Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's been a while...

Words from Brenda-
How do you prepare for colonoscopy and have a panic attack? I mean so bad that you start to cry hysterically and can't go through procedure unless your daughter is there holding your hand? But be so at ease preparing for brain surgery?! In the weeks that have passed since my surgery I have heard the words brain surgery over a dozen times. News, tv shows. Grey's anatomy, Farrah Fawcett's Story. One fiction, one non fiction. Fear is a very real emotion. Something that we all have experienced in a lifetime. Some insignificant and others very significant. A colleague called me because she knew of my recent brain surgery. I spoke to her and explained my story but everyone is different. I wanted to keep her positive and upbeat. I heard the fear in her voice her words cracking as she spoke. She divulged that 3 tumors were found. And she had no movement in 3 fingers. So it was determined that her tumor was not in the same location as mine. She's spending 3 days in the hospital and will have to wait several weeks before she finds out if it benign or not. It made her very concerned that titanium screws will be put in her head. When I was told about the titanium that seemed like the least of worries. I will call her tomorrow to give her support. I don't want to think about what I will say to her I'm hoping the right words will just flow. I am so lucky, thank you God.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

wow!

It's coming to 3 months since her surgery and she is phenomenal!!! It's amazing that she seems like she didn't have surgery.

She is walking and being as active as she was before the surgery, before the tumor-- well, before we knew about the tumor.

It's like it never happened. But it did, and we are thankful everyday for how perfectly everything went. I am going to make an appointment for her MRI so they know how much of the tumor he got out and so they a basis for her yearly MRIs so we know if it's changing at all.

We're ready for the holidays!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Deja and her Nanee

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

She just came back from vacation!!!

Alone. :(
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My long time friend Barb who lives in New Carrollton, Md came to Philadelphia and picked me up and took me back with her.
I didn't know she had a dinner party planned in my honor. Sooo much food from shrimp to chicken kabobs which were awesome because Barb is a vegetarian. Her best friend, Jon, had been looking toward my visit since she told him I was a wii bowler. The challenge was on since they both were talking trash. The first game I bowled 210 so they saw I was a force to be reckoned with. It was down hill from there with Barb beating me oh so closely every game! But I was beating Jon!
The next day Barbara and Jon had a "surprise". We went to Mo's Fishermans' Wharf near the Baltimore Harbor for lunch. Unreal! Crab and Scallops Imperial too good. We walked to the car -or so I thought- I asked where are we going? They both replied "a surprise". We walked about two blocks into Mccormick & Schmicks. I really couln't imagine why we were in a restaurant when we just left one. Jon asks for the dessert tray and then orders 3 bread puddings. Are you serious?? I said to myself because I didn't want to be rude. I took one spoonful and then another and another until it was gone!! They knew I would love it and they were right!
Third and last day. Barb took me to the Amtrak station. When I get off the train I see Jenny and Daisy running up the steps they thought they missed me on the platform. When they see me I immediately put all my things down because I knew what was coming. Jenny picks me up and swings me around. We have lunch and talk about the trip.

It was a wonderful get away although I missed the girls and Troy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

IMG00091.jpg

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Where's the scar?

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mommy's words

Today is my one month after surgery checkup by Dr. K the surgeon. Jenny has reminded me that the doctor did not officially say that the tumor was benign. But thought is that I'm sure I would have been informed if it wasn't.
As the day wore on I began to get anxious. Maybe he's waiting to tell me today or he's going to tell me I need radiation because he couldn't get it all out. I shared my anxious thoughts with Jenn so now the two of us are all but freaking out.
In walks dr. K he has a stoic presence
About him like Dr. Summers like you can tell they're doctors.
He confirmed what he initially told us that the tumor was benign. He wants me to get an MRI every year around the anniversary date of the surgery and to go on with my life.
I had several questions regarding the surgery like the consistency, was it taken out in one piece, and was he concerned that my eyes weren't focusing while I was in recovery.
The analogy was to an orange and how you would peel the orange from the skin in sections. It wasn't a solid hard matter. And no concern about my eyes it was the medication that prevents seizures which I will gradually stop taking in two weeks.
As we walked out the office the receptionists complimented my hair or lack of again and wished me well. It was a surreal feeling I wanted to burst out crying. Was it because when I first went to Dr. K's office that I didn't know my fate? And now I've been given a clean bill of health?
My feeling of crying were quickly diminished because Jenny picked me and swung me around! I love her soooo much.
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Friday, October 31, 2008

Her tumor.....

was benign. It's sad that we had to wait a month and a day to find that out, but I am so glad to actually know. No radiation, just an MRI around December to have a baseline image of what (if anything) remains of the tumor and then yearly checkups at the anniversary for the next 5 years.

