Sunday, January 16, 2011

Update Prior to Surgery Four

OK, so I'm a bit behind. Between ugly Amy moving in and my Internet choking, I haven't been able to send out many updates.

*It has been more than 3 and a half years since I was hit in the face with a baseball that led to the discovery of my brain tumor approximately a month later.
*It has been 2 years and 7 months since my first partial resection of my Grade Three Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain tumor. Surgery One.
*It has been 2 years and 3 months since I completed external beam radiation
*I have been seizure free for 19 months.
*It has been almost 11 weeks since my second resection. Surgery Two
*It has been seven weeks since I had my shunt put in place and I began IV antibiotics for a staph infection. Surgery Three
*It was three weeks ago when I completed my IV antibiotics.

Medically - I was doing fine until the swelling I was getting of a morning, stopped going down during the day. The fluid is filling nearly like it was before my shunt surgery. I have also been having some issues with "morning sickness". Occasionally when I eat my breakfast, it doesn't stay down. It only happens now and then and has always gone away after breakfast. Very strange. I've been good since the last week of December so hopefully I'm over that part of what is going on. The swelling continues to get worse and we are worried that the scalp might give way and actually bust so we feel the best bet is to find out why the shunt is no longer working. Therefore, surgery four is scheduled for Monday, January 17th at Mayo. The object of this surgery is to determine where the shunt is blocked/broken and do a slight reroute in an attempt to make it more effective. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully he finds it with the first cut and I just have one set of stitches in the side of my neck. I could have up to five though if my/his luck is bad. Let's pray for finding the bad spot quickly!!! For those of you that want something specific to pray for, pray that the breakage/blockage is near the neck so they can take care of it with a single incision instead of multiple.

The oncologist appointment went fairly well. He seems to be very knowledgeable. After my surgery, we will get with him again to determine when we will start the chemo. I'm ready to do it and get it over with!!!

On good news, I am done with the IV antibiotics and my PICC line has been removed. YAY!!!!!!!

Emotionally - I do believe that I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I fully believe this will be it for a while. I have a sense of peace going into this surgery, I haven't had the previous two times. I hope that is a good sign.

Mentally - I just don't want to use my mind for much of anything, including write updates or facebook. It's sad when even fun things become a chore to you. :(

Physically - Other than the baseball sized fluid collection on my right side scalp, I'm progressing nicely in the physical area. I'm slowly building up my stamina now that the PICC is gone. I did put on a total of 29 pounds from the Prednisone but I've already lost 13 of those by dropping water weight. *Yay!*

I still get very tired and I frequently take a nap during the day. Luckily, my body needs the nap because I sleep great at night as well. Otherwise, I'm glad to be able to take a bath and shower without wrapping my arm in plastic wrap (You can't get the PICC wet). It's so nice to be able to lay down in the bath tub or wash your own hair in the shower. It feels great, it really does.

I still have some sore muscles from changing the way I do some things but I'm hoping that I can find a way of stretching them better that won't make me hurt too much. I've made a lot of good progress since my last surgery and it sucks that every time I feel I'm making progress, I have to have surgery again. Oh well, just another obstacle I guess.

I really can't think of much else to talk about and we are almost to Rochester, MN so I better wrap this up. We'll find out around 8 PM what time I have to be at the hospital tomorrow. In the meantime, we are going to meet mom and dad at Canadian Honker for my surgery dinner. I'm trying to decide what I want to order this time...

John will update on facebook and hopefully through email as well (I hope he remembers how to do it, we'll walk through it again tonight since he missed some things last surgery. When I know, I'll send out a quick email about when I have to check in tomorrow. Otherwise, I'm over and out until after surgery.

-- Amy

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