I stuck around long enough to be told I was going into surgery ASAP. I wasn’t groggy from drugs. The pressure from the tumor was pushing so hard on my brain that I was essentially dying. Speech and motor skills were shot. I thought I was getting surgery on my hip. My hip? That’s one of the parts of my body that still work fine to this day. This was not a good spot to be in, but I didn’t have time even to ponder they were about to open up my skull. I was out not long after that.
After the surgery, they set me up a room in ICU. This was already the second day in the hospital, and I had already received more CT scans and MRI than I ever had in my life. Arms were littered with IV’s. The doctors told my wife and my brother Curtis to “be prepared for the worst.” After surgery on the brain, especially where mine was located, there could be speech issues, declined motor skills, things of that nature. So what did they walk into? Me, joking and making all the nurses laugh because, well, that’s who I am. And cancer wasn’t going to take that from me.
Fast forward a week, and I was finally discharged. I had to be back for follow-ups with my radiologist, my neurosurgeon, and my oncologist–on my birthday. Happy Birthday to me. So after getting home to rest for a while, we made that trip back up to Chattanooga. It was then that we decided that we’d have all my care moved to Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte since that’s where I live.