From: VRHS43A@prodigy.com ( JOHN H TWIST)
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 00:29:35, -0500
Subject: Successful Recovery
15th April 1998
Dear Family, Friends, Enthusiasts!
Thank you so very much for your thoughts and prayers during my surgery
and recovery! My convalescence was short and I am thoroughly mended.
Six weeks ago I travelled to Rochester, Minnesota, to the famed Mayo
Clinic for a "second opinion" requested by my local endocrinologist, Dr
Douglas Notman. Despite two years of medicinal therapy, my brain tumor had
not retracted, but had in fact, grown ever so slightly. At Mayo, Dr Chas
Abboud called for new MRIs and a new visual field test. The tumor was
larger than a year ago, and the eye test showed what appeared to be the
beginning of an eclipse. Dr Abboud wished he could again try a different,
newer drug (which I had already tried), to attempt a chemical shrinking of
the tumor -- but there was no time -- the tumor had to be removed
immediately. My HMO would not cover the cost of the surgery at Mayo, and
not having $30,000 in my pocket, I returned to Grand Rapids.
Four weeks ago Monday Caroline took me to Blodgett Hospital where two
local surgeons, Drs Spooner and Grin, worked up through my nose to remove
this tumor. Specifically, it was a transphenoidal debulking of a
macroprolactinoma. The operation took only two hours under general
anesthetic, but I remained in intensive care overnight. After all, it WAS
brain surgery. The Doc told me he removed "all he could see" and then
packed the cavern with fat from my abdomen (I told him to take as much as
he wanted. He replied "all the women say that.") These type of tumors are
very "suckable" and resemble jello in consistency -- I never actually
viewed mine. By Thursday I was discharged. I had been consuming two
Darvocet pills (some narcotic, I think) every six hours and felt absolutely
wonderful. I left the hospital with neither pills nor prescription for
them. Resultingly, Thursday night was one of head throbbing agony -- I
cannot, fortunately, describe my misery! Of course, there was no way to
remedy the suffering until the next morning. I've felt great since!
The next Tuesday I returned to work for several hours and ratcheted my
hours up throughout the week. By last week I was both working on the floor
and working the counter.
My recovery has been swift indeed, due in no small part to the
extraordinary outpouring of cards, letters, calls, and visits from so many
people, near and far.