To that end, I wrote an email to my loved ones today and, when it was done, I decided that it was clear enough to share here, as an open letter to anyone who reads this.
To: A whole bunch of people I love.
Subject: Surgery May 5. For real this time.
I saw my neurosurgeon on April 22 and he has decided that brain surgery is my best option right now. It's been scheduled for May 5.
The communication around all of this has been terrible (this is the same MRI that he said "looked better" a short while ago). From what I am able to understand (Tim, feel free to jump in here), Dr S (the neurosurgeon) took the images to a different radiologist who he trusts after feeling that he was getting inconsistent information. The two of them decided that it makes sense to take action.
I now have 3 spots on my brain: the mass on the site of the original tumour, a tiny spot deeper in the cerebellum and a new one, close but not attached to the original site (this is the one that is really of greatest concern). From my reading of the MRI reports, this one is either on or very near the lining of the brain.
On May 5, the surgeon is going to attempt to completely remove all spots and then biopsy them. While there is slightly higher risk of complications this time around, the recovery time will likely be a bit better than last, if all goes well.
The lousy way this has played out means that my fantastic plans for this spring have been scuttled. I'm still trying to figure out how much (no bike trip 3 weeks after brain surgery...) and to figure out how to organize our lives so that things go as smoothly as possible.
The kids know as of last night (didn't want to tell Daniel on his birthday) and they are amazing young men. Truly. And Tim - I actually don't have words - is beyond patient, loving and supportive. This is so hard on these guys but they are very good to me.
My pre-surgery MRI is on April 27. I have treatment April 28 and my pre-op appointment on April 30. If memory serves (and there is much I don't remember about last time, including the entire first season of "The Good Wife" I watched in recovery), I won't find out the time of my surgery on May 5 until the day before.
I think you know everything that I do, now. Please, please forgive the group email. It is so much easier to get this out once. I'm stressed but in a reasonably good place and happy to try and answer questions or just chat.
Thanks and with much love,
p.s.: It's actually a nice feeling to need to send out a group email. I have so much support. It's good to remember that.