I survived brain surgery! What’s next?

Long time no post, right? As I think most of you know, I had brain surgery to remove a tumor about four weeks ago. The surgery went really well: the surgeon got more of the tumor than he thought he would (about 90%), the tumor was benign, and I was out of the hospital the day after surgery. I’m currently walking down the road to recovery, and I’ve honestly bounced back a lot faster than I thought I would. I’m up and about, head pain is pretty well controlled with over the counter Tylenol, and I can pretty much do everything I did pre-surgery without trouble. (Though I’m still not supposed to drive. I think I could without trouble at this point, but..)

My major hurdle has been eyesight. My initial symptom was vision problems: vision in my left eye would go dark now and then, and stay that way for anywhere from a few seconds to a minute. My eye doctor determined that my optic nerve was swollen due to some kind of pressure, and we did an MRI to find out exactly what was causing it. That’s when we found the tumor.

But my vision post-surgery is worse. A lot worse. My left eye has a constant gray fog along the outer edges, and even my central vision is a bit dimmer than usual. Peripheral vision on my left side is completely gone: I can’t see anything on my left until it’s slightly in front of me unless I turn my eyes or my head to look at it more directly. My surgeon said this was expected because your brain swells post surgery, but I’m concerned that it has only gotten moderately better, and I’m worried my right eye isn’t as good as it used to be, either. But it’s honestly hard to tell because change is slow, whether it’s good or bad. I am going to see a neuro-opthalmologist at the end of June (the soonest I could get an appointment), and hopefully she’ll have some advice. Neither my surgeon nor my usual ophthalmologist have been able to give me anything but speculation. (Unfortunately, there’s only one neuro-opthalmologist in my area, so I need to take whatever appointments I can get — and, just my luck, she doesn’t take my insurance.)

My next step is radiation to get rid of what’s left of the tumor. I should start in a week or two. It’s low-dose radiation which should have few side effects, and it gives an 80% chance of the tumor not coming back. (Though I’ll need to monitor it by having regular MRIs for the rest of my life. The type of tumor I had has a high chance of coming back.) Once I start the radiation, I’ll have daily half-hour treatments for six weeks which should get everything that’s left of the tumor. The strangest part: I’ll lose some hair, and though it will grow back, it may be a different color or texture. Weird, right? I guess it could be an excuse to dye my hair crazy colors. We’ll see what happens.

What about finishing the novel?

Sooooo… what does this mean for writing? I’m honestly not entirely sure, in part because I have no idea how the radiation treatment will go. My current deadline for getting Accidental Futures to my editor is July 3, and I really want to hit it and finish this project so I can move on to other exciting things. I already have book two and three mapped out, and it would feel great to finish something and move on to a fresh project. Still, after it’s edited I’ll still need to go through it and apply those edits, do a pass for any lingering typos, find cover art, format it for distribution, and actually distribute the thing. So even when the writing’s finished it’s not finished… though it will be close.

If you support me on Patreon, this means some changes so I can avoid stretching myself too thin. I’m going to nix the idea of doing a serialized fiction story and focus on the novels. (Though I’ll probably re-add serial fiction to the mix if I hit my $750/month goal, which would let me clear out more time for writing and cover costs for art and editing. I don’t think I’m going to hit that goal any time soon, though.) I’m going to be updating my Patreon page and rewards to reflect this, though I’m still contemplating exactly what to change. Basically, I want to be sure I’m offering interesting stuff for the support I’m getting. I may cut the cost of rewards, add some new ones that take up less of my time than creating a whole new story, or maybe a bit of both.<

If you have anything you’d like to see me doing, whether you support me or not, please let me know. Eventually some of this content will land on my blog for free, and if I do get back to my serial story, it will land on Amazon when I’m finished.

So if you have any thoughts, let me know — and thanks for reading!

In Category: Real Life, Writing
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