My life changed in a matter of days.
We were camping in our new motor home when my wife, Lynne, said to me, “Do you realize that your speech pattern has changed?” I said, “Yes.” When we got home, I called my doctor, and we met with him the next morning. He ordered a CT scan, and two days later he called: there was something on my brain. He then ordered an MRI, which showed a tumor.
Lynne teaches dog classes, and one of her students gave us Karen Greenan’s contact information at the Brain Tumor Network. From that call on, we had a path to follow. Karen got us an appointment that afternoon with “Dr. Q” at Mayo Clinic, who confirmed that there was a brain tumor and that I would need brain surgery. They explained that there was a chance that I would not be able to speak after the surgery due to the location of the tumor.
After thirty hours of speech therapy, I am now able to speak. Although my thoughts are fine, verbalizing them can be painfully slow. If I am very tired, then speaking at all is an effort. I also had ten hours of physical therapy. The first day, I went to therapy walking behind Lynne and holding onto her shoulders. Now, although I tire easily, I am able to maneuver quite well.
As I write this, it has been ten months since my surgery. I am able to drive both my car and the motor home, play golf, and do my pottery. I still tire very easily, but continue to push myself to gain more strength. I will be 79 years old at the end of the month.