Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Dear Readers,

I regret the lack of posts of late, but there is an explanation. I feel I can now share this.

I do not advertise my vacations or other time away from home in advance because in the digital age, it's like hanging a "rob-me" sign in your front window.

I have been awaiting surgery for a baseball-sized cyst on my right adrenal gland for some time. Tests showed it was benign, and non-functional (more on that in a moment). The surgery - a "hand-assisted laparoscopic adrenalectomy" took place on August 16th.

I hope this explains why I was not seen at Assumption Grotto, but for a brief period in the morning on our big feast day, the day before. This is also why there are no photos for 2012, at least that I took.

I'm doing well on this 6th day after surgery.  While I was there to primarily have the right adrenal gland and cyst removed by one surgeon, another first performed a diagnostic laparoscopy for pain on the left. In the area where I had pain, two adhesions, likely from past gallbladder removal, were found and addressed.

People have been asking many questions about this kind of cyst, and about adrenal glands in general, so I'll offer some general information. We have two adrenal glands - one on each kidney. They produce hormones and are most well known for the flight-or-fright hormones.  When one adrenal gland is removed, the other simply takes over and keeps the levels normal.  I didn't even need hormones after surgery, unlike those who have both glands removed and require life-long hormone therapy.

Also, my MRI showed that it was benign, and the MRI plus some special hormone tests proved it to be "non-functional." Some adrenal gland cysts or masses can produce an excess of certain hormones, thus
"functional", but mine was not of this type. It was simply a "water balloon" that was taking up space and causing some uncomfortable symptoms. Usually, benign, non-functional adrenal cysts are left alone unless they get too big, cause symptoms, or cannot be determined to be benign by radiology and other tests alone.

I'm glad to have this behind me. I am grateful to God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, my Guardian Angel, St. Raphael, and many  other saints for their guidance and protection.  I feel blessed to have had the doctors and nurses that I did, and some went above-and-beyond for me.  For those who knew in advance, I thank you all for your prayers and well wishes.  Those prayers certainly lifted me during a few difficult moments this past week.  I'll gratefully accept continuing prayers as I heal, and I look forward to returning to work.

I will get back to blogging soon.  In the meantime, I will include you in my prayer intentions.

For interesting news items I don't have time to blog on, check out my Twitter Feed: @TeDeumBlog

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