Monday, September 26, 2011

Update: After a Good Week

Been a busy week but I feel pretty good today and I did yesterday as well.  I'm even typing normal again for the most part just a few minor adjustments.

  • It has been 4 years since I was diagnosed with what was believed to be a benign brain tumor.
  • It has been more than three years since my first surgery confirmed it was a malignant tumor not benign
  • I have completed 7 rounds of Temodar chemo and will have my second round of a new chemo avastin on Tuesday.
Medically - Following my first round of a new chemo for me, Avastin, my symptoms steadily improved from what I was having.  My left side weakness is at times completely unnoticeable.  Where I couldn't type a week ago, I am typing pretty well now.  I am able to get out of bed, get dressed, and pretty much fend for myself now and I couldn't do that a few weeks ago.  ( I couldn't push myself with my left side to crawl out of bed nor could I get up and walk. With the assistance of a cane and the chemo doing it's job, I can now do this pretty easily.)  We won't know for a couple of weeks what positive effect has taken place on the inside but I'm confident we'll see significant decrease again or I wouldn't be making as good of progress as I am.

Emotionally - Other than being annoyed that John doesn't want me driving, emotionally I'm doing pretty good.  It's been helped a lot by my mom being here during the day with me so that I don't feel trapped at home.  The good progress I've been making has me feeling good and confident as well.

Mentally - Other than my Short Term Memory being horrible, I've been doing fairly well.  I'm even able to do some calculations in my head again.  It's not as quick as I once was but it's a start.  Now if only I can figure out how to calculate time again.  (I can't calculate, what time will it be in 4 hours and 15 minutes or if I need to be somewhere at ____ time, what time do I need to leav/get up.  IT just doesn't sink in.)

Family - My son is very busy with band and is preparing for his first ever school dance (Homecoming.  He is super excited because he has a date for it.  He's been doing a lot of leg work to try to make the evening super special for her.  I think he feels a special connection to this girl because he discovered that her dad is also a cancer survivor so she knows what he is going through.  I think they are good for each other and he is really turning on the charm.  His natural romantic side and compassion are oozing everywhere.  I can't wait to see them together Saturday night to go to the dance.

My hubby is hard and heavy into harvest right now.  He is hoping to get off at least half day on Saturday to take me to a picnic with my former coworkerand half the Saturday to take me to dinner for our 15th wedding anniversary (We are still trying to find somewhere new and exciting in Springfield to go eat.  IF anyone has suggestions, we are open to them!!!)

Ok, this update has taken me three days to write so I had better rap it up now.

HUggles, - Amy

Friday, September 9, 2011

Update - Not the news we wanted

This update is going to take me hours to type because I am unable to type with my left hand  ou'll understand after my next update.

  • It has been 4 years since I was hit with a baseball that led to the discovery of my brain tumor. (It was in June or July but I don't recall the exact date)
  • It has been 3 years and  11 months since I completed External beam radiation on October 1.
  • It has been 3 years and 4 months since I had a partial resection (more partial than we realized at the time)of my grade three tumor.
  • It has been approximately 21 months since my second resection, 20 since my shunt insertion, and and 19 since the start of a month of chaos.
  • ICompletedr7 rounds of Temodar Chemo.
Medically - OVer the past couple of months I have had the worst sympyoms to date from my brain cancer.  I have been experiencing left side weakness and a steady decline in my memory and cognitive abilities.  I had an appointment at Mayo on Tuesday, the MRI did not show positive results.  My tumor has regrown to the size it was prior to  my surgery in October (around that of an orange ( or baseball)It went from nearly gone to this size since April.  Therefore it is growing very quickly, possibly even a GRade 4 now instead of a Grade 3.

It's currently not operable so we are going to try a different type of chemo Avastin.  It is usually rather effective.

Emotionally - surprisingly, I"'m holdin up very well deapite my frustation at my left side weaknesses and being grounded from driving AGAIN by my wonderful husband.  The weaknesses also prevent me from typing with both hands.  This makes life a pain since I have typed with both hands since I was very young.  At one point I could type 53 words per minute, now I"m lucky to get five
I am holding my own despite the news that my cancer has returned with a vengeance.  for now my major symptoms are the left side weakness, memory issues, and trouble putting thoughts together (Thus the other reason this is so delayed.

Mentally - MY short Term Memory has been atrocious!  I Can't do much of anything inside my head.  I used to be excellent at complex math in my head but now I find even simple calculations near impossible to do in my head  (I've returned to using my fingers a lot!!!

Family - My son is enjoying High School and is in the marching band.  John is busy with harvest as the farmers are able to get into the fields.  He's put in a lot of overtime the last couple of weeks.

Well I think that's the majority of it.  Hopefully my left side weakness starts to improve instead of getting worse.  Prayers are welcome that Avastin does it's job and shrinks the tumor back to a manageable size and that any side effects I experience are minor.  The treatment I will be taking is still fairly new sowe also want to pray that it works to keep the tumor at bay and shrink it.  After this one is done, I'd love to have a year or so off medically.  This is an only if GOD HAS Some spare time for my request.  Otherwise I will keep fighting unless the dirty s word keeps coming up (steroids).  I"M not sure how much fight is left in me if I Have to go on steroids.