Brookfield Village President Michael Garvey will undergo a second round of surgery today, as part of the treatment to eradicate a cancerous tumor from behind his left eye. Dr. Jack Cohen, an ocular oncologist at Rush University Hospital in Chicago, will remove a metal disk that was implanted next to the tumor during surgery on May 4.
In the May 4 surgery, an outpatient procedure that lasted roughly an hour-and-a-half, Cohen placed a disk loaded with radioactive “seeds” behind Garvey’s eye. In the intervening week, the disk has bombarded the tumor with radiation. When the disk is removed today, Garvey said that the tumor should be gone completely.
Reached last Friday, a day after the initial surgery, Garvey said he was still shaking off the effects of the procedure.
“It’s the most intense pain I’ve ever had in my life,” said Garvey, who was awake during the surgery. “My eye is swollen pretty much shut. It looks like I’ve been on the losing end of a fight.”
During the entire time the radioactive disk was inside his head, Garvey was required to wear a lead eye patch when around other people. Last Friday morning, he was able to make it to his son Jake’s kindergarten graduation ceremony. Mainly, however, he’s been resting, he said.
Garvey was well enough Monday night to preside over three meetings, a Board of Local Improvements meeting regarding alley paving projects, the regular business meeting of the village board and a meeting of the board’s Committee of the Whole.
The meetings, which began at 6 p.m., were brief. Garvey and the rest of the board were able to leave the council chamber by 7:30 p.m.
And while, it may not have been readily apparent to casual observers, it was clear that Garvey, who was sporting the lead eye patch, was experiencing some discomfort in his eye at times during the proceedings.
Later, Garvey said, “it felt like there was someone sticking a needle in my eye at times.”
Also by Monday night, however, the swelling he had experienced on Friday had subsided somewhat. Of course, that’s expected to return after today’s second round of surgery.
Garvey thanked residents for the many expressions of support during the past few weeks, after word of his cancer diagnosis made it into the local press.
“I’ve gotten so many cards and letters; the support has been truly overwhelming,” Garvey said. “It’s been very touching.”