OK. I have a name. Lena has a "cavernous angioma." This is good. It is benign. It is genetic and has been with her for a long time. More information can be found at
She has been given 7 days worth of steroids in addition to anti-seizure medication to help reduce intracranial swelling before the operation. The doctor will let her celebrate her 19th birthday on the 20th and will likely operate on the 21st (it's a Friday). We really liked the surgeon and were pleased to learn that the Hospital where he practices is one of US News and World Reports Best Hospitals for 2004. Also, most of what he told us this morning is in that article cited above, so there are no surprises.
She will need 2-4 weeks post-op in the hospital for recovery. She will likely not be able to attend her second semester of college (we will call down there tomorrow, this afternoon we are just exhausted from all the tension), and I will drop out of 3 of my classes as well. I think I may keep the one which is offered winter semester only because otherwise I will mess up my entire graduation plan timing-wise (which gets crucial when internship year rolls around).
Surgery will last 6-7 hours. That will be hell, but the success rate is 80-90% that she will come through with hardly any permanent brain damage. Because she is strongly left-handed and the tumor is on her left side, it appears that her speech center is likely to be active on the right side of her brain, which means speech loss should not be a post-op problem. Apparently, we are VERY blessed with this lesion's location. Phew!
Thanks again for the outpouring of love and concern. It means alot to both of us.