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From the Desk of David L. Howard

From the Desk of David Howard
Rumors of my impending demise are premature…

Apparently some misinformation regarding my health has hit the rumor mill and I am told that I need to set the facts straight.

First of all, following my last back surgery in January, my back is doing very well. I still have some pain and my right leg apparently has some nerve damage but nothing I can’t handle.

As for my blood condition (Compensated Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia) I am doing great. Following chemotherapy, I have had two blood tests and the critical measurement is better than it has been in three years and in very acceptable medical range.

Finally, I recently took a hearing test and was told that I have asymmetrical hearing loss (my left ear is much worse than the right). My doctor recommended that I have an MRI and unfortunately it detected two small tumors on the left side of my head.

One of them is small and filled with fluid and the doctors are not particularly concerned about it. The other tumor is called an acoustical neuroma and is located on the nerve that leads from my ear canal to my brain. It is non-malignant. It has affected my hearing and can possibly affect balance.

Thankfully the tumor is small and they have no idea how long it has been there. They presented me with three potential courses of action: surgery, radiation or waiting six months and having another MRI to see if the tumor is growing and, if so, how fast.

Through friends and relationships, I was able to see two of the premiere surgeons in this field of expertise and they both recommended that I wait six months and check on the tumor. They are reluctant to do surgery or radiation unless absolutely necessary due to the location of the tumor and the potential for serious side effects.

My next MRI is scheduled for December 14 at which time we should know a lot more. I am being fitted for a hearing aid but I could totally lose the hearing in my left ear at any time…tomorrow or ten years from now.

I appreciate the calls, prayers and good wishes and am sure you are as tired of reading and hearing about my medical condition as I am.

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