Dear Friends and Family,
Some of you are already aware of what has been happening with Derek's health, but we wanted to update you all after our meeting with the neurosurgeon Dr Klopfenstein this morning.
Derek has had pressure in his ears and ringing noise since the winter, and after a couple of what we thought were ear infections in March/April, went for further diagnosis by his ENT doctor. That examination revealed a mass with blood vessels underneath the eardrum. A CT scan revealed bone loss, and an MRI was done to show more detail of the size of the tumor.
Dr Klopfenstein suspects that this is a benign glomus tumor, but he will not know for sure until surgery. The tumor is approximately 1 ½ inches in size. It has already destroyed much of the bone tissue in the area around his ear. It is growing in against the brain and putting pressure there as well. He does not expect that Derek will recover hearing in his right ear. Surgery in this area is difficult because running through the same area is the nerve that controls facial motion on the right side.
The next step is an angiogram, hopefully early next week. This will determine the extent of the blood vessels in the tumor and help him to decide the next steps. One possible next step would be to embolize the tumor, which consists of placing glue in the vessels supplying the tumor. This would result in less bleeding during surgery.
Surgery will likely then be done to remove some of the tumor and determine whether it is cancerous or benign. How aggressive he is with the surgery will depend upon what type it is. If it did turn out to be cancerous, he would remove as much as possible but there would be a high risk of facial nerve damage in that case. There may then be radiation treatment of some sort. It is too early to know the prognosis.
Please pray for us and Dr Klopfenstein, that the right steps are taken and that we can have trust in God above all else. It has been a hard week. We appreciate and can feel your prayers and support.
Derek and Leann, Lexi, Wesley, and Whitley