The tumor situation

On September 15th 2010, I received a rather devastating diagnosis: an MRI scan showed a tumor of unknown origin inside my spinal cord behind the second to sixth spinal disc. At this time, it was uncertain whether the tumor ment cancer or not and whether or not the tumor was growing inside the spinal cord or wrapped around it. It was only certain that
at this point, I had lost mobility in both my arms continually since February until I could barely use them. My legs were still working but getting slightly unstable already.
The tumor would affect my respiratory system, ultimately resulting in my death less than 6 months in the future.
Less than 3 months in the future, I would have been a paraplegic.

On September 29th, in a neurosurgical process that lasted more than 11 hours, the tumor was successfully removed – completely.
The fact that the tumor could be removed ment that the pieces of the spinal discs that had been removed to allow surgical access to the tumor could be put back in place. The alternative would have been a destabilized or partially stiffened spine.
A quick histological check of the tumor indicated it was benigne (type Ependymoma). It must be one of life’s little ironies that even something considered „good“ could cause disabilities and ultimately even death.
My spinal cord was not injured in the process – meaning all neurological structures will most likely make a full recovery over time.

I owe my life and the fact that I will make a full recovery to the surgeon who performed an outstanding job that day: Professor Dr. Ganslandt of Uniklinik Erlangen.

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