New surgery

We met with DeAngelis   and her oncology team: Dr. Yosh Umemurai, Dr. Birra [inpatient 3rd year resident – part of the team], Antonio Pascual [via Facetime], Katia Fisch, Ed Sullivan, Susan Locke and Alan.

The first and most important question to be addressed was whether or not surgery is necessary.  Dr. DeAngelis explained that Alan’s tumors affect multiple parts of the brain and that they are probably “connected to each other.”

The results of his most recent brain scan [since hospitalization] indicated that there has been significant and rapid growth of the tumor on the right side.  The rapidity and extent of this growth was not anticipated by any of his doctors.  The overwhelming probability is that the symptoms he has been experiencing [left side weakness in particular] are due to this tumor, though there is a slight possibility that the effects of radiation treatments are present.

Alan was assured that surgery would result in significant improvement in the functioning of his left side.  The surgery would not involve tumors that are present in other areas of the brain, including the one located near the corpus callosum.  The treatment of cancerous tissue other than the large mass on the right side would be handled with chemo or immuno-therapy.

Following surgery, he would likely be in the hospital for several days, followed by return home or possibly intermediate care in a rehab facility.

There will be no further radiation treatment.  If they are sure that it is a tumor [not effects of radiation], this will determine what form of chemo he receives.  The fact that he has recently undergone radiation would likely preclude his participation in clinical trials at this time.

When weighing treatment by chemo only vs. surgery, it was clearly Dr. DeAngelis ‘ opinion that surgery is his best option and that it would provide the most immediate relief.

When we discussed the possibility of surgery at NYU, there was no compelling reason to move Alan from MSK.  In fact, the whole process of transfer [particularly if NYU would not admit him immediately and he would have to go home in between hospitals] would likely be needlessly stressful.  Alan was assured that Dr. Tabar is a highly skilled surgeon and that he would be in capable hands.

Surgery is now scheduled for this Friday PM.  A sense of urgency was stressed.

Earlier today, I had a physical therapy and an occupational therapy session both were hard work, but helpful. My left side is still very weak.

While I love all of the love and support, it’s almost too much – rest is #1 priority for now.

More info coming a things develop.

A pic from Katia Picasso:



One last request set up by my loving friend Michelle:





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20 thoughts on “New surgery

  1. Stanley and I wish you all the best for the surgery and we'll be thinking of you with s lot of positive thoughts

  2. I'm sending you so much love, Alan. Encompass gathers for its yearly retreat on Friday, and we will take a moment to honor you and hold you in the light as you head into surgery.

  3. Alan - your openness about this very personal experience is scarey and heartwarming. We have been around the planet you and I on our own trajectory. I still pray sometimes ( to the generic god) that those who are suffering and continue to work for others will inherit the earth. I am so inspired by your strength and that of others I know who are fighting the good fight for life against brain cancer.

  4. Prayers and thoughts with you on Friday afternoon and with your strength and energy finally returning.

  5. Sending you our deepest love from Provincetown where we are celebrating our fourth wedding anniversary today. Wishing the love may transcend time and space and you may feel us with you during Friday's surgery. We love you and are so grateful to have you in our lives these 20 years.

  6. Alan, you are a marvel of grace and strength. I'll be sending good vibes and warm Texas hugs your way tomorrow morning.

  7. looking forward to seeing you on sunday after your very successful healing operation on friday, with Gods help!

  8. Sending you the best energies and love from Spain. My best wishes for today. Can't wait to see you in NY. Un abrazo muy fuerte!!

  9. Dear Alan,
    I don't pray but I know how to send loads of positive energy and Reiki your way. Very tough setback but you are stronger than most people I know and you will regain your health soon hopefully. I hope Michele will keep us posted on the surgery today. Big hugs

  10. Love, love and more love. wish I could visit you on Sunday,but there is not enough room in the car. However, I am with you in mind and heart.

  11. I hope that the surgery went well. Thinking of you and sending you all of the love and positive vibes I can muster!


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