|In October 2012 Leslie came to Baltimore,|
Maryland, following a scientific conference
in Boston and we visited the
National Aquarium while she was here
The doctors did not hesitate. An MRI confirmed the suspected malignancy on September 30 and surgery was scheduled for the following week. Leslie asked if I would fly out to California to be with her. I requested the time off from work and booked a flight immediately. I flew from Baltimore, Maryland, to Oakland, California, on Tuesday, October 8, the day before the procedure. Leslie had been hospitalized for four days already, her blood sugar spiraling out of control as a result of powerful steroids they’d been giving her to try to reduce swelling on the brain and restore some lucidity so that Leslie could make reasoned decisions about her care.
When I landed in California, I was frantic to get to her bedside as soon as possible. Earlier in the day, Leslie had been transferred by ambulance from her local hospital in Oakland to the Kaiser facility in Redwood City, south of San Francisco, where the surgery would be performed. My brother’s wife, Jane, met me at the airport and gave me a ride to Leslie’s house. I climbed into Leslie’s car, a five-speed Civic, and hunted for a gas station to fill the empty tank before making the 50-mile trek to Redwood City. Once that was accomplished, I looked for the freeway onramp but found myself going in circles. I pulled into another gas station to ask directions. At that moment, I felt the horrific crunch of impact as a vehicle careened into her car. I was so stunned I couldn’t even cry. Fortunately, both vehicles sustained only moderate damage and we both were able to drive away. I was lucky to have been in a collision with a very nice man, but the incident was the undoing of my already frazzled nerves. I was shaking so badly I could hardly exchange insurance information with the gentleman. I ended up asking him how to find the freeway onramp.
|This is the damage to Leslie's car|
The next morning I made my way back across the long San Mateo bridge to the hospital. Leslie was ready for surgery. I was ready, too. I accompanied her into the pre-op room and hugged her one last time as they wheeled her into the OR. Two hours later, the surgeon emerged. “We think we got it all”, he said. Pressed right up against Leslie’s forehead, the mass was relatively easy to excise without having to take much healthy brain tissue with it. Within an hour, my sister was wheeled back into the Neuro-observation unit on the sixth floor.
|Leslie waves to the camera immediately|
following her surgery
|It was good to see Pete, who has been|
a close friend of mine since the 1980s
|28 electrodes were hooked up to|
Leslie's head for the EEG
|My brother, Dave, and his wife, Jane,|
took me to dinner at our old family
haunt, the El Charro restaurant in
|Leslie regained consciousness|
Friday, to the great relief of us all
|Four different fluids were|
being pumped into Leslie
following her surgery
|Leslie's cat, Isabel, left, is a Norwegian Forest kitty. Tia Mia|
is a Maine Coon. Both are very affectionate and playful