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.