Here is Mommy and Dr. Kotapka:




Thanks Dr. Kotapka for everything!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A comment from one of Mommy's friends

Hello Bren,
I love your hair cut, its looks so you, with your beautiful smile. Today is 1 month since your surgery and if no one knew that you had surgery they wouldn't believe it, looks like you are posing for a magazine, continue to be strong and pray, God is the healer.
 
Love You,
Dee

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Aunt Benay's comment

You have been on my mind.  You know I am not a  texting person. Are you ready to talk on the phone? (just for a few minutes)
You look really well and I do truly love the cut.  Looks great on you.

And yes you can blog it.

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She lies!

This blog ain't ending! It will continue to follow her on some level for the next 5 years. That is the amount of time Dr. Kotapka says that is the amount of time after which she is completely in the clear.

Sorry Mommy and readers-- but we're not going anywhere!
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Mommy's words

It looks my blog is becoming to end. My appointment with the surgeon is Thursday. I will conclude the Blog with the questions and answers that I have for Dr. K I hope he has the time to answer them and I will understand if he doesn't because Thursday is surgery day.



I'd like to take this time to thank some family members and friends:



To my baby who was totally responsible for me getting the MRI and discovering the tumor. Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me I love you always and forever. Deja who has been a big help to her News I love you always and forever. Troy thank you for being there with Jenny and being her rock and helping me get around.

Dr. K. The surgeon whom I am forever grateful for a successful surgery. Dr. B my acupuncturist who provided me with so much information about acupuncture, the immune system, and herbal remedies, thank you, Dr. B



Dr. Chris & Staff, your well wishes, smiles and hugs were so sweet I love you all.



Drs. Summers and Felzer, Carol, Jennifer, Jane, Heather and Bethany. Thanks to you it definitely helped in my speedy recovery I will never forget your smiles and hugs.



My childhood friends, Deanna and Benay thank you for being there for me.



Jenny's best friend Evie, Ian and Eva who kept track of me by texting Jenny and blog watching almost constantly.



The prayers, cards, gifts, flowers, balloons, food, calls, and visits I can honestly say contributed to keeping my spirit and energy high over the last 4 weeks I thank you with all my heart.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hey Kool-Aid!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Mom's words part 2

Time to go to dinner to celebrate baby's birthday! Bahama Breeze in King of Prussia. I removed the scarf once I got inside. Amazed I wasn't self conscious at all. When Jenny went to the ladies room I asked our server to address me as "Sir" since she keeps teasing me about looking like a boy. He was a cool server who he even invited us to go to karaoke with him. Well when he said would you like anything else, Sir I looked shocked and Jenn starts laughing hysterically! Then we all started laughing hysterically it was too funny.
What I think will make me feel better about my hair is COLOR. A funky red. I am going to call Dr. K's assistant first thing Monday to see if it's okay or should I wait a little longer.
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Mommy's words 10/17. I was late posting

Today is my baby's 31st birthday! And guess where I went? On the Regional Rail to Center City to get her favorite cake from the Swiss Bakery. Of course mother hen doesn't know but I told Troy. Om sitting on the bench talking to her. and what do you think happens?! The loudspeaker goes on! I started coughing, started throwing the phone up and down like a hot potato, and disconnected the call. I immediately walked far away because I knew she was going to call back, in the mean time the PA is still jabberin what the heck are they saying the Gettysburg address or somethin!?
"Where are you?!" A voice screams in my ear. Om getting coffee. "No you're not, you're on a bus" great! She thinks I'm on a bus and she thinks I'm heading in the opposite direction even better!
Okay, nice such a nice plan or so I thought. How about the walk from 19th to 9th? I forgot that part of my master plan. So I took my time strolling on Chestnut st. and you'll never guess where I decided to stop? A barber shop. Yes I cut my hair OFF not bald but very close. I had the sweetest female barber so nice. What I particularly like about her was she would cut and then ask if I wanted it shorter. She even recommended hair products. I felt self conscious at first but she was so nice it took my mind off of the haircut Ciara gave me her phone number so I ca let her know how Jenny liked it.. I left there and went to the beauty supply store and asked for the man with the "red hair". We immediately connected he was so nice too. He said the surgeon did an awesome job with my hairline. Oh clarification: no, I put my scarf back on TOO cold out. Got a little tired I didn't get a chance to eat before I left should have taken an apple with me.
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Side

