the craniotomy

christopher william holt bio photo By christopher william holt

“Your tumor could not be in a better place,” has said nearly every doctor that has looked at my MRI scans, in regards to a resection and general neurological impact. So get it the hell out! So that’s what they did, and remarkably well. My surgery started at 07:30, I fell right asleep on the OR table, and woke up looking at a clock that said 13:30. It’s over? It was over, this part. I was stable albeit elevated blood pressure. They gave me some Tylenol with some water and I threw up all over myself and my sister Cristina. Oops, sorry. Below you can see the resected area which has filled with blood/fluid. These MRI scans are 30 mins pre-op and 3 days post-op. I’ve also got a titanium plate in my head now, which I have yet to see a good xray or picture of, but in the post-op mri it’s somewhat noticeable.

resection mri

higher res pre-op mri, higher res post-op mri

My older sister Cristina has been with me since returning to NYC to be my sidekick throughout all of this. One side effect of the surgery was that my jaw was incredibly, and still is, sore to the point where I cannot open it all the way.

Cristina would proceed to use these frozen-water sponges, which we called “Sponge Pops”, to ice the area a bit. They melted quickly, so we would go through 5 or 6 in a few minutes, and repeat every 15 minutes until I was able to drink water at midnight.

sponge pops

My right eye swelled shut as if I was punched in the face, I assume from the draining of the swelling skull area.


But as soon as I was able to get up out of bed and move around and sit in a chair, by around 4PM that day it started to come down, and I was even able to order my Apple iPhone 5S.

I was given some cool stickers.


As for my physical recovery from the head trauma, I was in nearly no pain (I have an excessively high threshold for pain), but I was dying of thirst. Around 10PM a member of the neurosurgery team came to do an assessment and said I could be on solid foods and water as soon as I liked. water. give it to me. I also would not stop asking for Harmless Harvest Coconut Water.

The nurses Katie and Mary Ann in the Burn Unit ICU (where there was an available bed for me post-op) were absolutely amazing. They looked over me for 24hours before I was moved to a new room in the neurosurgery unit ICU, where I would spend the next few days recovering.

The bed was a little short.

short bed

Many of my family and friends came to see me, and they brought all sorts of cards and gifts and hoodies.

grumpy cat

warning.. slightly gruesome image below.

first time seeing bandage off, and you can see eye was much better. this picture is from Sunday, September 22nd at 06:58.

no bandage

Recovery was extremely uneventful, outside of finding a show called Chasing Tail on the History Channel about hunting overpopulated deer in rich Connecticut communities.

My older sister continued to be by my side at all time, even sleeping in her chair bed. She is amazing.


In the morning on Monday, September 23rd, my entire neurosurgery team crowded into my room and said “How are you feeling, strong? Do you want to go home today?”


And so at 2PM my sister gave me a strawberry hat to wear and I rolled out, and home to the west village.


( lol @ dad’s cell phone )

roll out