Wednesday, March 28, 2012
As far as the latest on my next step, I go Friday for my 3rd MRI and then next Thursday I go back to Duke to the Brain Tumor Center for my initial consultation with an Oncologist. Please pray that they will have a solid treatment plan that will be the best for me. I appreciate everything that people have done for me and my family,
prayers, food, spending time with us, watching the kids for us and getting them to school, all of this and more is very appreciated. Thank you!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
We checked in at 3:00 on Thursday at Duke. It took 2 1/2 hours to check in. This included blood work and everything. Everyone was so nice that we talked to at each point of the check in. I was very impressed, as I never felt like one of the herd of cattle that I have felt in the past at a hospital. They told me at the end that I had a room already so I didn't have to hurry to the main hospital, we could go eat dinner and then go back. So we went to Costco and ate yogurt for dinner and walked around for a while. So we went back to the hospital about 1 1/2 hours later and checked in the hospital. Everyone along the way there too was very helpful and didn't act like we were bothering them. I was very pleased. After we had been there a little while, they took me to the MRI area to get my MRI done with the dots on my head that give them coordinates to reference for when they drilled into my head in the morning. (They also outlined each one of them with a permanent marker in case they came off, I am still trying to get the sharpie off my head) At each place I had to answer questions and had to tell the symptoms that I had to get me to this place. Each time the people were so intrigued in the symptoms. I am really surprised that no one has ever had symptoms like me. (I guess I always try to be different...haha) They had to start an IV before the MRI so when I got back they hooked me up to an IV and included steroids to help my brain not swell during the operation. They said to not expect to sleep that night. They gave me the steroids at 12 and I slept from 12:15 to 5:00 no problem. (Kara didn't sleep well in her chair) They came and got me about 5:15 and took me down to the OR waiting area. The doctor came and saw me and talked to me (He had flew in the night before and drove straight from the airport to the hospital to meet me and talk to me) then they rolled me back to the OR. They said that they would put me out and install the Mayfield Clamp on my head then wake me back up. (I found pictures of it a little while ago and it looks like a giant C-Clamp with 3 point that they screw down tight on your head to hold it into place. )
They woke me back up and started installing the guide for the drill. Once that was installed the Assistant said he was going to start drilling. As soon as he said drill, my heart rate went up pretty significantly. I told him "see what you did?" we laughed a second then he started drilling. That was one interesting few moments of listening to that drill go...no words can describe that. Once he drilled the hole, the doctor came in and I could see what looked like a skewer that they handed him. He slid it into the guide and stuck it in my head 3-4 times each time deeper to get a sample. Again, very strange. They then had to go out of the room and make sure the samples they got would be good enough for pathology to use to see what kind of tumor it is. That seemed like 3 days laying there in the Mayfield clamp, my neck starting hurting, and back from laying in that awkward position. They finally came back and said it was all usable and then they took me out of the clamp. When they got done unhooking me they took me straight up to my room. I was in my room by 8:45 AM, and alert. I felt fine. Another assistant to the doctor came in and checked on me and asked me questions to make sure I was ok. Kara finally was able to come see me at around 10:00 as the Doctor wants to speak to the family first before allowing them to come see me. By the time she got there I had already ate breakfast. Other than starting to get a headache from where the screws were tightened to my head I felt fine. So after talking to everyone that was there waiting to see me, Kara and I spent time listening to "Always" which has become our anthem in our life now. Then we listened to some other songs that had become favorites, one which will be done in church tomorrow. (You won't relent) I have joked with Kara about getting a Tattoo on and off for several years and last year she said I could get one if I lost 20 lbs. Well, that didn't work, so the other week she told me I could get one if I still wanted it. (My dad reads this and will probably try to talk me out of it...sorry dad) The one thing I never have told her is why I want one. There is a verse in "You won't relent" that goes like this
"I'll set You as a seal upon my heart
As a seal upon my arm"
I want to to have a seal upon my arm to mark me unmistakably as God's...that is why I want a tattoo. That is not for everyone but it is what I personally want to do. Hopefully, I will get a chance to do it. Please don't take this as condoning this for everyone as I know it is not.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Just a quick note. I got out of the OR at 8:45 and ate breakfast shortly after. I was awake while they drilled in my head which was interesting to say the least.. I will tell more later...please continue praying for me and my family...God is still good...and He has an amazing plan for my life.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
What an Amazing God we serve!
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
What has been really cool is to hear from others that I am an encouragement to them. I have had several people today tell me that they have read my blog and have been encouraged. It really isn't me. If this were me I ,would not be speaking to people I dont know or standing up in front of several hundred people and speaking...that just doesn't normally come from me. I am the quiet one that doesn't speak out. The Lord is definitely using me, not sure what his plans are, but I am definitely headed down an unknown path. I just pray that I do what He wants of me. Kara and I already talked about this the other day and we were saying that maybe on the other side of this we may be doing something totally different, I even mentioned speaking at other churches about the great things that are being done through this. Very exciting to think about, maybe Kara will even talk in front of people (she is reading this as I write and laughing) but who knows. If He can take a person like Moses and create a leader out of him, then that isn't much a stretch of the imagination.
I can't tell you enough, pray for me. I know it sounds selfish, but that is far from the intent. I just want you to pray and seek God's will in my life and yours and while we do that, lets watch for the Amazing thing He is going to reveal.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Yesterday at Wake Forest went pretty good. I met with the doctor and he discussed the different philosophies of treating the tumor. He was unable to look at my MRI but had talked to the doctor from Monday. The next step is for him to meet with the others on the "Tumor Board" at Wake on Tuesday. This is a group of doctors from all forms of treatment (Chemo, Radiation, Neurosurgeons, etc) that will all work together to figure out the best plan for getting rid of the tumor. So Tuesday or Wednesday I should be able to find out the next step. The doctor said that it will probably be getting a biopsy, which would mean drilling into my head and letting the air out. From there they will be able to see what kind of tumor it really is and then start treating it.
If there is anything that I have learned this week is that God is not a mean God, He does have what is best in mind for us. Now what I think is best for me and what He does I am sure is totally two diffent things. My idea would be a nice house at St. Thomas with a boat, but God knows better than me what is fulfilling and what counts. Each day I am here I have found joy in the little things that I never paid attention to. Talking to someone I don't know and getting to know them...hearing their story, Aksing someone how they are and actually waiting for an answer, wanting to do for others than just making myself content. These are little things I have noticed now that I enjoy. I am sure I will have many more revealed to me.
I will quit rambling, there is just one thing that I want you to think about that my pastor and I discussed yesterday. We were talking about now that I have this tumor he started telling me that there is no way of knowing how many days I have and I interruped him before he could finish and said "Neither do you.." he said that was the point he was going to make. I have been blessed with having my eyes opened to the fact none of us have an expiration date on our birth certificate. I am now more deliberate about living my life now. I try not to waste time or moments.....you should not either.