Reality Check

With the changing of the seasons, the shortened days, and the colder weather everyone is preparing for the winter and the busy holiday season to come. While most people are thinking about the scrumptious food they’ll eat on Thanksgiving and beginning to daydream about the presents they’ll receive on Christmas, I already know what gift I’ll be receiving: brain surgery.

This past week, more of the details were finalized regarding the surgery and we now have set the official date, which is to be Dec. 20. My parents and I will fly out on the sixteenth of December to Los Angeles My pre-op appointment, where I will finally get to meet Dr. Shahinian in person and discuss specifics of the surgery, as well as conduct one final check-up, will be that following Monday, and then Thursday I will get be undergoing surgery.

Depending on how things go during the procedure I will optimally only be in the hospital for two days, after which I will be released back to my hotel. After spending a couple of days there and making sure I am stable, I will then be given the consent to fly back home. We haven’t discussed with Dr. Shahinian the specific approach they are going to do, but typically with cysts in the pineal gland, they make a small hole about the size of a dime either behind the ear or at the midline of the base of the skull and then remove the cyst endoscopically. In other words, they have a much more minimally invasive way of accessing the cyst compared to some surgeons’ approach which involve removal of the whole back of the skull. The part I am least looking forward to is the staples they’ll use to close the hole. I have a feeling it won’t feel too good getting those removed, but I really can’t complain, I’m truly in the best hands.

This following Monday I believe we are discussing more specifics of the surgery and what it will entail with the nurses, and after we receive that information we’ll just be counting down the weeks till the big day. Now that we have an official date and everything is getting set into place it’s starting to really sink in this is really happening. I know I’ve commented relentlessly how surreal it all is, but sometimes it is just so hard to wrap my head around everything that has happened in the past seven months. All the doctors visits, hospital stays, gall bladder surgery, it all sort of blew past me in a blur. To think that by the start of next year I will be on my way to full recovery and finally completely healthy is almost mind blowing. I literally cannot put into words how excited I am to get back to everything and fully live out my senior year. It’s all very enthralling and also a bit scary at the same time, but I’m starting to mentally get ready for it.

Only 42 days. Forty-two days till surgery and 42 days untill I’m that much closer to getting better. And if everything goes as planned, I may even be home for Christmas. I don’t think I could ask for a better present.