Precautionary MRI to Neurosurgery

26 May

Hi everyone. My name is Josh and I’m currently in the ninth grade. I’m from the greater Philadelphia area, and I want to tell you about my new “journey.” Roughly six weeks ago I began experiencing double vision. Thinking it was nothing, but still playing it safe, I visited a Ophthalmologist. The Ophthalmologist said that she was ninety percent sure the double vision was “swelling of the retinal nerves.” However, just to be sure I had to go and get an MRI. 

When I went and got the MRI, it went very smoothly. However, when my father and I met with the doctor they told us that the scan revealed a brain tumor. They told us that we immediately had to drive down to CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia). When I arrived at the hospital I was taken to the Emergency Room. Later I was transfered to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

By the end of the night we were meeting with surgeons preparing to go into surgery the following day. In one day I went from having a precautionary MRI, and hopefully then going to school, to lying in the ICU getting prepped for neurosurgery.

When I woke up from surgery I was rather sick at first. Later on my family and I met with the surgeons who said that because of where the tumor was located the doctors would take the entire tumor out. The tumor is located on my retinal nerves and cutting it out would result in blindness. However, they took a piece of the tumor for testing and that my family would be meeting with an Oncologist soon.

When the tests came back the results showed that the tumor was grade 1 and benign. (Score!!) This meant that the tumor and my condition would be treatable.  However, it did mean that once I was out of the hospital I would have to start chemotherapy.

I was in the hospital for six days and they were drama and intensity filled. However, the nurses and doctors down at CHOP were amazing and I cannot thank them enough. I was lucky enough to have so many amazing people come and visit me in the hospital. I’ve never received so much mail and so many gift baskets! I’m very thankful for so much support.

Now that I’m out of the hospital I just finished my forth week of chemotherapy. Honestly, I hate chemotherapy and the way it makes me feel. However, as long as it’s working, it’s worth it.

So there’s the rough background of my “journey!” The process is forever ongoing so I’ll hopefully be posting often. Thanks for reading and following my story.

I’d love to hear back from some of you, please leave me a comment!

-Josh

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14 Responses to “Precautionary MRI to Neurosurgery”

  1. Deb Hogg May 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

    Hi Josh, just a random visit from a teacher from far away – I follow Ms Sivick on twitter. I was immediately drawn to visit because my son is a Josh too, he is in Year 7 (and still asleep although he should be up getting ready for school! LOL!). Sorry to hear that life has thrown you a curve ball but it sounds like you’ve got yourself centred and focused on getting well – which is all you can do! It also sounds like you have a lot of support and people who care for you and their love will get you through the day to day of being strong enough to cope with what comes next. All the best, Josh! Stay strong! Kind regards, Deb Hogg (Sydney, Australia)

  2. Luke May 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    You are a tremendous kid going places! Keep writing and dreaming! I’ll be following your journey and hope/pray for continued good news in your recovery!

  3. Carol May 26, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Hi Josh,
    I heard about your tumor weeks ago but didn’t want to disturb your family. Be assured that I am thinking of you and sending you big hugs and lots of humor.
    With all good thoughts and best hopes,

    Carol Baldridge

  4. teachermom May 26, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

    I am so impressed with you courage and you excellent writing skills.
    I am a high school teacher from charlottesville, va. I look forward to your progress and your return to good health. Well done!

  5. Thomas May 27, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    Hi Josh,

    I am a teacher and father from Maine. It is quite rainy here right now but there are glimpses of sun. It always amazes me how even in he toughest weather or most difficult circumstances living things make it and the sun comes out to warm and revitalize. I want you to know that I will hold you in the light (that is what Quaker’s do when we want to send our love and power to others) as you make it through these next weeks. Be well, and I will look for your posts.

    Thomas

  6. dirktherealtor May 27, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    Josh hang in there Josh. Leadership is bravery in the midst of fear and uncertainty. You are quite the leader. I pray for your speedyrecovery.
    Mr Parker

  7. cafecasey May 27, 2013 at 2:31 am #

    Wow. Great blog, Josh, and sorry for the reason you started it. I feel strongly that everyone should write and blog. Do it every day–good days, bad days, always push “publish.” This is a really nice template, and the way you tell your story is excellent.

    That being said, I’m really sorry you had to go through that hospitalization and I hope the chemo and recovery is as pleasant as possible. You know it’s a rough day when whatever you’re facing makes you say, “Gee, I wish I were going to school.” 🙂

    Keep strong, and put out some more inspiration–maybe as you go forward you can help other students really appreciate all their opportunities every day, and as you recover, you’ll be putting out great things.

    Shout out if you need any specific types of inspiration from your fans! Keep up this blog. Get well immediately!!

  8. Greg Hunt May 27, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi Josh,

    Great to hear from you. All a bit of a shock but you are doing brilliantly…and you write very well.

    Paula and poppy and little james are well at this end over here in Australia. Take care and go step by step and we will see you back here once things clear up.

    Cheers,

    Greg Hunt

  9. cjmead May 28, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    Hi Josh,
    We have always been proud of you Josh you are a great grandson but the way you are meeting this challenge is amazing.
    Keeping up the blog is so helpful to us.
    Sorry the chemo makes you feel so yucky but it just has to do its work. Our thoughts and prayers are with you
    Love Nanna & Grandad

  10. Lillian Eyre May 28, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Hey Josh: Thanks so much for writing this and allowing me to keep in step with your journey. It is a great adventure, and you are one amazing person who’s up to the task!
    Lillian

  11. Jan van dijk May 29, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Josh,
    You are a brave guy. Probably this is because you have Dutch genes. Our family wishes you a quick recovery. Wondeful to keep us updated via your blog.
    Jan van Dijk
    Netherlands

  12. Joan Hendrix June 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

    Hi Josh, I saw your mother in New York yesterday at the 911 Memorial offices where I now work. I knew you when your mum was at PAFA, and I was her assistant, for want of a better word. You were attending Summer Camp at Pafa, and once in a while you’d sneak upstairs and we’d chat, you with that wonderful raspy voice that I loved!

    I will follow your blog faithfully, and you will be in my thoughts. What a writer you are!

    Perhaps I’ll see you in Washington sometime this summer–I expect to be there one weekend, along with Sascha, my grandson … you may remember him…during camp he was always raiding the candy machines.

    Take care,

    Joan Hendrix

  13. Julia Nolan October 9, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

    JOSH! I finally found your blog! Sending good thoughts your way! Sounds like it’s going well….Glad to see you still have your great outlook and positive attitude going for you!

    • joshtmeadows October 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks Julia. Things are going very well….. they’ve been pretty boring, and in this situation boring in very good!

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