Coral and I met with Dr. Akram Zwai yesterday, the neurosurgeon who will be performing my operation in about four weeks. He was thorough and honest about the prognosis - which seems good, by the way - but what impressed me most was his sense of humour and his absolutely positive, affirming, uplifting attitude. He's a young professional who knows holistic health care.
His first prescription was to smile more and laugh often. Awesome.
He even played into one of the jokes I wrote on Twitter on Friday. I told him about leaving a scalpel in my head to add a little edge to my wit.
"I don't know about that," he said, grabbing something from the desk behind him. "But will a letter opener do?"
Apparently, I will be meeting Dr. Zwai on an annual basis for the rest of my life (or until he decides to move on elsewhere).
I'd rather not be in the situation I am in, but thus far, the man I met yesterday is someone who will be a valuable acquaintance moving forward. Not just to fulfill my medical needs, but to strengthen me emotionally and spiritually.
As you can tell, I'm stunned by our encounter.
Medically, the tumour is not where I first thought. I saw the MRI results, which showed the mass being above my right eye starting where you would see my eyebrow and running towards the temple.
Dr. Zwai's concern is that the tumour has infiltrated the bone in my forehead, which will require a more thorough surgery and a follow up of radiation to kill any remaining sick cells. He has ordered a CT scan in the coming days to determine the exact location/penetration of the tumour.
If the mass has entered a sinus cavity in the area, it may have to cleaned and filled. My main concern with that was if it would affect my speaking (singing) ability - if it would make me nasally. He said it wouldn't.
And what may have caused the tumour - both this one and the one in 2002? Dr. Zwai suspects it was smoking. He wasn't afraid of shaming me due to that fact, but in a way that was positive and motivating.
I should note that I'm feeling well, especially compared to the experience I had in 2002. This time, I have slight headaches once in a while, sporadic feelings of absolute exhaustion, slight sinus problems and mood swings. That's nothing compared to the torture I endured in 2002.
And other than being told not to perform strenuous labor for long periods of time, I'm totally functional. I will continue to freelance write and perform gigs with The Old 21 leading up to the surgery.
Which is good. I need some semblance of normalcy after having another tire iron bashed into my life.
Onward and upward, though.