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A Final Decision

Posted by on June 3, 2010

While Robin and Erin were sunning themselves, I busied myself with rearranging items in the motorhome, playing golf, and taking walks. But then I received a phone call from Dr. Aziz, my neurosurgeon at AGH stating he wanted to see me. The call was a bit foreboding as I’m feeling as good as ever. After a two hour stint in the waiting room, he finally came in, pulling up results of an MRI on his computer. He showed me some growth in the tumor. The size is approximately 1″x 1/2″, not much of an increase. However, he pointed out considerable swelling of the brain around the tumor. Apparently this is the brain’s defense mechanism noting that there’s something in here fellas that just doesn’t belong. His main concern was the ventricular cavity centrally located between the two hemispheres. This has been pushed into the left half due to the swelling and growth. He stated that he has conferred with at least four colleagues and they are stymied by the fact that I illicit no symptoms. His suggestion was removal and soon. I was blown away. I suggested possibly the cyber or gamma knife procedure. This would not be as invasive but would not remove the tumor, just stunt it’s growth. I told him I would decide in a week. I left there befuddled as the news caught me totally off guard. I spent the nest few days walking and wandering about, thinking about my plight.
I knew it was time for a road trip. These always seem to help me make decisions. At 8:30 on Saturday morning I decided to ride to Arlington to visit my brother. I packed a change of clothes, my medical necessities, dropped Brutus off at Jay and Chris’ and by 10 I had the Roadliner packed and ready to roll. This would be the first long distance trip since purchasing the bike back in November. By 3 p.m. I was exiting the George Washington Parkway to Turkey Run Park where I was to meet brother Dan. He wanted to ride to the Mall and show me the thousands of bikers there for the Memorial Day Rolling Thunder Ride. From the Lincoln Memorial to Capitol Hill, bikes were side by side, literally five rows deep for miles. I had never seen so many bikers in one arena in my life. We stopped at Dan’s apartment to check on the animals. Ben has to be the most loving dog I”ve come across. Then off to the hotel for check in. Dan had procured for me the nicest room  I’ve been booked in my life. I treated him to an al fresco dinner of some fine Italian cuisine. We discussed my situation, his point in life but mostly things we never shared growing up together. It was at times bittersweet, revealing, calming, and a learning process. In five short hours I grew closer to my brother than the past 50 years. We parted company at 10 with each of us going to our respective abodes.  As a treat to me, Dan had purchased a three hour session of glass blowing on Sunday morning. This is just one of his many artisan hobbies and pursuits. We drove out to Warrenton where I met Tom, the master crasftsman. In the next three hours, he taught me the many aspects of molding and blowing glass. He allowed me to make a few paperweights as they’re the choice of most novices. However, I did end up blowing a glass Christmas ornament that turned out rather well. They had to be put into a kiln for some time. Dan will made a road trip and bring them up to me and I can surprise Robin with my crafts from the heart. A little after noon I hit Route 15 north to head west on 50 toward Winchester. I chose the blue highways to see the northern Virginia horse country and admire the surroundings of the gentry. Five hours later I was sitting back at the rig, smiling to myself that I was able to ride 500 miles without incident and no adverse symptoms to my balance or thought process. It gave me time to finalize my decision. I shall wait until summers’ end, have another MRI administered and then probably have the surgery. Afterall, September has been a good and lucky month for me as surgeries go. Three years ago this September, surgery eliminated my chondrosarcoma.
I readied the motorhome, packed up the trailer, tied down my bike and prepared for Robin’s arrival at the Pittsburgh International. The following day we shall head for central Pennsylvania, taking a workamper stint in the Lake-in-Wood Resort.

5 Responses to A Final Decision

  1. Debbie

    Larry, your news is what it is, and takes me aback so to speak……and I think you needed a solo journey and a bonding with your brother Dan, and the heart to hearts…….you probably already knew what you were going to do, just had to do a few things for yourself first.
    I truely feel in my heart, that there is a plan for you in this world, which is showing us what we would not see without your words and your eyes, and we have not even begun to see it all yet……..love to you and Robin, and as always~Happy Trails Gypsy Larry~

  2. Minnie Minerva

    My thoughts are with you and glad you took the time to make the decision that feels right for you.

  3. Melissa

    My thoughts and prayers are with you Larry. Safe travels, Melissa

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