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The back

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

She got her hair done

And it looks beautiful! I love it and so does Troy. Deja wasn't as accepting-she hates when people cut their hair.

I think it looks great and you can barely see the scar.

She's still puffy, her sense of smell isn't as acute and the whole area of the head/brain that was worked on is still numb. It hurts her incision site if she yawns or when she eats and she has more pain towards the end of the day than in the beginning. She still gets tired from over-exerting herself. She still is in isolation but not as bad as before. Isolation is a strong word but she isn't quick to have company or talk on the phone.

All in all I am very pleased in her recovery. I am still pissed that they haven't given her an official "benign" status yet. She has to wait until October 30 when she sees Dr. Kotapka again.
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Look @ Diva

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sorry for not posting in a few!

Words from Mommy:

Thursday, Oct 9th
Back to physical therapy! I would have never dreamed that I would be back to PT one week after coming home. The gasps from the staff when I walked in was as surreal as when I went to Jenny's job. I got hug, hugs and more hugs. Dr. B couldn't believe it either but I owe the way that I feel to him and his acupuncture treatment. He has made me a believer!
As you saw from the. photo the stitches are out. The area is healing well. I saw Chris, the crn (I'll get initials and u can put link explaining what they do) I had a lot questions about the surgery that she couldn't answer like what is the consistency of the tumor? What did he use to take it out? Why was the surgery considerably shorter than the projected 6 hours? I see Dr. K in 3 weeks I will get the answers by that time I will probably have a few more questions n
by then. Ironically we saw Dr. K as I was leaving the hospital. He asked me if I was happy. Am I happy how about I run and jump into your arms will that prove how happy I am?!
I am cooking, cleaning, walking, doing just about everything that I did before.
The weekend was amazing! Great yard sales, nice people, excellent weather.
Sunday got our coffee and headed to the golf driving range in Fairmount park. So much fun! Jenn, Deja, Troy, and Deja's friend. After lunch we went to the gun range. I was a little apprehensive because of the noise but with a scarf on and ear plugs it was fine. Fired about 75 rounds in a good "group".
I was requested to make potato salad (family claims I make the best) even I have to say it was good. That talent hasn't changed. I'm looking to see if I've changed any since the surgery. So far so good.
Quote of the Day:
"Doctor gave me two months to live, have to mow the lawn"
From a neighbor with terminal cancer
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Exciting day

We went to the driving range today. Mommy, Troy, Daisy, Alanna (Deja's friend) and I. It was so much fun to actually golf. I do it so much on the Wii that it was just sooo exciting to do it in real life, and dramatically different!!!

Then we went to the gun range to let off steam from not doing so good golfing (ok, that's why I was shooting). We are all pretty awesome shooting.

I was a little worried about Mommy wearing the eye gear and ear muffs so soon after her surgery, but she did great!! Her face is still puffy, but not nearly as bad. I think it's because she sleeps on that side of her head and the fluid settles there. The nurse said that it should go away next week. I hope so, she seems to be more self-conscious about it now. It doesn't look bad, just different. Her incision location looks great. Her hair is still growing (duh) and it looks like it's healing perfectly.

Unfortunately, we didn't see Dr. Kotapka on Friday (we actually ran into him when we were leaving and he seemed to recognize her). The nurse mentioned that she may have to have radiation just to make sure it's all gone and they STILL didn't say if it was benign or malignant which I just think is bad business. That just sucks. I mean, they keep saying that it seemed like it was a meningioma, but darn, just confirm that it was benign please. Make us feel better, or if it is malignant, let us know so we can deal with it. But this waiting is awful.

