Though I did not say anything, in my mind I remarked, “That is not going to happen to me.”
What the surgeon suspected, that I did not know, was that the tumor probably contained cranial nerves 9, 10 and 11 – all critical to functioning including speech, swallowing, digestion and mobility. He hoped he could remove the mass without cutting any nerves.
Unfortunately, he discovered those nerves were deeply embedded inside the tumor. I awakened unable to speak, swallow – or move. The right side of my body instantly lost muscle – eight pounds worth – making any movement not only excruciatingly painful but nearly impossible given the nerves that enervated major muscles no longer functioned.
Following one month in rehab…
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