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Editor's Note:
The Jeff in "Jeff's Story" is one of WebMD's most trusted medical reporters; he is also the survivor of a life-threatening medical condition. Jeff Levine shares his amazing story, from the shocking diagnosis to an emotional recovery, in a special four-part series.

A Search for Answers [Part 2]

"Treatment of brain tumor depends on the pathology and location ..."

-- The Merck Manual

It was a real-life medical nightmare. The wrong decision could cost me my life.

IF YOU'RE a reporter and you need information, you start calling. When I found out I had a tumor sitting on my brain, I picked up the phone almost immediately. It's part professional reflex, part survival instinct. If I could track down someone with the knowledge, perhaps that person had the power to save me.

As frightening as the seizure had been [see Part 1], it was only a harbinger of a grimmer fate. The orange-sized, benign (although it was hard to visualize such a monster that way) tumor was crowding the left side of my brain into the back of my cranium.

Fortunately, at 3.5 pounds, the brain is a remarkable organ in many ways, not the least of which is its ability to compress like a sponge and still function. So even though the tumor could have been growing for a decade, or longer, I never had a symptom until the seizure. However, as I soon found out, the situation would soon deteriorate.