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Talking About The Brain Tumor

My Cat

As some of my regular readers might have notices, I moved to another town where I stayed for almost four months to help my uncle. I moved there with my most important things, including my cat you see in the photo of this post, and my computer and a couple of other things I needed, as I was aware it could be a longer stay. Some days ago I moved back into my own apartment in my hometown, because my uncle has a couple of appointments in the hospital in my town.

I didn’t go into detail back then for several reasons, because all that was clear was that he got severe health problems and that he needed my help. At first we just knew his symptoms, and it was suspected in the hospital that he got epilepsy, but over time he got more and more other symptoms, and there were a few other problems why it took time until we got a more clear diagnosis, but I won’t go too much into detail why it took time.

We do now know since some time that he was not suffering from epilepsy or other things, we do now know that these were just symptoms of something much more evil, I will tell you in this post. I am now more ready to talk about it, especially because I did process all the things mentally now, and because my family always stayed anonym anyway with my writing style on my blog. This explains why I have chosen a picture of my cat Shyna for this difficult blogpost, because as much as I wanted to show you a photo of my uncle, I want to give him what I prefer for myself too, a writing style that gives us enough anonymity.

Still the photo of my cat is pretty related, because I took the photo during the time we lived in my uncle’s house to help him. She did make us all laugh and smile in difficult times, she also made my uncle smile and laugh quite often, even if he suffered from nasty symptoms. I think that pets have some kind of healing power, and if not that, they can at least give you a bit of joy. Generally, we all tried to move on, to be a help for my uncle, to preserve some kind of normality. It was still easy, until my uncle got the results after the MR and MRI. We all got a big shock, it was like losing the ground, they told us that he has a tumor in his brain.

Now it was clear, the epilepsy and all the other  problems were “just” symptoms of a tumor in his brain. I could now go into full detail what we know so far, but everything what I would write could already be inaccurate in a week. I can just say that they wanted to do a biopsy as soon as possible, but then we got the phone call where they told us that they would want to remove the tumor right away, and they would then send a sample of it into the lab to tell us afterwards what kind of tumor it is and maybe even a prognosis. We did now wait two weeks for the appointment, he will get into the hospital tomorrow, and the surgery is on Friday.

They had a conference the week before, to plan his surgery, you know they are experts, and they plan carefully, and this Friday they will remove this thing with a very big team of experts, including professors, neurosurgeon, anesthetists and so on. We heard that even the youngest surgeons in the hospital removed over 300 of these things in their careers, and generally they did a good job to tell us that this is a standard surgery today, and that nobody died on their table but still I do understand the fear of my uncle. He will be there one day earlier, I guess because they want to set everything up, and I believe they will give him sedatives so that he can calm down before Friday.

We know so far, that they can not remove it completely, today it’s usually a combined therapy. In my uncles case, we know it will be the combination of the surgery, and later a radiotherapy will follow. It could happen that they might have to add chemotherapy afterwards, but this is not clear yet. In easy terms, they explained that they will remove most of the tumor during the surgery, but they can not know for sure where the dead tissue ends, and where healthy tissue starts, which is why they will fight the remains with radiotherapy. So, it’s as if they remove the core, and fight the outer remains with ray weeks later.

I was always interested in medical topics and have read a lot, but not about all subjects. Over the last weeks I have read a lot about tumors. They suggested my uncle not to read before the surgery, and I get why they do this, but for myself, it always helps to understand certain things. However, I didn’t confuse my uncle with information’s, he didn’t read, and I also didn’t make him unsure. We had an appointment with one of the neurosurgeon yesterday, and she made a lot of things more clear and could convince my uncle that he will wake up after the surgery, because his biggest fear was that this would not be the case.

I for myself, I am not so concerned about the surgery, because I know it’s indeed a standard procedure for them, and modern countries like Germany have the best experts and hospitals, and apart from that they would have explained if the surgery would be too risky. I am much more concerned about the sample result from the lab that we will hear afterwards, because I know the prognosis totally depends on what kind of tumor it is. We all are in hope that it’s a tumor with a very good prognosis. I am concerned about the following time, but I am hopeful and my uncle knows that he can count on us all, he knows it and thanked us all.

I think the recent difficult time has shown how strong my family is. I always assumed that we would have team spirit, but I just assumed it. The recent time has shown that it’s a fact, my family is pretty strong, there is so much solidarity and motivation. I would lie if I would say that we are not afraid, but I am totally surprised how much power and hope there is in our family. We all are nervous in a way, but we are ready to tackle no matter what happens. My uncle understands, there is no other option, he needs to go the by the doctors suggested way, otherwise things will get worse. We all didn’t lose hope, we want him to get healthy, and we will do everything to support him.

