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2018-10-06 16:12:00 UTC 2018-10-06 16:12 UTC

josh:  I was kind of on the fence about whether to publish this picture, but I think I should:

As I think mentioned, I had an "awake craniotomy". I was out when they cut skin and bone and the part that separates the skull from the brain, but they brought back to wake for the brain cutting, and I talked to them about things that we had set up earlier which would be important - language stuff.

I'm counting almost 90 staples in that picture, but the skull cut was quite a bit smaller. I had a *top notch* medical team and an *incredibly talented* surgeon for this process. I can't say that I recommend it - haha - but it was much less grueling than you might imagine.

Also, the cancer was mercilessly driving me insane, and now it has been hit back hard, and I'm recovering very quickly.

Before the surgery, I have to admit it was scary. I had really careful and supportive help from my new and old friends (including very close people I had not talked to for decades who somehow knew me still better than I could have imagined), and they kept me hopeful and operating until I got in for surgery. I will never be able to fully describe the pre-surgery deteriation experience, and frankly it's better that way. But my friends helped me get much closer to talking about it than I ever thought I could be.

I have a couple of weeks to go through recovery with strong steroids, but I'm hopeful that I can be back in action pretty soon, with the stronger side of my language processor brain back up at full speed (that's where I was taking the big hit from the tumor which is now out and spending quality time with researchers).

This recovery is not fun, but it's not scary like the crazy that the tumor was bringing.

I have so much to be grateful for, and I'm looking forward to much more in the next few weeks. If you want more specific information about MD Anderson and my surgeon, I can tell you more privately -- definitely the "A Team" for this, and I was lucky enough to just walk into it (and out of it!). SO Grateful! - and thanks for your constant thoughts and prayers. As I mentioned before - totally working!

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2018-10-06 09:24:00 UTC 2018-10-06 09:24 UTC

josh:  I got back home from MD Anderson yesterday, and I'm going to spend the next few weeks chilling, healing up, and getting down off the steroids. I've got about 95 staples in my head - pretty gruesome looking, but wow, what a job that was putting me back together.

I got pretty much a full hair buzz-cut to have while I heal up.

I'm unbelievably fortunate to get to MD Anderson and get such an amazing treatment. My family, friends, neighbors, church members, my young daughter's school families, and even people I don't know have been incredibly supportive.

The doctors will take some time to do a full analysis of the tumor that the surgeon got out -- he mentioned that it looked like glioblastoma (or perhaps a mix between that grade 4 version and a somewhat lighter-weight grade 3 version), which is not a great thing to have. But he got the tumor out, which would set the rest of it on its heals for a while, putting me in a good position to be ready for its next move. I'll post more details about what it is specifically when I get the information - MD Anderson, my surgeon, and the other doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who have been working with me are simply amazing.

I'm pretty sure I'm speaking out of the right side of my brain for now until the stronger left language processing side can get back to normal function as the cutting heals up and the steroids drop down to nothing - looking forward to that. For now it feels like I'm back in high school when I read and write - haha.

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