My name is Philip Johnson and I am an officer in the Navy. After graduating from the US Naval Academy in 2006, I served as Gunnery Officer onboard USS VELLA GULF (CG 72) from May 2006-July 2008, which included one Persian Gulf Deployment. From July-October 2008, I served as Fire Control Officer onboard USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7), deploying to the Persian Gulf for two months.
In June of 2008, I awoke during the middle of the night to my arms and legs shaking, unable to move or speak, before blacking out. The doctor diagnosed me with sleep paralysis - a harmless condition. Every 4 weeks, I experienced one of these episodes. In October of 2008, a roommate on the ship witnessed an episode, and reported that after blacking out, I was convulsing for five minutes and would not respond.
The doctor sent me to a Neurologist, who immediately diagnosed me with epilepsy and ordered two tests: an EEG which measures brain activity, and an MRI which scans the brain. The EEG results were normal, but the MRI revealed a brain tumor the size of a lime. Because of the type of tumor, it can not be removed, and only an upcoming biopsy can tell how fast it is spreading throughout my brain. The tumor is growing in the portion of my brain that controls motor skills and sensation in the right side of my body. Currently, I only experience occasional numbness and weakness on the right side of my body, but the symptoms will get worse as the tumor spreads.
This blog is dedicated to documenting this long road. I beg your prayers as I deal with this tumor, but I ask you to pray even harder for those who suffer from conditions far worse than mine.