"We know that if we remove a tumor in the premotor area, about 80 percent of patients will wake up with some significant weakness, but about 90 percent of those patients will completely recover because this area can be reprogrammed and retrained very quickly," Black said. "This brings up a very important trade-off. Do we give the patient the benefit of getting the entire tumor out, thereby decreasing the chance that it's going to become malignant, or do we leave that part of the tumor that has extended into the premotor area? We always have a discussion with patients beforehand about how aggressive they want us to be."
Cleland opted for aggressive removal and did experience initial weakness. He underwent inpatient physical therapy and rehabilitation at Cedars-Sinai until Jan. 11, 2008 before transitioning to outpatient rehabilitation at a hospital closer to his Sunland home. By mid-April, the members of the band decided it was time for him to go back to work, which turned out to be an important part of his therapy.
"The first rehearsal was brutal. It was horrible - like a 5-year-old," said Cleland, who will celebrate his 46th birthday on May 30. "The funny thing was, the next day, when I went back to therapy, my brain was working 10 times better. Answers to problems were coming quicker and I was doing better on the tests."
With each rehearsal, he improved dramatically. "I had my physical therapy, my speech therapy and my music therapy," he said.
Cleland will describe his experience during the one-day "Outsmarting Brain Tumors," a free community conference for patients, families and caregivers, Saturday, June 13. Physicians, neurosurgeons, research scientists and other brain tumor survivors will participate in the program, which will be held fro
|SOURCE Cedars-Sinai Medical Center|
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