I don't recall what dates they started occurring, but I started having headaches at work. I thought it was likely because I was starting a new job and it was stressful at times. When I would get the headaches, they were always generalized headaches, like a normal tension headache. I would take some Advil and they would go away and then things would be normal. I didn't think too much of them.
I woke up early on a Saturday morning, 10.13.2007, with a significant headache. I wasn't at work, so it surely wasn't due to stress from work. It also wasn't generalized like the other headaches. This one was localized to the area where the tumor tissue was. I knew that couldn't be good. I tried taking some Advil, but it didn't work this time. My wife thought I should go to emergency room and I agreed.
At our local hospital, which is a very new facility, they were humble enough to acknowledge that they were ill equipped to deal with a brain tumor situation. They had no neurologists or neurosurgeons on their staff and their imaging equipment wasn't really ready for something like my situation presented. They did do a good job in assisting with the pain and referred me to another hospital in the Metro Denver area.
My wife took me there and they had a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, and did MRI and CT scans. The neurosurgeon I consulted with viewed the films and could instantly tell that my present scans did not reflect a stable and unchanged situation. It looked to him that my tumor had grown back, but he wanted to see the prior films to see what things looked like when I had the last MRI.
I overnighted the CDs with the MRI scans from Colorado to Stanford and had the CDs with the MRI scans from California overnighted to the neurosurgeon here. The physicians consulted with one another and everyone was in agreement that things had definitely changed since the last MRI scan. The tumor was back and it had changed quickly. Surgery would need to be performed again.
On 10.25.2007, I had surgery. The neurosurgeon was able to resect about 90% of the tumor tissue and there were no complications from the surgery. I spent some time in the hospital recovering and was discharged on 10.30.2007, to continue my recovery at home. It was very nice to be discharged. I like the level of care at the hospital, but I like being at home much better.