I had to write this post. Blogging has always been an activity for me where I can write about fun things, but sometimes things are not that funny. It helped me not to write about the health issues of my uncle, it’s because I didn’t feel to do so. But now I wanted to do this, because I processed it already a little bit. I believe that writing about it will help me mentally as well. If I wrote about bad things in the past, when I was ready to do so, it always helped me.

I will spend a lot of time in the hospital over the next days. I will not go there tomorrow, because I know it will be a busy day for my uncle with a lot of tests. I will visit him on Friday before he gets the anesthesia and before the surgery starts. I assume we can not visit him right away after the surgery, I assume the doctors will be very busy with him, but we will be there to get information’s. Also, we will visit him the following days, because it is for now expected that he will have to stay for at least ten days after the surgery. I will try to keep me engaged with other things too in the free time over the comming days, to preserve energy and to distract myself. I love my uncle, and my hope is with him.

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16 Comments »

  1. I hope you and your uncle will be always blessed
    Reblogged with my best wishes
    I just lost my uncle who was fighting a metastasized tumor
    His last day is unforgettable also his place in my house
    Every time I smell his odor
    I pray for him to be in peace and love
    God bless u always 💐💐💐

    • Thank you Ninja. We all hope for the best. I am sad to hear that your uncle lost this battle. I can not even imagine how hard this must have been,
      and I hope we don’t experience the same. You have a place in your mind, your uncle will always be there. He is in peace, the good memories stay.

      The diagnosis of my uncle did hit us all hard, we will now hold together and support him to fight this evil thing. Thanks for your blesses!

  2. You are right. Pets play a role in healing. While my niece battled brain cancer, she looked forward to walking her happy dogs outside (it may have been slow, but the dogs seemed to understand) – it helped deal with discomfort of treatments and having a warm cat drape over her on the couch without it being asked was comforting. You are in a good location. There is reason to hope for the best outcome. Family around does help – you have an internet of beauty to share, amusing videos, and interesting tidbits and stories to retell to distract. Hang in there. And the cat is good medicine.

    • I agree with all this. When he comes out of the hospital, we will keep him distracted with all kind of fun stuff, with the dogs and cats in the family, with fun activities and so on. Also we will support him in the hospital and motivate him. We all are just sure, it doesn’t make sense to put our heads into the sand, it would just make life more difficult for my uncle and the whole family. My uncle was pretty negative over the recent weeks, it was difficult for us all, and I can understand this of course, but he starts to get hope too, I believe it helped that we are rather hopeful than pessimist. Also the talk with the doctor helped him. He knows now, in this battle, he will not be alone.

  3. I will be thinking of your family and hope that the analysis of the tumour after surgery will show that is benign. I know that your family is very supportive of each other and will all be there to help your uncle through his continuing treatment. It was nice to see Shyna, we haven’t seen her on the blog for a while I think. I’m sure she’s happy to be back in your apartment again.

    • Thanks a lot Vanda, we all hope this. By the way, you have been a great help to me when we wrote with each other about it, thank you for this. You are right, it’s some time ago since the last photo post of Shyna. I have still so many of her in the pipeline that I will share. At the end she was pretty comfortable in the temporary home, but you are right, I noticed she is like we humans, real home is real home. 🙂 I might upload some cute photos of her soon, because posting photos will distract me in the free time and when I am not in the hospital to visit my uncle.

  4. You wrote a beautiful post, Dennis. it is not easy to speak about these things. Like everybody else I wish a good outcome for your uncle and strength for you as you continue to help him.

    • That’s so true Vera, especially when we heard the first diagnosis… my uncle wanted to speak about it, he needed someone to speak. Weeks later he told me how much it helped him and that I managed it well, but to be honest, I thought these were the most difficult talks I ever had. I just wanted to motivate him, but at the same time I was aware that we speak about a tumor, so that I had to find a balance between just understanding or listening to his fears, and to keep him motivated or to make him forget the negative thoughts for a while. The time after the diagnosis has been incredible difficult for us all. But the solidarity and hope seemed to make him stronger, that’s what we wanted to achieve. He is not alone, we will go through this with him together.

      Thank you very much Vera for the wishes. This year I do just have one entry on my wishlist, I want him to get a good prognosis, that he gets healthy, everything else doesn’t matter to me. It’s that time when you notice that nothing has more value than health, spent time together, family and friends.

  5. Dear Dennis, this is not an easy time, but you are doing great, and please be sure I am with you in my thoughts and heart. I will pray for your Uncle, everything to be fine. You are such a nice person, and son, your support and help great for your Uncle. And to be honest, I haven’t seen a beautiful and thoughtful writing like yours, God be with you all dear Dennis, my best wishes and prayers, Love, nia

    • Thank you Nia, your comment is motivating, and your comments always very nice. We all are ready to support my uncle in his difficult time. Thanks for the wishes and blesses Nia!

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