I do feel better that they are so nonchalant about it, if they urgently called us in to talk I'd be freaking out.

So anyway, we had a long adventurous weekend. She took Tylenol after our outing today because I think it may have been a little too much, but she'd never actually say that.

:-)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Medically cleared to drive

Her broom!
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Getting sutures out

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

10 days after her craniotomy

She looks fabulous!
She's mean, but pretty.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Can't keep me down"

Mommy's words:

First day alone. I woke up just in time to see both my babies leaving we threw kisses and yelled "I love you". I decided to take a walk to the Deli a slow walk. I decided to take my digital camera to help me not walk fast. I get into the next block and who turns the corner? The mailman. He jumps out of the truck like Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie. I knew he would be glad to see me but...NO he was a spy asking me where I was going. After ten minutes of convincing him, he finally let me go. Needless to say I'm going to change my route. {Ed. note: I'll find her where ever she goes. I may not have known today, but I will GPS her butt if I have to}.

I felt so good when I returned not tired but truly energized and happy.
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More words from Mommy

My baby didn't have time to get her tea because of traffic on the Drive. Since Troy was off and was taking me to get Dunkin Donuts coffee, I asked him did he mind taking Jenny her tea. You know he didn't mind! His face lit up like the Christmas tree in Rockerfeller Center to see his "babygirl". Of course Jenny made me come in to say hello to her boss etc. They gave me the sweetest most sincere welcome so loving that it made me cry!
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Balloons

The balloons that Eva sent!
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mommy tonight

Swelling still in her cheek and jowl
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Troy's Mommy and his brother Tracey

She lost more weight. :(
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Happy!!!

I just got the nicest surprise. Troy just stopped by the job with my Mommy!!!!! I was running late this morning and couldn't get my usual morning caffeine so they brought it to me.

Mommy got a chance to thank everyone for the gift she got yesterday and to get love from my co-workers! It made her cry to feel the overwhelming amount of love and support of everyone.

It made me happy to have them show her how loved she is.

Plus, she's beautiful. If I wasn't showing anyone her sutures no one would know that she had surgery. She's an amazing woman and she shows her strength every day!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mommy's words

I finally told Jenny what was bothering me. I was having anxiety about her not being home with me. Sunday night after an awesome dinner we talked about events e.g, thoughts and feelings before, during and after the surgery. We both said "brain tumor", "brain tumor" it sounds so scary. One question that was not asked of the doctor would I be normal after surgery? My speech, my cognition? {Ed. note: cognition? Is that a word?} It would have been frightening if he said it may take a few days for you to be back to normal. Thankfully I came out of the anesthesia without any side effects no nausea, nothing. I sincerely have the best daughter, granddaughter and Troy.

Take the time to smile at someone today it may do them a world of good.
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Hair check

Holy wow! Her hair has grown so much in this week. Wow, it's been a week today since her surgery. She seems like she's getting stronger (not that she was ever weak).

Her face is still puffy on the right. Her eye looks a little dark on the lid, but she's gorgeous!
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Wonderful friends

Mommy got 2 surprises today. She got a beautiful get well package from my work family. She was soooo giddy from it and we sat there and giggled and nibbled!

It really brightened her day to know that people care.

And my other Evie (Eva L) stopped by the job with balloons and a card for Mommy.

She also got a visitor tonight. So I think knowing that she is loved and thought of by more than just us means a lot to her and is helpful to her recovery.

Between my Evie (Evie D) checking on us, Jane, Heather, my "aunts", my "uncle", all of the Summers', she knows she is loved.

So thank you to everyone who has made all of this so much easier!
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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Her eye is better but her face is swollen

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More words from the impatient patient

My third day at home and I'm feeling good, no pain. I know that the anti-seizure med is important and I do take it as prescribed. I get a nice little facial everyday from my baby. It's a little difficult for me just laying around but I know its important not to overdo it, but watching Tivo'd movies from 1997, ugh! One thing that I'm concerned about is I don't have an interest in talking on the phone. Did they remove too much? Did they bump something while the were in there? I have to take a short walk tomorrow but must disguised so the spies won't tell on me. I promise just around the block and I will stop and rest if I feel tired, promise.
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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Her eye looks better @ night

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Told you I was getting her ice cream!

