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!