Welcome to My Personal Page
My name is Alan Snow. Five years ago, I had a "plain vanilla" personal health record and no known brain tumor history in my extended family.
My story begins on April 10th, 2013. While out on a lunch time walk with a colleague and friend, I suffered a strange disconnect between my thoughts and speech (aphasia). I simply could not say what was on my mind. I maintained full awareness, but I could not participate in a conversation or answer any questions. A few hours later, the sensation subsided; I felt normal again and could articulate my thoughts. As many of us might do, I was planning to blow off the episode and commute home like every other day.
However, my colleague and concerned good friend who witnessed my episode insisted that I get checked out at the hospital. After not succeeding in a "debate" with me about this, my friend ignored my claims of feeling fine and elicited assistance from my direct superior, also a good friend. At that point, I realized I was outnumbered and succumbed to their insistence to take me to the emergency room. Obviously, a couple of very important lessons were learned. First, no one should ignore what may appear to be odd physical sensations or minor symptoms even if they go away. But more importantly, that evening I experienced the true gifts of concern and compassion from two very good friends that I owe a lifetime of gratitude!
Upon arrival at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), the emergency room triage protocols efficiently found a large mass in my brain cavity with their first investigative test, a CT scan. After a team of doctors examined all the tests, it was advised to defer my surgery for three weeks until a specific neurosurgeon was available who specialized in tumors of that size and location. Medications allowed me to wait the three weeks and live somewhat normally while I continued to work and prepare for the surgery.
During this waiting period and 5 days after my diagnosis, we all experienced the horrific tragedy of the Boston Marathon Terrorist Bombing on April 15th, 2013, and the intensive week that followed the investigation and the hunt for the terrorists. The bombing incident occurred directly across the street from one of my company's primary locations where my office is located. Being a leader in the safety, security, and emergency preparedness team for the commercial real estate properties my company owns and manages, this incident had a very intense impact on my work responsibilities.
In hindsight, I believe my focus on the victims of that incident, and my leadership responsibilities for a team dedicated to making people feel "welcome and safe" on our properties, clearly assisted me with managing my personal anxiety and family concerns during the three week waiting period.
On May 2nd, 2013 I had my surgery, was released home after 3 days, and recovered at home for 5 weeks before returning back to work and a normal life. First and foremost, I thank Donna and our sons, Justin and Tim, for their support and assistance during my entire ordeal, and in particular my extended recovery at home. I truly appreciated their patience and understanding with the challenge of my tenacious persistence to accomplish the recovery "my way". I also thank all of my family, friends and colleagues for their unwavering support and encouragement. Far too many to name, but they all know who they are and I very much appreciate all they did for me!
Last, but certainly not least, I express a HUGE thank you to my primary neurosurgeon, his administrative nurse, the full surgical team, the intensive care team members, and the entire BWH Department of Neurosurgery. In summary, their work involved: multiple preparatory tests, office visits and guidance, a 13 hour surgical procedure, 3 days of hospital intensive care, and recovery guidance for the long term, which all contributed to the successful eradication of, and recovery from, a 4.8 cm meningioma benign brain tumor.
I am so fortunate to be living a normal life as if it never occurred!
Now it's time to help improve the lives of all others affected by brain tumors.
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National Brain Tumor Society is fiercely committed to finding a cure for brain tumors. They are aggressively driving strategic research; advocating for public policies that meet the critical needs of the brain tumor community; and providing comprehensive patient, family and caregiver resources. Your support ensures this important work will continue.
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