- Posted May 20, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Surviving a brain tumor
My mother had a 30 year old brain tumor!
My mother , Barbara Weygandt, is 76 years old and at age 68 her blood pressure suddenly shot up overnight. She also had suffered progressive hearing loss in her right ear starting at age 55 that was ignored by Stanford Medical Center in California - "age appropriate". She had also had what we now understand were petit mal seizures - also explained as "sinus pressure" related by Stanford staff. Thankfully, she moved back to Ohio and the Dublin Urgent Care staff here in Columbus, Ohio thought her suddent blood pressure elevation was not standard practice for her age or her history. They sent her by squad to Riverside Methodist in Columbus. A very knowledgeable ER doctor did not treat her like a crazy old lady and decided to send her for a series of tests. He told her that her results appeared to be that of a possible "brain cyst" but was smart enough to insist she go off to local brain surgeon, Dr. Janet Bay, for an urgent appointment. Well, long story short...my mother had a 30 year old, non-cancerous brain tumor that was now big enough to be wrapped around her brain stem putting her at risk for sudden death. After tests revealed she was an excellent candidate for surgery despite her "advanced" age, she had most of it removed minus a small piece that would have risked her eyes had they removed it. It may grow back in 30 years...when she is almost 100...and she may live long enough to need another round of surgery! Sadly, the pressure of the tumor also caused a deep carotid aneurysm found on her 6-month check-up. However, she had a second brain surgery at age 69 to patch that with crazy glue and Teflon and is doing better than folks half her age. Of course, my mom is a big fan of Dr. Bernadine Healy, more so since Dr. Healy had a cancerous tumor removed the same day my mother had her non-cancerous tumor removed! I recently saw Dr. Healy on TV and she is also doing quite well. If Sen. Kennedy has wonderful health care providers then he may soon be counted among the lucky survivors. Medicine has come a long way and age isn't always a factor in surviving a brain tumor.