. It really did scare the crap out of me.
I’d say I’m lucky as he’ll as this latest attack, different from all the earlier ones that finally led us to finding the brain tumour, didn’t seem to leave any lasting paralysis.
The other good thing that has come out of this, is that I’m now being treated as a semi-emergency patient. This means that although I have to stay in hospital, in case anything else crops up, I may we start having operations to remove the brain tumour by as early as Friday the 24th or Saturday the 25th of June. It might take a little longer but probably not as long as it would had this not happened.
My eyesight is still all to cock, and at this point in time, the doctors cannot assure me that it will be put right after we’ve got rid of the tumour. I think that I can work this right myself though, even if the doctors can’t. One saving grace here too is that I the problem with my eyes seems to be in that they don’t want to move together. It’s as though they are not working together, on the same axis, and that’s what’s making everything blurred. And as this is very similar to what I experienced before leaving for Antarctica, I’m confident that unless they damage the optical nerver during the surgery, I’ll be back to normal at some point. Also though, and this I guess is the saving grace I was going to mention a sentence ago… When you look through a camera, you only use one eye, so although it would be much more difficult to spot a pwetty likkle boidy in a twee like this, once I know where it is, I could probably photograph is without problems. Another option might be having a camera stitched to my face. That wouldn’t be all that bad. 🙂
Anyway, lots of scary monster and super creep talk here again, but I’m going to be alright. Some of the possibilities are really just possible outcomes. I’m as strong, if not stronger than I was when I wrote last week’s post, and I still fully intend to beat this thing. You guys have given me that extra shot of stength over this last week, following that post.
I was totally blown away by the response to that previous post in which I told everyone about my brain tumour. The online Photography community is the best there is. You are all awesome human beings, and I treasure each word that you all took the time to leave against that post. If you comment against this post, I’ll treasure them too, and also the frequency with qhich I can reply will go down in the coming days and weeks, I do hope that I will be well, and back online before too many days pass, and will be sure to drop by and take a look when I do get back online. If it takes me a while to actually reply, please don’t worry. If anything nasty happens to me, I’ll ensure that you are told. So think of no news as good news, and please don’t assume the worst, until you hear anything specific.