Hello everyone,

I’ve just been discharged from hospital today (November 25th, 2008). Surgery started at 7:30am on the 19th. It took about nine hours. After surgery. I spent four days, three nights in I.C.U. followed by three more days at the regular ward. The incision which runs eight inches across my scalp just above the hairline, will have it’s staples (not stitches) removed next week,

Under biopsy, surgeons found my tumor to be a meningioma instead of a schwannoma. It is growing too close to the optic nerve for removing without compromising my vision.

Surgeons performed decompression of the optic nerve instead, by free up space around the optic nerve. The extra space takes pressure off the tumor and the nerve, buying me some time.

I will need radiosurgery.
Decompressing the optic nerve created in me a safer condition to perform radiosurgery. Radiosurgery works to stop tumor growth and may cause swelling during treatment, which would compromise my vision. Now with decompression already done, there is more room around the tumor to tolerate swelling, which is part of radiosurgery side effects.

My surgeon recommended a kind of radiosurgery called Gamma Knife. It would be done here in L.A. three months from now and by the same surgeon.

I was informed on the second day after surgery whether the tumor was removed. My surgeon wrote no. So I asked if that meant the tumor was intrinsic, to which he replied by soothing my arm. That moment I shut my eyes tight as the burden weighed itself on me.

I felt a little dissapointed at the start. But the doctors and staffs carried with themselves such encouraging personalities, that I regained my confidence in a day.

Dr. Lekovic had kept me well informed of all the possible outcomes and their respective risks. So as soon as I learned my tumor was intrinsic, I understood what we could do next.

I have had five surgeries to date. All were major ones. Besides my spine surgery in 2002, this one last week was by far the toughest.

To reach my tumor behind the eyeball, surgeons needed to unroof the brain orbit. This means the bone that forms out forehead must be lifted and then replaced. Same was done for my right cheekbone. My blood pressure once dropped to just 78, while remaining in the 90s rather consistently.

I was given morphine intravenously in the I.C.U.
They took it off when transfering me to the regular ward. Without morphine, brain tissues swelled, my body ached and feverish symptoms developed. I was then prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and steroid which returned me to a stable condition.

My face and parts of the brain is still swollen. But it will go away with time and a lot of rest.

I wish to thank you all for the support and prayers. Some of you had sent me cards and emails during my hospital stay. I will read and reply to all of you. Some also sent me much needed money through paypal and direct bank transfer, which happens to come at just the right time.

Thank you all for believing and having faith in me.
God is guardian and ordainer of my life. Each surgical outcome leads to a different path. It may be different from what we had thought, but I feel at rest knowing each path God leads me to take is always for the best.

Surgery date: November 19th, 2008.
At St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles
By Dr. Gregory Lekovic and team from House Clinic
Procedure: Decompression of right optic nerve.

Categories: Health

Yvonne Foong

As a child, Yvonne Foong dreamed of growing up to help others. To achieve her ambition, she began studying to become a psychologist. But things changed when tumours were discovered in her body at the age of sixteen. She was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2 -- a genetic illness with no cure. Fighting for survival, Yvonne turned to fundraising and embarked on a medical odyssey to the United States. Her experiences since then have transformed her into a motivational speaker; inspiring hope, faith and strength. Yvonne is currently working to establish a humanitarian foundation that provides NF patients in Malaysia with financial and logistical support. Visit Works of Gratitude to learn more.


Keisha Petrus · November 26, 2008 at 3:05 pm

hey yvonne,

am routing for you… stay strong… btw, you should consider cyberknife or FSRS.

sf · November 26, 2008 at 6:11 pm

hi yvoone, good to ‘see’ you back on your blog. u have come this far, stay positive. my thooughts with you while i am still in india
love lots

Fiona · November 26, 2008 at 7:58 pm

Hey Yvonne,
Happy then you can update your blog again!Coz that prove you has overcome another challenge in life. I know you’ll feelin upset and glad you’ve regain your spirit in a day bravo! God bless you dear. So when you comin back here ?

Joanne · November 26, 2008 at 10:52 pm

Hi! I am glad you are back on your blog. I have been following the stories about your surgery. God bless and you will be fully recovered very soon.

I, myself will be going for another major surgery ( Glomus Tumor ) on 3rd December. ( Remember me ? )

Take Care.

Richard · November 27, 2008 at 12:44 am

Hey Yvonne, good to see you up and about again, and with that camera! You look good, despite you saying your face is still swollen. The surgeons did a great job, what with the tedious surgery needed and the time of nine hours – you are in safe hands. Yes, paths different from what one expects – always for the better, I would believe.

‘See’ you on this blog back in Malaysia, Yvonne!

lee chin · November 27, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Hi Yyonne glad that u can blog again n keep us inform on
yr surgery.Stay positive n remember u have lots of friends
wishing u well.Take good care n smile cause u got a beuatiful smile!!!

Kats (And Other) Tales · November 27, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Poor you it sounds like you’re having a rough time. We’re purring for you! SMS when you return to Malaysia?

littlepolaris · November 28, 2008 at 12:15 am

Dearie, I’m so glad when I see this post.
Can’t wait for you to come home soon.

Aza aza fighting!

Yvonne · November 28, 2008 at 8:51 am

Keisha: Yes, I will discuss it with my surgeon and consider other options also.

Yvonne · November 28, 2008 at 8:52 am

Fiona: I will be back early December. See you!

Yvonne · November 28, 2008 at 8:53 am

Joanne: Yes I surely remember you. Not everyday I come across someone with Glomus Jagulare. Please keep me updated!

Yvonne · November 28, 2008 at 8:55 am

Richard: Yes they sure did a great job. No quick fixes.

Yvonne · November 28, 2008 at 8:56 am

lee chin: See you when I get back. Without Sandie though. Hehee

Yvonne · November 28, 2008 at 8:57 am

Katz: Yes, I will sms you when I get back.

Yvonne · November 28, 2008 at 8:57 am

littlepolaris:? Why so?

Heartburn Home Remedy · April 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Not that I’m impressed a lot, but this is more than I expected when I found a link on Delicious telling that the info here is quite decent. Thanks.

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