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  • Writer's pictureKristen


Updated: Nov 25, 2021

Well, it's 5:51 am, and I just dropped Matt off at University Hospital for brain surgery #2. That's right... I just dropped him off at the front door... for brain surgery. Covid makes everything weird.

I have to apologize if you're reading this and we haven't had a chance to let you know that Matt's tumour has come back. We've been doing our best to keep people updated for the past two weeks, but things have been moving so quickly that we haven't had a chance to post any updates here. I thought I would do my best to quickly bring everyone up to speed so that I don't have so much to write tonight when I let everyone know that surgery is over and Matt is in recovery.

On November 7th, Matt lost peripheral vision in his left eye while watching Henry's hockey game and had a few other symptoms that were consistent with the aural seizures he was having before he was diagnosed in 2018. He called his doctor's office in London the next day to let Dr. Dave know, and later that day got a call from the hospital in Owen Sound letting him know that he had an appointment for an MRI at 12:30 that day.

On Wednesday morning we were feeling a bit nervous when we got an email that we had an unscheduled appointment with Dr. Dave at noon. I came home from work for the video conference appointment and after lots of questions, Dr. Dave let us know that the most recent MRI showed a change. He said that we would hear from the surgeon's office by early next week and took the time to explain three different chemotherapy options that we could explore after surgery.

November on the left, July on the right

Matt and I were still processing this news and chatting on the couch when the phone rang a half-hour later. It was Dr. Hebb, the surgeon, and he told us that he would like to get a more detailed MRI in London and see Matt in his clinic. He said that his secretary would call within the next few days with appointment times, but she called within the hour to let us know that we had appointments in London the following Monday and Tuesday.

I don’t always like what I see, but I always like to see the MRI. This is the clearest image we’ve ever been shown.

We had a snowy drive to London early Monday morning and had our first introduction to the extra layer that Covid protocols add to the hospital experience. After a 40 minute wait outside in the screening line, we learned that only Matt could go into the hospital for his MRI. The next day things moved a little quicker and I was on the visitor list for the appointment with Dr. Hebb. Our appointment was at 9:30 and it felt good to talk with Dr. Hebb in person. His calm, quiet confidence is very reassuring and after filling out all of the paperwork, he left us in the capable hands of his secretary Cheryl, who was going to let us know about a date for surgery sometime before the first week of December.

Cheryl surprised us when she came in five minutes later to let us know that she was shooting for Monday, November 22nd for surgery and that she had already made arrangements for Matt to complete the pre-admitting tasks before we left the hospital that day. This was great because it meant that we didn't have to drive back to London later that week, but it was not so great because it meant that we spent the rest of the day moving from waiting room to waiting room, while Matt filled did blood tests, an ECG, swabs, and lots and lots of paperwork. After subsisting on gift shop cashews all day I was getting a little (a lot?) hangry by the time we left. A quick stop at Boxcar Donuts and Frommagio's Pie Shack was the perfect fix and we had an uneventful drive home.

Matt was back at school on Wednesday and enjoyed having a few days to wrap up loose ends and say goodbye to his two classes for the rest of the semester. In typical Matt fashion, he finished his report cards and put together an outline for the rest of the semester for whoever fills his position.

Our past two weeks have been filled with so many kind gestures and offers of support. Thank you for all of the prayers and messages and hugs and food. Matt and I are grateful to be surrounded by such an amazing network and talk often about how lucky we are to have all of you in our lives. We're feeling the love.

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