Adventures in brain tumors: a frustrated start

I wish I had a copy of the images to show you, because they're kind of amazing. Imagine a cross-section shot of a head and what isn't brain, is tumor. In the small gap at the base of the brain, there it is, and it's huge. Tumor, all of it. So large you can't see my pituitary gland or other tissues in the region at all. So large I hear it may have caused irreparable harm.

Of course I'm twice as old as the last time I believed I was truly invincible, but I'm not so old that I forgot what it felt like. Walking to the Neurosurgery wing Friday morning, I noticed I'm younger than the average patient age by 20 years and that just about broke my heart.

My imagined full, amazing, and speedy recovery was sidelined Friday as I reviewed photos of my brain, took some blood tests, and got some results. My hormones? Zeros, across the board. Testosterone? Zeros across the board. Adrenaline production? Zeros across the board. I'll get to wear a Medic-Alert bracelet for that last one.

Of course, hormones are replaceable, as there's a giant body of work stretching decades behind me and pretty much everything can be synthesized, measured, and replaced. A sudden fear is subjecting my loved ones that surround me to the rocky weeks. This can't go perfectly, right? I don't want too much testosterone Matt to snap at his daughter. I don't want not enough hydrocortisone Matt to pass out and ruin a weekend. I never wanted to be a guy that carries pills around wherever he goes, but here we are, and it all seems too fast, too soon.

Overall the path is up the meds and hope to shrink the tumor a bit because it's actually too big to clean it up in one surgery. The meds have side effects so we're ramping up slowly and I've also just learned a path of total inaction will end with blindness eventually.

So we have to keep on it.