I had my 16 month post op MRI end of June. Arrived in Orange County early AM rented a car and made the short commute to USC. My anxiety was through the roof as I was slid into the MRI tube and then waited patiently to discuss the results with Gianotta. I can't wait for the day when I walk in walk out without any worry. Its still so fresh to be able to relax. On a positive note Gianotta noted no new signs of visual growth. What one time looked like a marble on my brain now appeared to be the size of a grain of rice. As hard as it was to still see anything on my brain I was reassured that the residual tumor left behind was there not to compromise the facial nerve. Feeling positive Gumby will never regrow, Gianotta advised me to keep up the good work and he'll see me next year for another scan. I asked Gianotta if I could get a scan in Vegas and have it sent to him so I wouldn't have to travel to LA every year for a MRI. He stated that he uses some of the best imaging equipment and wants to continue using only his equipment. I understand and I want the best images so I will continue going to LA for my scans. With that behind me for another year I can keep focusing on my greatness.
Recently spent a week with my family in Traverse City, Mi. and had an amazing trip. While in Michigan I had the opportunity to run another 5k. My goal was to beat last years time of 29:53. This run was much more smooth compared to those in the past I experienced minimal bobble head and brain bounce. Looking left and right while running still creates an issue where I feel like I might trip and fall. My leg now has a much smoother relaxed stride. I finished the race with a time of 28:21 and placed 3rd in my age group. Never give up!
As discussed in my previous blog I've been busy starting Property Image Services, LLC. I'm happy to report that business is picking up and sometimes I feel like I bite off more than I can chew. For example, I took a demolition cleanup job that required removing 16 tons of busted up concrete. A shovel, wheelbarrow, two 8yrd dumpsters, two days and a lot of manual labor I completed the job and the customer was happy. I was exhausted! A task that was nearly impossible a year ago, I was so happy to be able to complete. It was a true test to my balance and stamina. I found using a dual wheel wheelbarrow was key to combating the balance issues.
I'm still learning about my new normal everyday and all the challenges that present themselves. The little things you never thought twice about. For example, when sitting at a table for a meal with others I now have to carefully pick my seating arrangement so I can hear everyone at the table due to my SSD. My dry eye is an ongoing battle I have to say its probably the most aggravating part of this whole recovery. I still haven't found a comfortable alternative to the Refresh PM ointment. I recently tried a product called Lacrisert, which is a small tablet placed under the lower eye lid. Over time the tablet is supposed to dissolve creating moisture and comfort. Well my tablet jelled up and became uncomfortable. I have reached out to others in my situation and their advice is to get a tear duct plug. I definitely will look into the plug.
I find myself who once was very outgoing is now a little more reserved. Its difficult to describe but even though I'm told often that nothing appears to be wrong with me I'm still living the invisible disability. I find most social settings and outings mentally exhausting so I don't enjoy them as much as I once did. I still however try to participate in most outings and functions. I get bored easily and need to keep moving.