the only constant in life…
had things not changed, had everything stayed on course, i would have begun the preliminary stem cell transplant steps at mass general hospital (MGH) on may 5, 2017.
things change… it is hard to believe it was over a week ago today i was rushed to the ER (april 27, 2017). i understand clearly what was happening. at the time however, i was in tears to the paramedics while en route trying to explain my health history in one long-winded sentence, as well as both describe to them (and explain to myself) that currently i couldn’t move my left arm.
a few days prior i noticed that typing was a little challenging with my left hand. it was difficult to access certain keys. later that same day, when attempting to play guitar, i again noticed the fluidity with which i normally fingered the chords (using my left hand) wasn’t present. both times i assumed i was tired and shouldn’t push myself.
the following day, on the morning of the 27th, while driving back from an appointment, i lost complete mobility in my left arm. unsure if this was a seizure, a stroke, a clotting issue… i called for an ambulance. as most of my ER stories go, they did a number of tests. the first of which was a CT scan of the head. what they discovered explained the loss of mobility/motor function in my left arm – a 3.2cm lesion located on the back rear lobe in and around parietal and occipital lobe. the MRI i had on jan 30, 2017 showed no sign of this (what is assumed to be) metastatic spread.
unlike the other brain lesion that was dealt with using solely stereotactic radiosurgey (srs) in early october (2016), this one will initially be surgically resection and then, perhaps, srs will be used.
… why am i still so surprised how fast things can & do change?
when i first met the neurosurgeon he was optimistic that the 3.2cm lesion in my brain was merely causing swelling and this swelling was pressing against a supplementary motor cortex (voluntary movement HQ). he was optimistic. however, his tone changed after steroids, administered to help decrease swelling when the lesion was discovered, didn’t assist in bringing back the slightest movement in my fingers or arm. i am able to hoist the weight of the arm using my shoulder, but there is no grip or dexterity in my fingers, hand, wrist, etc. & bending it at the elbow isn’t yet possible entirely on my own/without extra guidance from my right arm. it is the strangest thing to be looking at my fingers and telling them, asking them, pleading with them to move and they don’t. i still have sensation and can detect touch, warm/cool temps, etc.… so this is where the hope will reside for recovery of mobility & use.
rather than just being swelling from the lesion causing pressure, the surgeon feels part of the lesion was pushing against one of the primary motor cortex bands that run along this particular section of the brain. i am still trying to wrap my head around this… but it does explain the continued immobility of the extremity.
future stem cell transplant steps are being postponed for a few weeks. naturally, there is quite a bit of healing to do in the meantime and any sort immune compromising regiment can’t be undertaken until later in may.