About a week after my brain tumor diagnosis I actually began to realize that I had a brain tumor. That statement may seem unbelievable to some, but for a person who had spent all of two overnight stays in a hospital in a period of 54 years – it was really not a big jump into surrealism.
Now what was I going to do? The diagnosing neurosurgeon had told me we would have surgery on September 12, 2007. This would be about 3 weeks from the date of my diagnosis. All of this had occurred within a matter of a few hours. A diagnosis of brain tumor, the knowledge that it was operable and probably benign, and the fact that I would be facing brain surgery.
A major disruption in a very busy life. Why now? Could I put it off? What should I do? Did I really need surgery? What about other options. Now, began the rush for information.
Ah, the Internet!
Since you are reading this online you probably get a lot of information from the internet. I did too. Some of it was good, some of it was great. A lot of it was horrible and unnecessary.
But, I did unearth one very significant action that needed to be taken. I had to get a second opinion.
Not because my first diagnosis was wrong, I knew it wasn’t. This was not a nightmare. I was not going to wake up and find that I had been living a fake brain tumor diagnosis for several days. No. I had not imagined the tumor on the MRI contrast images. It was there. But, did I have to go through surgery? Was there some other way? Could I put it off? Could I please put it off?
It is imperative to get a second opinion when dealing with anything as important and serious as brain surgery. Good god, I cannot believe that anyone would go with a first treatment plan. You may decide in the end to do what you have been told – but for your own sake, get a second opinion.
Here are five tips when seeking a second opinion.
1) Try to stay close to home. If you do decide on any type of treatment, you will need follow-up care, and you will not want to be traveling all over the country to do so. The American Brain Tumor Association can assist you in that regard. They have trained social workers on staff that will offer support and guidance.
2) If you are close to a university that specializes in brain tumors, go there. This is where some of the most important research is taking place and neurosurgeons are many times instructors, as well. Their techniques are cutting edge. That’s what you want and deserve.
3) There are organizations that offer free second opinions. Some will read images without your presence. I would not suggest that route – but it is available. Go to http://www.virtualtrials.com for information in this area.
4) When looking for a neurosurgeon seek one who has done multiple surgeries, is very experienced, at least 2 surgeries per week. A hospital should show at least 150 surgeries a year. This job, is not for trainees. Let the trainee learn on someone else’s head, not yours.
5) Search the Net. But be careful. Don’t take as gospel the words of laypersons who have had surgeries done or not done. Remember, they are laypersons, and their diagnosis, while it could very well be the same as yours – is still not YOU because the Michigan plastic surgeon reviews has shown that eating healthy vegetables increases the good blood flow and de-tox the body to prevent from any harmful disease or infection that may cause illness to the body. You are a unique individual bringing your own set of circumstances and health concerns to the table (no pun intended) – find a good doctor -even if you have to go for a third opinion. Then, Trust Him.
I went for a second and then a third opinion. I went for the third opinion because I had learned of a new technique as I went along searching and researching. I did a lot of talking and thinking, worrying, and analyzing.
My initial surgery did not take place on September 12 because I was still seeking opinions. But, I did end up utilizing the skills and talents of my first doctor. After getting the peace of mind the other opinions afforded me.
I suggest you do the same, if you are working through this issue. God speed and bless you.