Just got off the phone with Joe. He sounds very update and cheerful. Here is the deal.
He has had four operations with one more scheduled in January then radiation. The tumor was never cancerous but the radiation is the only way to get at the last part of it. They think he may have had it since birth and it just kept growing until it hit 'critical mass'.
The down side to all of this is that he is deaf on his right side and he can only make out blurred shapes. The eye sight most likely won't come back, unfortunately, so he has been looking into schools for Braille and the like.
On the plus side, he has lost a lot of weight and is still alive. :)
All and all, like I said before he is very upbeat about all of this and taking it in stride. If anyone who knows him wants to join me in a visit sometime, let me know.