23 Oct 2015, 20:53

A health update

First of all, thanks are in order. We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, support, and generosity from our friends and family over the past two weeks. It means so much to both of us–thank you!

For anyone who’s curious, I thought I’d write up a summary of what’s been going on, and what we know at this time.

Timeline thus far

Sunday October 11th

I woke up feeling a bit dizzy, with numbness in my right leg. It went away after about a minute, but then it happened three more times that morning, so Laura and I decided to go to urgent care.

The nearest urgent care center was at a hospital (in Bridgton, Maine), but the urgent care center itself was closed. They did have an emergency room that was open, but at that point in time it didn’t feel like an emergency, so we left to go to the next nearest urgent care. On the way, the numbness returned, but this time accompanied by visible twitching in my leg and abdomen. At this point, Laura said, “We’re going back to the hospital,” and turned the car around. Seconds later, I began having a seizure.

[begin long period of hazy forgetfulness for Jordan]

Laura pulled over, called an ambulance, and they arrived and brought me back to the Bridgton hospital where we had just been a few minutes prior.

Shortly after we arrived, I had a second seizure. They performed a CT scan and found a mass in my brain. We were told we’d need to go to another hospital (with a neurologist): either in Lewiston, ME, Portland, ME, or Massachusetts General in Boston.

Laura chose Boston, and an ambulance took me there. Upon arrival I got an MRI, and they confirmed the mass was likely a cancerous tumor.

Monday October 12th

The next day we met the neurosurgeon and neurooncologist.

[Jordan starts to come out of haze]

My neurosurgeon showed us a print out of my tumor in the left parietal lobe. We learned we’d be doing surgery to remove it, and that I would be conscious during the procedure.

Tuesday October 13th

I underwent a functional MRI, which is pretty much a regular MRI that they do while you’re performing various tasks. The fMRI captures images of increased blood flow to different brain areas, and those areas are then correlated with the tasks performed. This is done to assist in planning the surgery.

That evening I was released from the hospital.

Wednesday October 14th through October 22nd

Recuperating, regaining my memory, and just hanging out in the Boston area (thanks to Aaron & Elissa for your hospitality last week!). Received much-appreciated visits from friends and family.

Friday October 23rd (today)

Had a pre-op meeting with the neurosurgeon where we learned about what to expect in surgery.

What’s next

There’s a lot of uncertainty at this point. I go into surgery on Monday the 26th, which should take most of the day. The goal is to remove as much tumor as possible while avoiding damaging brain function. In order to accomplish that, I’ll be awake and the surgeon will be electrically stimulating tumor areas he wants to remove, to make sure that when he does I can still do things like talk, move my foot, do math, et cetera. If all goes well, I could be out of the hospital as soon as two days later, but that’s entirely dependent on how well surgery goes.

Then it will be another two weeks before we receive a diagnosis regarding the type of tumor, at which point we’ll find out more about next steps for treatment.