Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dad's Noggin

Here's a brief update of what's going on inside dad's little noggin.

For those of you who don't know, since January he's had double vision since January that has affected his far away vision. An MRI was done, and he was sent to a neurologist. The MRI was negative at this time. The neurologist started him on a medication for ocular myasthenia gravis that appeared to be helping for a short period of time. At this point he started seeing a neuro-opthalmologist to follow up with the possible diagnosis of ocular MG.

At some point a few months ago it got worse. So he tried a week of steroids and kept taking the medication. It improved fairly significantly but after he stopped taking the steroids, the vision returned as it was.

Last weekend, the double vision continued to worsen and began affecting his upclose vision which was very frusterating for him, as you can only imagine. Another MRI, this time with and without contrast was done and showed a small meningioma in his caverous sinus.

A few definitions for you:

Meningioma: this is a tumor that can have several different presentations. Only a very slight percentage invade the actual brain tissue. An even smaller percentage are cancerous. His is neither.

Cavernous sinus: this is located in the base of your skull and although the name is confusing to some, it's not a sinus cavity that houses your snot during allergy season. Simply put, the cavernous sinus is a little area that houses a lot of blood vessels and is where your 6th cranial nerve (the ocular nerve) travels between the eye and the brain. Hence his vision symptoms.

On Monday morning, he, mom, and I met the neurosurgeon at UTSW to formulate a plan. As expected, he told us that it is likely benign (and he knows this based on the location and presentation). He also said that the cavernous sinus is not a place they like to operate because of the nerves that run through there. Operating on a tumor there would likely worsen his vision and it would be a permanent worsening. Obviously not our goal. So with those things in mind, he suggested radiation therapy. Radiation will either halt the growth of the tumor, lessen the size of it, or blast it to smitherines, but there's no way to know until you do it. This will most likely be a one time radiation treatment that is done by a radiation oncologist. (Again, no...that doesn't mean this is cancer. They are just the doctors that do the radation.)

Dad will meet the radiation oncologist for a consultation next Friday to discuss the options. And we'll take it from there.

The one peice of info that I didn't see coming was that the neurosurgeon isn't sure what his sight will be like even if the tumor goes away completely. It could return to normal, get a little better, or stay the same. This depends on if the nerve there has been damaged or if it's just irritated and compressed by the tumor.

All of that said, here's how you can support him in prayer:
  • that he maintains a healthy attitude emotionally and spiritually
  • the radiation blasts the tumor away permanently
  • his eyesight improves or even returns to normal
We appreciate your care and concern!


  1. Thanks for the update! Our Compassion team is praying for you guys. Mark P

  2. Me and the Janda bunch are lifting up your dad in prayer. Lots of love and hugs to your family!

  3. The Open Range Cowboy Church and the Carter Family are praying for James complete recovery.

  4. Tippy, thanks for the medical update and terminology. We quill continue to pray for complete normal vision without any complications. You are a great daughter and James is in the Handsbof Our Father. Blessings to all. Pam Horsstman( Anderson)

  5. Tiffany,
    Thank you for the update. Stacie and I are praying for your dads' complete recovery and for all your family. Glory to God and his miraculous healing power. Steve M.

  6. Prayin for a complete healin, James and family!
    Sara Salinas

  7. thanks Tiffany for the detailed up date on James' condition

  8. May your dad keep his chin up, keep looking up, the treatment blows it up and he is back to his "normal" self with renewed vision asap. He is in our daily prayers~ Pamibee

  9. Our thoughts and prayers are with James as he goes thru his treatment on Fri. Though we are not members of the church, James has help our family thru several difficult times. Bobby and Vickie Courtney

  10. Wow. Maybe my family can go and support and possibly help if you need any thing.

  11. Love and prayers for all - for James and complete healing, for Laura - for rest and all the things it takes to support the love of your life, for Tiffany - for continued health and rest throughout the pregnancy, Zach - as he supports everyone in his quiet strength, Davis and Ashley as they love, support, shield, stand in the gap... you all are loved by many and by Jesus, the great physician.

  12. Jason and Heather SherwoodJuly 6, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Your prayers are in our hearts and if you need anything we are there.
    God bless you