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Troy's Mom Venius

I haven't posted about her surgery. I am such a jerk. She had a mastectomy yesterday and everything went well. She's due to go home tomorrow.

She feels fine, she wishes that she'd just got them both done at the same time, I guess she's scared that she would eventually need that one removed also.

I haven't spoken to her...such a bad "daughter-in-maybe one day-law", but Troy has and he spoke to his brother Tracey, who saw her today. Tra said she looks great and is in high spirits.

Wishing her a speedy and easy recovery.

forgive me

I know I haven't been informative the last few days.

So much to do, so little time?

Mommy has been "ok" lately. I think it's getting to her knowing that she really has to take it slow and that she can't do that much just yet. I have been taking her to get coffee in the morning and yesterday she took a walk around the block-- halfway-- we cut through the garage driveway. She's been taking naps but more like her usual nap as opposed to actually trying to get rest because she's tired and needs it. After coffee and air, I try to get her to take her Dilantin, which is anti-seizure medication (it's just a precaution as a lot of brain surgery/tumor patients have seizures- luckily she's never had one), and go to sleep and she wants to stay up and watch tv until later in the afternoon and then wake up an hour later.

She doesn't like to take pain meds, so she's been on 2 Tylenol every 4 hours (when I am there to make her take it).

She won't tell me how she's feeling, just "I'm ok". I ask if she has pain and she denies it most of the time. I ask her if she's upset about the facial swelling and she doesn't say she is. But you just know she's not herself. I wasn't expecting her to be but I'd like for her to be more honest and say... this hurts, or this swelling sucks, or something other than, I'm ok. Unless it's true. Please don't think I that I want her to feel bad, but I just want her to relay her true feelings to me instead of trying to protect me.

I am going to be 31 in 2 weeks... I can handle it.

I've made her dinner yesterday and today... if you know me that just shows how much I love her because I. Don't. Cook. Um, at all. And I made fish for her. Fish. Ew. But I knew that would make her happy.

So all in all, the swelling was a surprise to me, Troy said that the nurse or doctor said it could happen, but I don't recall.

Let me go get my little patient some ice cream!

Her hair is growing back already!

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Sitting outside getting air

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Still swollen

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Friday, October 3, 2008

My little baby

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Getting better

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My poor Mommy

Her right is swollen so bad she can't open it.
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

@ home

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Part of her side of the story

Hello everybody I'm hooome!

Thank you so much for your support especially to my baby Jenny who is ALWAYS there and for the friends that supported her particularly Troy, Deja, and the Summers' family (staff included).

Now the saga of "happy little accidents" continues from my prospective:
I was not especially nervous or anxious on the morning of the surgery. My heart kind of jumped when I heard my name called because I knew my baby could not be with me at that point. We kissed and I was wheeled away into a holding room for surgeries. That's when I cried, but my guardian angel came over wiped the tears from my face and said "it's ok to cry, but don't worry because you are going to be fine". And I was from that point on. The anesthesiologist introduces himself and an anesthesiologist student introduces himself and asked if I would mind him in the O.R. I said "of course not" and then something funny because they all laughed. Imagine that, me making a funny seconds before lala land! Okay, now I'm being introduced to Fred the maintenance man. He pumps the electricity if the electricity goes out. Now I get it. This is a test to keep my mind off of the surgery. And to see how lucid I am afterwards. Ok, I have all the names memorized, put me out, put me out before I forget!

My intention was to see Jenn's face when I woke up and to say this little inside thing that would make us both laugh. She said my eyes were going from side to side rapidly and I kept muttering our inside joke. I think it was because I'm waiting for the Post Op pop quiz. Whew! Thank goodness, no quiz.

I'm whisked away to ICU a nice room right in front of the nurses station (how comforting).

Editor's note:
It was not as swift as she thinks. She was in recovery for 2 hours and had a CT Scan. It just felt like everything was that quick.

