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How Kiteboarding Maybe Saved My Life

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Mocean

Since 21 Sep 2005
343 Posts
Newport
Obsessed



PostFri Jan 26, 07 9:15 am    How Kiteboarding Maybe Saved My Life Reply with quote

Some may recall the thread where I described a kiteboarding wipeout and subsequent brain-related medical problems I encountered last August. Following a hard hit on the head while kiting, I experienced seizures of the face and jaw, and later that night and more serious episodes through the following weeks. See thread:

http://www.nwkite.com/forums/post-15411.html&highlight=seizures#15411

Well after months of going back and forth to neurologists and following up with repeat MRI's, I was diagnosed on the 3rd of Jan. with a brain tumor by the head neurosurgeon at OSHU, and underwent surgery last Thursday. The good news is that they were able to remove the entire tumor (grade 2 astrocytoma) and aside from a bit of weakness on the right side of my face and arm (which should be temporary) I'm feelin pretty good, and darn lucky. I'm not completely out of woods yet, and will likely need some chemotherapy and continued monitoring to take care of any remaining aggressive cells that are still left.

The wierd thing is that the tumor was apparently unrelated to the kiteboarding crash and had been pre-existing all along. I can't help but think that bump on the head while kiting may have caused the symptoms to present themselves. The neurosurgeon was non-commital about that, but to me its all too coincidental. To top it off, when they were doing an ultrasound of my caortid artery (routine in head injuries), it was discovered that I had two nodules on my thyroid, both which turned out to be cancerous. Thyroid cancer is not as urgent as brain cancer, but the next order of business will to have thyroidectomy. Again, something that would have gone undected without the kiting episode.

So, some more lessons to be learned - If you have any unusal brain or neurologic symptoms following an injury, don't overlook the possibility that there's something bigger going on. Seek second opinions (I did; another factor which could have saved me). Still protect your head, and don't take life for granted. I still have some healing up to do, and more medical stuff to endure, but look forward to being out there on the ocean this spring.

I also can't say enough about my friends and family who have supported me through the last few weeks. Like the kiteboarding community, everybody seems welling to lend a hand, share a smile and good vibe- we're lucky we have that in the PNW and especially on the coast with the wide open spaces. Let's keep it that way! See you on the water...

Steve

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Mark

Since 20 Jun 2005
3477 Posts
I need my fix because I'm a
Naishaholic



PostFri Jan 26, 07 9:20 am     Reply with quote

Steve
Good advice.
Glad to hear you are on the mend.

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3269 Posts
Camas
XTreme Poster

CGKA Member


PostFri Jan 26, 07 9:41 am     Reply with quote

Mocean,

I'm damn glad you found this out early. There's no doubt in my mind that your kiteboarding incident allowed you to find this problem earlier than you would have otherwise.

My sister was not so fortunate. Delayed diagnosis allowed a low grade brain tumor to morph into a very, very aggressive tumor. She passed away several years ago. I only mention this because I encourage you to stay on top of your own treatment. Don't ever sit back and let the professionals "handle everything". They're good, but they have a lot of patients. Make sure you know what your treatment should be, and be damn sure you get it.

The chemo sucks, but not getting it on schedule sucks worse. Your physical condition will help you get through it, so keep your attitude up like it is now and remember you'll be riding again soon!

A great book is Lance Armstrong's "its not about the bike"; its a great read. It'll lift your chin when things seem like shit.

Hang in there dude; you WILL knock this thing!
Nak

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pkh

Since 27 Feb 2005
6519 Posts
Couve / Hood
Site Lackey

CGKA Member


PostFri Jan 26, 07 9:46 am     Reply with quote

Wow I was wondering where'd you been at Steve. Glad to hear you caught it in time and your doing better. Hope to see you on the water in your hometown soon, when can you start kiting again?

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Reaper356

Since 10 Dec 2006
773 Posts
Salem / LC Oregon
Opinionated



PostFri Jan 26, 07 9:57 am     Reply with quote

I was surprized at the diagnosis when I read your first thread - this is nothing short of amazing.

In a sport where I think about breaking ribs / legs etc, brain injuries are the last thing on my list. Great to hear you're doing well & I think we'll all be more vigilent as a result.

I'll see you on the ocean this summer! Cool

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dcrowe

Since 11 Oct 2005
265 Posts
hard to say, I was inverted
Obsessed



PostFri Jan 26, 07 10:11 am     Reply with quote

wow Shocked wishing you all the best mocean. Hope to see you up in Newport ripping this summer.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1034 Posts
P-town
Stacked



PostFri Jan 26, 07 10:22 am     Reply with quote

Shocked Wow, get better soon Steve. It was a pleasure kiting with you and your local friend this past summer at the south jetty. Your always posting great info with a great vibe. . . that positive vibe/mojo/attitute will definiately help you in your battle against cancer; keep it up!

Hope to see you out at Beverly and or the south jetty this coming season.

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Kataku2k3

Since 14 Aug 2005
3744 Posts
Gresham
Videographer



PostFri Jan 26, 07 10:23 am     Reply with quote

That's amazing, Steve! Just get well fast so we can start riding in a couple months.

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4398 Posts
Portland
Unstrapped



PostFri Jan 26, 07 10:48 am     Reply with quote

Thats unbelievable - heal up and all the best Thumb's Up

Maybe I shouldn't tell folks to f#@* off, when they tell me to have my head examined - could be a good thing.

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NateDogg

Since 05 Mar 2005
627 Posts
I caught your mom on
cineaptic.com



PostFri Jan 26, 07 11:28 am     Reply with quote

That should definitely have an article in one of the kiteboarding mags. There's about a dozen good lessons in that story that could pretty much apply to everyone. Hope your back in that coastal goodness soon Steve.
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TWIN-FIN

Since 24 May 2006
792 Posts
Portland, OR
Hot Monkey



PostFri Jan 26, 07 11:48 am     Reply with quote

Mocean,
Based on your positive attitude and your unsatiable stoke for the "extream" sport of kiteboarding, I'm sure that you will fully recover from surgery/treatments, and with a deeper understanding/appreation for life, family and friends than most people could ever hope for.

May the road be paved and the wind at your back, good healing brother.

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Scribble

Since 18 Nov 2005
634 Posts
NoPo
Addicted



PostFri Jan 26, 07 8:23 pm     Reply with quote

Gluck Steve. I hope to run into you this summer in Newport again!

Andy

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Mr.Onepump

Since 11 Sep 2006
66 Posts
Albany
 



PostSat Jan 27, 07 11:11 am     Reply with quote

WOW steve!! I was thinking you should have been wearing a helmit, now I'm not so sure the kiteboarding injury was a bad thing. I guess somone must be watching out for you. I hope all goes well for you and I'll see you and mike at south beach this spring.

Ron,

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Mocean

Since 21 Sep 2005
343 Posts
Newport
Obsessed



PostSat Jan 27, 07 5:03 pm     Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the great words of encouragement -it means a lot.

I'll be back out in no time - hopefully for the first northerlies and jetty smoothness!

Steve

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endoshred

Since 22 May 2006
220 Posts
HR
Stoked



PostSun Jan 28, 07 8:43 am     Reply with quote

so glad to hear things you are healing well. my wife's best friend had surgery, radiation and chemo for an astrocytoma 10 years ago. she was told she could not ever have a family. now she has three kids and is healthy and very active. keep the stoke and we will see you on the water

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tinyE

Since 21 Jan 2006
1868 Posts
not really an
XTreme Poster



PostSun Jan 28, 07 5:49 pm     Reply with quote

man....this is a great story... i'm really glad things are working out for the better!

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