This has been a strange week, in the midst of a strange year.  Many of you have faithfully been praying for a recent family health concern; in addition, I’ve let a few of you know of another health situation in my family.  My apologies if I’ve been a bit elusive this week, but I think you’ll understand.

Last Friday, I learned that I have a brain tumor.  Technically speaking, a low-grade glioma.  This came after multiple “fainting” episodes in the past few months, which turned out to be seizures.  Nothing short of God’s direct protection kept myself (or others) from being seriously hurt during one of these episodes, but it was clear something was wrong.  Since the MRI scan which yielded the diagnosis, here’s what the doctors have determined:

  • The tumor appears benign (non-cancerous)
  • It’s parked on my right frontal lobe (away from the really important stuff)
  • It’s near the skull (easy to get at)
  • It’s not that big (not small, but could be bigger)

Here’s what happens now: I get a second consult from the Univ. of Washington neuro-oncologists (the guys who take lumps out of brains); we set a timeline for surgery; I go under the knife, spending a couple days in hospital; and, for the next few weeks, I get my strength back and we make sure everything still works OK.  If you need to have brain surgery, this is the best-case scenario, I’ve gathered.

Please note: I’m not in any pain right now (just feeling a little funky from the new meds); my brain still works just fine (and you can keep your jokes to yourself!); I’ve had my keys taken away for a few months (just until we see how I react to things), so I’m not able to come and go as I’d like for awhile; and all of this is pending my second consult in the coming week.

There’ll be plenty of time for philosophizing later, but I’ll leave you with this: words fail me to describe the experience of spending a weekend thinking you might have a terminal illness.  Though entirely terrifying, it is also, in a sense, completely liberating.  Knowing that if I can make it through this thing relatively unscathed, I will have been given an amazing gift that many in similar situations simply do not get.  An inch or two in any direction, and this tumor might end my life; whatever God has planned for the rest of this process, I can rest easy knowing that every second of every day thereafter is a freebie, and I just get to enjoy what He’s keeping me around for.  Today, I received the best bad news I’ve ever received: another shot…

You’ll have to excuse my lack of eloquence in describing this ordeal, but I just wanted to get the information out there.  I don’t mind others knowing about this, either (unless that person was about to offer me a glamourous, high-paying career with lots of travel.  Tell that person I’m fine…).  Thanks in advance for your prayers, your continued love & friendship, and any other support I may hit you up for in the coming weeks.