I’ve debated

about writing this email and sharing a personal situation with you.

I’ve decided to go ahead because just like I have a school family, I’ve

come to feel that I have an “educational blogging” family and I want to

let you know why I won’t be blogging for a little while.

Back in 2001 I was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma, a brain tumor

that starts in the cells that wrap around the auditory (hearing) nerve

in the head. Now the good news is that these tumors are benign. The bad

news is that if they grow they can press on the brain stem and that is

life threatening. The other good news is that they grow slowly.

Needless to say, 2001 was a traumatic time for me as I researched what

to do about it. This was right in the midst of 9-11 so things wern’t

going well for me or my country. The Internet turned out to be a

godsend and led me to a wonderful doctor at Johns Hopkins to have

radiation. That was the least invasive treatment and I wanted to avoid

surgery at all costs. What I read about some of the surgery results scared me.

Anyway to make a long story short, 3 years later I find out that I am in

the 3-5% failure rate for radiation. I have to have surgery. Everything

I learned told me to go to the surgeons with the most experience as

this is a very delicate surgery. This time I am going to Los Angeles

for surgery on May 20th. I’ve got a good doctor. Both of my doctors do

email and respond anytime I write. I think I’m going to make that a

requirement for all future doctors.

Now, hopefully, I will do just fine and snap back in a few weeks. That

has happened to others. Others have not been so lucky and have ended up

with facial damage, problems, etc. I’m an optimist and plan to be on

the high side. I have learned that this tumor is life-altering, not

life-threatening and I will carry on.

I welcome your thoughts and prayers. I have already told the guys

that I would have been presenting with at NECC. I hate to miss my

favorite conference but I am going to take Will’s suggestion and tell

the doctor to be sure and leave the “blogging” lobe untouched!

I’m off to catch a plane to LA in a couple of hours. I’ll post again as soon as I am able.