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This isn't an easy thing to write, and it probably won't be a fun thing to read either. As at least a few of you know, I had a seizure in August before Worldcon. At the time it was believed to be caused by stress and anxiety and not likely to recur. However, last month I had two more, and an MRI was scheduled for this past Wednesday. The MRI revealed that I have a tumor in the brain (it was initially described as two tumors, but a neurosurgeon has now told me it's only one). It's impossible to know what kind of tumor it is without getting some cells to look at. Right now I'm scheduled to have surgery next Thursday, but there are still some decisions to be made about which procedure I'll choose to have. Unfortunately there are still a lot of unknowns about what I'm facing, but I thought I needed to let people know at least this much. My mom and sister came up to keep me company in the consultation with the neurosurgeon, and they will be here for the surgery too. I've been in shock since I got the news on Wednesday, but I feel slightly less anxious since seeing the neurosurgeon. I've got a rough road ahead of me, but I'm blessed with a great family and a lot of great friends, so I know that I won't be facing whatever I'm facing alone. I'll keep you posted. If you want to talk to me, please ask before calling. Thanks!

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( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
scarlettina
Dec. 5th, 2015 06:41 am (UTC)
Oh, Randy. Gee. I'm so sorry to hear this. If I can be of any help--groceries, housekeeping, anything--please let me know. Seriously. I'll PM my contact information.
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you, J. I know you've already had too much of this kind of thing in your life, so I really appreciate the offer.
kate_schaefer
Dec. 5th, 2015 06:50 am (UTC)
Oh. Damn. Yes, we'll all be here, doing what we can.
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:28 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Kate. Right now I'm just appreciating all the moral support I've been given.
kalimac
Dec. 5th, 2015 06:56 am (UTC)
Your friends love you: that's the first and most important thing I can say.

I've been on the road of having someone very close to me have such a tumor, more than once. Yes, it's a rough road. You and yours should travel it slowly and carefully, one step at a time.
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:29 pm (UTC)
I've been feeling the love loud and strong, and it has helped tremendously.
frostfox
Dec. 5th, 2015 08:15 am (UTC)
Thinking very positive thoughts in your direction and very glad you have people close at hand to support you.

randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC)
Positive thoughts are always welcome here!
don_fitch
Dec. 5th, 2015 10:00 am (UTC)
The term "brain tumor" isn't nearly as horrfying as it was 70 years ago, but it's still bad. I hope it's one that responds perfectly to treatment. If all else fails, you might remind yourself that it's better than some common kinds of senility. And you'll know that there are a lot of us here who are hoping for the best for you.



randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
It does sound as though treatment of brain tumors has improved tremendously in your lifetime, and probably in mine too. The neurosurgeon said that in the '50s I would've been in a much more difficult situation than I am now. Which isn't to say that I'm not in a difficult situation.

And yes, worse things could happen to a person, as Eve Harvey reminded me when she revealed on Facebook that in October John was diagnosed with Parkinson's, for which there is still no cure.
history_monk
Dec. 5th, 2015 11:46 am (UTC)
Wishing you the best of luck with it.
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:34 pm (UTC)
Many thanks!
bibliofile
Dec. 5th, 2015 11:56 am (UTC)
Yikes! Yes, that is worse than shingles. Definitely. Argh.

Yes, please keep us posted.
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 07:36 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how regularly I'll be posting here, but I'll do my best.
gerisullivan
Dec. 5th, 2015 12:26 pm (UTC)
Gosh, just what nobody wanted: another medical roller coaster ride.

Deep breath in; deep scream out. Repeat as necessary or useful.

Here's hoping the surgery brings good news, and, when you kiss 2015 goodbye a few weeks from now, that you'll be well on the road to your complete recovery. And, yeah, we'll be with you through the big unknown now and everything that comes next, whatever and everything it turns out to be.

My best to your mother and sister, and to all near and far who are already helping see you through this thoroughly unwelcome reality. And to you, of course. Always.

randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Geri. Telling my mom about this is one of the hardest things I've ever done. It wasn't something she wanted to hear. And I actually felt almost as bad for the doctor who had to give me the news, because she had never met me before. I could see it on her face before she even said anything.

But my mom and sister have both been champs for me, as have been so many of my unbelievably wonderful friends. Thanks for being one.
gerisullivan
Dec. 7th, 2015 12:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, talk about conversations you never, ever want to have with your parent (or child, even when that child has long been an adult). I'm so glad I already knew how strong your family relationships are, because, yeah, layer upon layer of support is such a blessing, such a profoundly needed blessing.

If all goes as I hope here on the other side of the country, I'll spend Thursday wandering around the Outer Banks and other bits of North Carolina where I lived for a couple years in the mid ’70s. I've been meaning to go back ever since moving east, and I'll be just a couple hundred miles away when I drop the rest of the Worldcon videos off with the guy who's digitizing them.

I particularly like the notion of being looking at the ocean and thinking of your vacation hikes and photos of along your own coast. I'd like it any time, but it seems particularly fitting for Thursday.

You do know that the way one gets unbelievably wonderful friends is by being one, right? Right!

Onward.
randy_byers
Dec. 7th, 2015 06:07 pm (UTC)
All things considered, I think I'd rather be with you in the Outer Banks. I've always heard it's beautiful there .. even if the Atlantic is just a pond compared to the mighty Pacific. :-) And yes, listening to the ocean has been one of my favorite therapies since I was a kid.
gerisullivan
Dec. 7th, 2015 07:44 pm (UTC)
I'd have more fun if you were along, too. Perhaps the next time life brings another road trip our way....

Bigger mountains, bigger ocean, and far superior salmon, too. You've got it all!

Something went *click* inside 4-5 years ago. Ever since, whenever my stress levels spike, I've been "OMG, I want ocean. I need ocean." Rocks, trees, and mountains are still good. (Back in the late 1980s, I found it remarkable just what 1,400 miles distance and 14,000 feet could do for my perspective on the trials of working in Corporate America.) But rocks, trees, and mountains aren't *ocean*. I still don't know where that specific urgency came from after decades of liking the ocean just fine, but ranking it even with all the other forms of nature that serve well as therapy (along with music, of course).
grytpype_thynne
Dec. 5th, 2015 04:07 pm (UTC)
That's a bugger of a situation and no mistake. Indeed you are not alone and people thousands of miles away will think of you on Thursday.
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks, GT. I can use all the support I can get, even if it's thousands of miles away.
intelligentrix
Dec. 6th, 2015 08:26 am (UTC)
This year is so fired.

I will be sending you good thoughts from my own OR--ironically, I'll be having spinal fusion surgery the same day.

I'm so glad you have such a wonderful and supportive family and your circle of friends ain't too shabby either. Best of luck and a big virtual hug from me.
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 05:04 pm (UTC)
My friends are amazing. Best of luck on your own surgery. I assume it's for back pain, and I hope it does the trick.
wrdnrd
Dec. 6th, 2015 06:18 pm (UTC)
Damn, that's really hard news. Really glad your family's able to be in town for you. If there's any way way i can be helpful, i'm happy to be available. Growlers from Big Time will surely aid your recovery, right?
randy_byers
Dec. 6th, 2015 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Wrdnrd. I might ask if you'd be willing to pick up a couple of bottles of this year's Old Wooly, when it's released, but I'll reimburse you for that.
wrdnrd
Dec. 7th, 2015 06:32 am (UTC)
I would be so very happy to get you a few bottles.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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