Saturday, December 20, 2008

Taking a break

Sorry it has been so long since my last post. I finished with my radiation treatments on December 17. I won't really know how effective those treatments were for about 6 months. I am now on a break until late January. At that point I will most likely continue with some chemo therapy. These treatments will be for one week periods over 6 months. I have been taking these treatments everyday while doing my radiation so hopefully this will not be taxing treatment.
I responded as well as anyone could have anticipated to the treatments. The only thing that would make it apparent to most that I went through this is the lack of hair on my head. I'm told that the first time it grows back it will likely be a different color /texture. Interesting part of that is that I didn't lose it all over so I may have two tone hair when it comes back.
I still plan on returning to law school in January.
I want to thank everyone for their support and concern. My radiation treatment flew by and that would not have been possible without the network of people who helped me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Test Results came back

I got my test results back this morning and the news was good but not spectacular. I was diagnosed with a grade 3 astrocytoma tumor. For those of you who are unfamiliar with tumors. The grade of the tumor indicates the severity. The most aggressive and dangerous tumors are typically grade 4 tumors.
The most important thing to hear as far as I was concerned was that the tumor was not what is called metastatic. This means that the tumor originated in my brain and did not spread from another location. It also means that that the probability of this tumor spreading to another part of by body is unlikely. The bad news is that this is considered a fairly aggressive tumor. The good news is that while it is an aggressive tumor it is relatively slow growing and my doctor feels that he got all of it during surgery.
I will have to undergo some secondary treatment. This is not entirely unexpected. I will have to undergo chemo therapy as well as radiation therapy. While surgery may have been the riskiest part of my treatment, this will be the most difficult.
My doctor and I talked about a lot of things, but what was most important is what we did not have to talk about. I am dealing with something that is difficult but we did not have to talk about "how much time I have." That's because I can, and will come through this just fine. My doctor has dealt with more severe tumors than this and his patients usually survive.
The timeline we did discuss was how long it might be before I am able to get back to school. He thinks that I will be able to resume spring classes. He anticipates that I will be able to choose if I feel I am ready to resume.
Unfortunately discussing this is a little difficult for me right now so I don't want to talk about it over the phone. It makes me sound like I am having a much harder time with this than I really am.
I told members of my family that I didn't take too much time to wonder why this happened to me. The answer has always been obvious. This happened to me because I can take it. With the overwhelming support everyone has shown me throughout this experience, I am only convinced further that we can take it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Sorry I haven't posted in a while. There really hasn't been anything ne to post. Today I was supposed to get my results at my follow up appointment. Unfortunately my pathology report was not ready today. It was a real bummer. It looks like I won't be driving for a while, so for those of you wondering what it is you can do to help. Rides will be highly appreciated for the next few months. I will update the blog the minute I get the report.
Thanks again to everyone who came out to my fundraiser. It was better than I could have ever hoped for. It meant more than you can understand to see how many people I have supporting me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Since I have been home things have come along nicely. My body feels stronger everyday. I know I have said it already but to this point everything has gone better thah anyone could have imagined. As of right now I think the time line is fairly uncertain b/c recovery has been quicker than most could imagine to this point. I have a follow up appointment in two weeks which should shed some light on the situation. Right now there are not a whole lot of answers excpet that the first, most difficult step, surgery, went very well.
All visitors are welcome to come by just give some notice so that we can make sure I can give everyone some time while they are here. When you do visit feel free to structure it anyway you want. I realize that you guys are the ones with things to do. I really have nothing to do right now but sit around and heal. I think at some point today I may try to stop by Spalding to watch my cousin's football game. I think that happens at around 3.
If I don't answer phone calls i is most likely b/c I am with someone, and as I said, I like to try to make sure everyone gets to see me when they are here.
Thanks for keeping up with my status everyone

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Short update

Been making big strides today. My hair almost looks normal all things considered. Sorry I have been slacking on the entries. I'll make a longer entry for tomorrow with some interesting stuff. Just really tired right now

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ANd I'm Back

I just arrived back at home. I might be capable of talking to people starting tomorrow. Please call before stopping by. I'll admit I am not very entertaining right now. Good to be out of the hospital. Thanks for all the support through the surgery. Looking at me right now is not easy by the way. My head is stapled together right down the middle.

Sunday move

John's been moved out of the critical care unit to the neurology care unit. He's still in the ICU, but feeling much better...I think the ND win and the USC loss really helped the recovery! He actually walked himself down to the new room and says he felt good doing it, just a little light headed. He'll probably be heading home tomorrow or Tuesday. He's looking forward to seeing everyone this week. Once we're home we'll set up some sort of schedule so he's not overwhelmed. He really appreciates all the prayers and comments on the blog. He knows everyone is thinking of him and wishing him the best. Thanks again for all the prayers. They're keeping us all going. We'll keep the updates coming.

