Welcome to our blog! I originally started this blog in November 2010 just prior to having a major brain surgery to remove a large bleeding cavernous angioma from a deep part of my brain. You can best understand the gravity of our experience by reading the first several entries.(Nov 2010-Dec 2010) I wrote the first one and my sweet, adoring husband, John, wrote the next several (while I was too sick to do much of anything) that documented surgery, immediate recovery, and our reaction to the surgery complication (stroke)that was revealed 2 days after surgery. This recovery process has been difficult but we are making it. We appreciate all the kind words of encouragement we have received and we would like to thank everyone that has participated in helping us along this difficult journey. Also, if you have any questions about my personal experience, please leave them as a comment or contact me directly at thankfulforeveryday@yahoo.com and I will respond although I am not a doctor and this is not a replacement for medical care or advise. Please ask a real professional, or probably several. :) I hope to be able to help at least one person along the challenging road of brain surgery and recovery.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The pathology report says it all

Finally!! I have been waiting for the pathology report from my surgery for months. They told me in the hospital that it was fine...just a cavernous angioma....but I wanted to see the report myself. I requested a copy many, many times and it finally arrived. Yes a cavernous angioma, indeed. But the report really says so much more. It's actually proof that my cm bled many, many times. There was blood of many ages found in it. The part of the report that sort of got me was the part that described the structure of the specimen they were looking at under the microscope. The said most of it looked like back to back tiny malformed blood vessels (AKA cavernous angioma) except the back part of the specimen that contained blood stained brain tissue. What I already knew, some how set me back when I read it. Yes, they had to cut a part of my brain out and part of it was in that little specimen jar they sent to the lab. They cut it out because it was already damaged by the bleeding that ensued in the years, months, days previously that caused all my symptoms prior to surgery. If they leave the blood stained brain, it will likely become an irritant because the blood absorbs over time but the iron (called-hemosiderin) from the blood always remains as an electrical irritant and often causes seizures(something I am all too familiar with)...so it's a good thing they took it out and they actually told me they couldn't get it all out (there was too much damaged brain tissue to remove, so they left part of it), it just made me feel a little weird when I read it.  The report confirmed what we already knew. My cavernous angioma HAD to come out. It was bleeding, growing, and damaging my brain. Thank goodness this part of our story is over!!!


  1. I am glad you got your report at long last and that it confirms you made the right choice.
    Moving Forward!

  2. Yes, it's always shocking to read 'our' reports, but is something of a necessity to me too.
    Glad you finally got yours, Elizabeth! :)
    Onward & upward,

  3. I get a copy of every report since I discovered that doctors rarely tell us everything. When staff give me a hard time I remind them that the HIPPA law is designed to protect my privacy, not allow you to keep my medical record from me.

  4. Yes, I agree 100%. Getting copies of all medical records is really important and can be an eye-opening experiance. One neurologist I saw in January, a few weeks after my surgery/stroke, actually wrote I had returned to my "baseline" and that I had completed my rehab....it hadn't even started yet! :( NEXT!

  5. Hi Elizabeth! Glad to see you are progressing, have been thinking about you & your family. It is all so very worth it. Praying for your continued strength & success.

  6. Marietta,
    Getting better all the time which is sooo great. Thank you for the encouragement and prayers!!
    Love, Elizabeth