I worried myself almost literally sick all day. I really thought the nurse would call in the morning like she said she would. But no. I waited the entire day. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was about to have a panic attack, worried that they would leave me high and dry over the holiday weekend. I managed to get a hold of the nurse’s direct phone number (muahahaha). So I called it a few minutes before 5 pm. She answered (and of course she was just about to call me…uh huh.) And we talked.
The CT angiogram from Thursday confirmed I have a 4 mm saccular aneurysm projecting from the left supraclinoid internal carotid artery (ICA).
Yes, that’s tiny. But even the tiniest things can cause problems depending on where they’re located. Especially since to get to the pituitary gland, the instruments have to be passed right by the carotid arteries. One knick of that vessel and I could become a vegetable.
But. BUT. My neurosurgeon spoke with a neurovascular surgeon colleague and they both reviewed everything together. They then came to the conclusion that it is safe to proceed with surgery as planned!
I was so happy I cried. The nurse said I would follow up with the neurovascular surgeon post-op and he might put me on anticoagulation (which seems a bit counterintuitive to me, but maybe he has his reasons.)
My biggest feeling at first was relief. And ecstasy. My worst fears hadn’t been realized. My surgery will continue as planned and they will get this tumor out of my head.
But then the nervousness and panic set in. This definitely raises the stakes even more. It may be a benign tumor, but it’s not a benign surgery. It’s dangerous. And now even more things could go wrong. Even the nurse said the decision to green light the surgery was about 50/50. As I started to dwell on this, I became unfocused and couldn’t think about anything else until the sun went down. Then I was finally able to calm down. Slightly. I do better with the world at night. It also helped to watch the video on this page, which explains the surgery (even though the type of tumor is different) and features the two surgeons who will be removing my tumor.
But…how could this have happened? There was nothing on the MRI scan in March indicating an aneurysm. So where did it come from? Did I have some sort of congenital thinning in that area of the vessel and the aneurysm arose when I smashed my head on the doorframe on the day we returned from Atlanta? That was technically blunt force trauma. It was a really hard hit, I’m not gonna lie. But since I didn’t develop a headache, we decided to not go to the ED. Or is this somehow related to the tumor? And since the aneurysm went from nothing to 4 mm in a few months, do we have to worry about it getting larger and into a more dangerous zone for spontaneous rupture?
The questions are endless. Which is why, although I am ecstatic the surgery will go ahead as planned, I am more worried now than I ever have been about anything in my life before. Yet there’s that numb feeling that I can’t shake either. I almost feel shell-shocked. I have a ticking time bomb in my head. This is just yet again one more thing that I have to deal with in a long list of diagnoses that seems to keep wanting to grow. Will it ever end?
But…this popped up in my Facebook newsfeed as I was in panicky tears waiting for that phone call. I could hear the sweet voice of Jesus whispering in my ear. Enough said. Praise You, Lord. Amen.