Buffy & Caroline

Saturday, September 27, 2008


John will be in ICU for the next few days. Visits are limited to family at this point. He's looking forward to seeing everyone next week.
He's sitting up today and feeling a little tired. The game schedule is lined up and he's resting so he can cheer ND on this afternoon. He knows everyone has been praying and thinking of him. We are over the first few obstacles, but the next few days are still critical, so keep it up~

Friday, September 26, 2008


We got to see John tonight. I asked him how he felt and in John fashion, he replied, "Spectacular." He's tired and drugged, but looks great for someone who just underwent brain surgery. He's in ICU, so please don't send flowers b/c there really isn't room and they aren't allowed.
His sense of humor is intact and he's moving his hands with ease at the moment (one of the concerns of the surgery). We'll have to wait and see what the next few days and weeks bring, but right now things are looking good.

Awake and Alert

John's nurse Amy just came in to let us know that he is awake and alert. He immediately recognized her and asked for a drink. A few of us will be able to visit one at a time in the next hour or so and then he will be moved to ICU.

First Hurdle Cleared

Dr. Q came out grinning! So far so good. John will be waking up soon (around 6) and the family will be able to see him shortly. We won't know exactly what type of tumor it was for at least 10 days. Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts. We'll keep you posted as we get answers. The next few days will still be touchy, so please keep praying. Love and hugs to everyone!

Buffy & Caroline

No Sweat

Just waking up and getting ready to head down to Baltimore. The news that USC choked was a pleasant surprise this morning. Things are already looking up!
I couldn't ask for my friends and family to have been any better throughout this experience. Everyone keep it up and there's no way that this will turn out anyway but perfect.
There should be news about how everything is going around 6 tonight. My mom or sister will update the blog and will have my phone. I will be asking Josh Grogis and Kyle Dixon to keep my friends in the loop for the most part.
Can't wait to see everyone on the other side of this. Thanks again!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Counting Down

Going in for my pre-op mri tonight. Surgeon should know exactly how he plans to attack everything after tonight. I am supposed to report for surgery at 10:20 tomorrow morning. My sister or my mom will be updating the blog after that point. Thanks for all the cards everyone has sent so far.
Looks like my law school semester is over at this point. But don't worry I'll be back in no time, whining, complaining, and making stupid comments in class.
I'll be hanging around my parents til the appointment at 7 tonight but feel free to call at any time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wed. Night

I am headed up to my father's house for dinner this evening so I won't be around tonight but feel free to call me if you want to chat. I am feeling much better today. I should be around thurs. during the day if anyone wants to call or stop by. Just so everyone knows I think space will be limited at the hospital for visitors and gifts. If you want to send something my parents house is the ideal spot. Once again all the support I have received has been fantastic. Thanks again

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Schedule

As you can imagine I have a lot of commitments this week. I have Dr.'s and family and friends that want to see me. So tonight Tues. night I am going to hang in at my parents. Any one is welcome to stop by and see me. I am going to decline going to the O's game tonight. I appreciate the offers but it just seems like it will be a lot to handle. This is probably the best opportunity to see me for the rest of the week b/c I have to get together with family on wed. and thurs. night. The response to my blog has been awesome. Thanks for all the well wishes.
It is important to remember that everyone can see me after my surgery as well. I am too stubborn to let this keep me down. I really appreciate everyone being there for me. Please remember to take care of each other as well. And I realize I have a diverse group of friends so just try to tolerate each other for the next couple days.
My Parents Address is
704 Rusack Ct.
Arnold, MD 21012
Stop by any time

Monday, September 22, 2008


For all of those of you who are wondering what is going on in my life. I created this blog so everyone could stay up to date on my condition. On Thursday the 18th I was in the middle of a run when I started to feel strange. My hands seized into my chest and wouldn't move. I started to lose my balance and sat down on the curb. I suppose I passed out b/c I came to and found about 5 people standing above me telling me an ambulance was on the way. They took me to Hopkin's Bayview campus. They described my episode as a seizure. After doing a number of tests they determined that I had a lesion in the right frontal lobe of my brain. Rather than do a biopsy the neurosurgeon determined that the location of my lesion made it ideal to just go in and take out without haste. My surgeon's name is Dr. Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa. I am absolutely privileged to have him.
My surgery is scheduled for friday the 26th. I will undergo a craniotomy.
I am on some meds which are kind of giving me a hard time right now. I spend most of my days napping off migraines.
I want to talk to everyone so please don't be afraid to call but please understand that I have a lot to straighten out in the next few days and so I may not be able to get back to everyone, please do not get upset about me not getting back to you right away. I value all of your thoughts and prayers. I'll try to update this blog regularly