I felt so good that I laid back, crossed my legs over one another, and stretched my arms over my head. Just as I was about to breathe a sigh of relief... Someone lightly taps at the door guess who it is!? Right, Mr. Anesthesiologist. "How are you Ms Stratton?" "Fine", I said brightly.
Uh oh, here's come the quiz I shouldn't have sounded so strong when I said "fine". Then in a weaker voice, " I'm okay", then a near whisper "thank you for stop.." I closed my eyes and voila! I heard the door close lightly and as I peeked with one eye he was gone!

Editor's note:
More than likely she actually fell asleep and "peeked with one eye" an hour later.

The following morning the nurse said she ordered breakfast for me. Yes! So I get oatmeal, jello, juice." "Hey, mister", I yell, "this is the tumor removal ICU, not the teeth removal ICU there's nothing wrong with my mouth it was my head that had the surgery". Musta worked because ten minutes later I was eating bacon and eggs!


Stay tuned for more of her adventures.....
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Pretty

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She CAN walk

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Discharged baby!

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Wow!

She's coming home!!
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Out of ICU

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Her sutures

Poor baby.

She doesn't seem happy today but she says she's ok. She's still in ICU and she might move tonight or tomorrow to another room. I think she's scared because she won't have such close care.

She's making me sad.
:(
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She looks tired

She had bacon and eggs for breaky!
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This morning

Her potassium was low so they're giving her some.

Vitals are good!
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cyberknife

If you were watching Fox 29 tonight you may have seen a report on brain tumor removal using cyberknife.

Unfortunately, Mommy wasn't a candidate for it as her tumor was attached to her optic nerve and there wasn't enough room to use that device.


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They're lucky I wasn't here.

Ok, so it started last night. You know, the night of her major brain surgery. So her room is right outside of the nurses station and they were REALLY loud. She said something to one of the nurse while I was here and they quieted down. So I left last night and we kept her door shut. She said that they were so loud that she complained (not really complained as much as notified) the head nurse for them to be quiet.
This morning the clinical manager stopped by to apologize.
So, I left around 3:30. I was exhausted and wanted to take a nap (I got here around 10).
Mommy calls me when I got home and said that the nurses were giving her evil looks. So I tell Troy and he calls his contacts and Dr. Kotapka happened to stop by shortly after that call.

I get back around 6:30 and Mommy says, "I didn't want to tell you over the phone, but I went to the bathroom and the nurse left me." Apparently she pulled the emergency cord and waited about 13 minutes and her nurse never came. My Mommy the brain surgery patient walked herself out of the bathroom, washed her hands (sink in the room as opposed to the bathroom) and got herself into bed.

Are you kidding me?!?! You know that I think they were angry that my Mom complained about the noise. I could see if they hadn't poked around in and removed something from her brain. I could see if she didn't have a friggin drain stuck and hanging out of her head to keep fluid out of her brain.

But since, they've been really nice and more quiet. Lucky for them nothing happened to her. She could have tripped, fallen, fainted. How would they explain that?

It wasn't her normal nurse that did it.

By the way, she knew it was 13 minutes because she'd texted me to tell me she had to pee.

I hope tonight is better or they might have a guest visitor.
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So pretty

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This evening

She's looking better and better!

Pain level is 4/10. Drain is empty as of right now so we'll keep an eye on that. They're checking her eyes, pulse, hand and feet movement and pulse in her feet. Listening to her lungs. Clear. Getting antibiotic. Went to restroom.

Doing great!
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She is high

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Doing breathing exercises

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Water

The area of the brain that my Mommy had her tumor was very close to the pituitary gland.



Evidently one function of that gland regulates thirst. Last night she had probably at least 12 huge cups of water (in a short span too). She had a catheter and I could see where her pee was being contained. She was peeing a LOT every few minutes. I just found out that she wasn't really wasn't thirsty it was just that the gland was affected.



She keeps having "heroin nods" from the morphine. She'll be in the middle of a sentence and fall asleep for 5 minutes and then wake up to finish her sentence.



She also has a lot of gas.



I know that some/most of this stuff is gross and too much info, but I want people to be informed. This blog isn't just for our family and friends, it's also if you google meningioma tumor you can find more than just clinical information, you can find out about a real life person.



58 year old Brenda Stratton from Philadelphia that HAD a meningioma tumor.

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Pencil, car and boat

Mommy is getting physical therapy and they asked her to remember those words.

She did!! Whoo hoo.

Blood pressure is a little low but she's been in bed for over 30 hrs. Breathing is good.

They have her sitting in a chair which is awesome!!

She said she's a 5 out of 10 for pain.

They are very pleasant here.

The naps in the middle of conversations, but she'd just had meds before I got here.

Oh, did I tell you they kicked me out last night? I was DEVASTATED!!! I could have stayed in the waiting room but she asked that I go home and sleep. Didn't want to, but for once I listened to my Mommy.

She's off the IV and no longer has a catheter.

She's amazing!
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This is her this morning!

Amazing!!! She is having breakfast.
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Monday, September 29, 2008

Close up

She's still doing good. Just getting pain meds. She keeps thinking I am going to leave. Ha!! She won't get rid of me that easily!

Deja and Troy just left. Dayz was a little sad seeing her Nanee so vulnerable, but knowing that the tumor is gone is worth it.

I spoke to Dr. Kotapka and he says that he's almost certain it was a meningioma (the benign tumor) and she'll just need to have MRIs once a year for the next 5 years. She should leave the ICU in 2 days and be discharged from hospital on Friday.

She's been getting steroids to keep her brain from swelling. She's also able to drink now, no food. She's peeing a LOT! The nurse just said that the surgery she had affects urination. The fact that she's had about 12 big cups of water in the past hour probably has more to do with it than anything.

Lab work comes back within the week to make sure it was benign. Once we get that info we can REALLY celebrate!!! Donations? I kid!!!

Thanks so much to everyone that has called/texted/emailed! It means so much to us. I am also thankful of the prayers!

Ugh. She's watching Dancing with the Stars. Its not even mildly entertaining.

I'm gonna go wash her face now.

Good night!
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Yay!

Finally with my Mommy!!! She has a headache and is thirsty still. But in good spirits. She just got some pain meds so she's knocked out.

I am so happy that I have her with me!

Many thanks to Dr. Mark Kotapka!
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Quick update

She's still in recovery. Waiting to get a ct scan.
I've only seen her the one time. Nice nurse William checked on her about 20 mins ago.

Her room should be 4045 in the ICU in Tower Bldg.

I will update later.

xo
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In recovery.

She still has her sense of humor! She kept muttering an inside joke!
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Tears of Joy

Dr. Kotapka just came out and told us she did great! She's in recovery and very foggy. He still thinks it was a meningioma but they still have to wait until they get the lab results to make sure it was benign but she made it through surgery!

He can't tell if she has further vision loss because she's still so foggy. Plus she doesn't have her glasses on!!!


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Weirdness

As I was resting before I took the nap, I saw my Daddy. I had just said in my mind that he can't have her. Then, quite vividly, I saw his face. Daddy died 17 years ago (wow, didn't realize it was so long ago) when I was 13. So my memory of his face is only from pictures. But there he was. I could see his cheeks. Golf ball cheeks. Round and friendly. I could see the gap in his teeth. His Kangol "golf" cap. His eyes. Right in front of me. He hugged me and walked me to where Mommy was. I came to his jaw line in height and his hand was bigger than mine, but not as much as when I was 13. So it was current time. He held her left hand and I held her right as she was drifting off. He communicated that he would be there with her.

I then saw Nanny. My great grandmother who died in the 80's. I could see her height and her smile and her nose. She kinda reminded me of Sophia Petrillo from Golden Girls but not as crash. Just in stature and age. I didn't see her as long as I saw Daddy.

I know it seems soooo strange. But it was real. Maybe it was a dream, but whatever. I saw them. And that makes me feel good to know they are in there with her.

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7:46am

I just spoke with a rep and as of now 11:37 she was still in the O.R. Their first report was at 7:46.

The have a hospitality room for surgical patients. It consists of a television, vending machines, restroom and coffee/tea. There are about 14 people here including Troy and I. I have seen just one family leave to meet their loved one.

It's pleasant enough in here. A little loud with conversation. Troy and I took a nap around 7:30ish for about an hour. Then he got us coffee and a nosh. I have a book (or 4) but have crying spells that make me not be able to concentrate. Thank God for Valium!

I won't know her room number until she's out of surgery and into recovery.


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Pre-op

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Her binder

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Waiting

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