Thursday, January 31, 2008
Don't want to bore you with tons of details about visit to nuerosurgeon - (we went Tues 1/29) - he said basically the same thing as the other doctor - will be long and hard. I was kinda discouraged the rest of the day but... God had some talking to do to me. He led me to I Corinthians 2 and 3:16-23 and also Psalm 118 and 116. Here's a brief (hopefully) summary of what He reminded me:
1. I have the mind of Christ(I Cor. 2:16-"But we have the mind of Christ") - He is the Great Physician - dwelling inside me (great mystery- see I Cor. 3:16-"...you are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you") and He will direct me and my loved ones to the proper places, doctors etc. I have peace that He has put us where we should be.
2. He reminded me that I AM ALREADY HEALED ( not physically but spiritually- see Psalm 116:8"For you have rescued my soul from death...") - WOW - I don't have to fear anything - not this tumor - not death - not the thought of who will care for my loved ones .
3. On that note He reminded me that HE is GOD and I am not- He can and WILL take care of my precious ones before, during, and after all this is over. (Remember He took care of Matthew (my son) when he was held at gunpoint a few weeks ago- He was there watching over him - not me- Jer. 29:11- "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.")
4. I have an eternal gift - SALVATION-Psalm 118: 14-"The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation."
I have a lot more I'd like to share but... I need to do some work. Thank God for my sweet parents ( I work for them) - they are supportive of me doing this at work -Thank God for Jeff's Godly boss and his sweet wife - they support him in being there for his family. God is amazing and He is providing for all we need. Thank you, sweet loved ones for your prayers, love, support, and concern - we are in a blessed place. I love you dearly. ( That's all for now - I'll be back to give you more than you ever wanted to know!! :)
Monday, January 28, 2008
Subject: Tracy's tumor
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2008 21:24:34 +0000
Below is fairly detailed summary of our visit with the doctors today and the situations we will be in for the next few months. For my ADD buddies and buddettes, the short of it is that Tracy's tumor must be removed by surgery and there will permanent losses to hearing in the right ear and possibly some facial nerves. Rehabilitation and recovery will take 4 to 6 weeks in a rehabilitation hospital. For more info read below and we'll see you on Sunday. Love you guys. Really glad you're there.
We went to the doctor today – the Bobby Alford Neurosensory Center of Houston. We first saw Dr. Alford. He is the chancellor of the Baylor College of Medicine. Look him up on the Internet and you can find his bio. He has been doing this for 52 years, really nice man. Then we went to Dr. Oghalai. He is a neurotologist specializing in otology (of course) and skull base surgery. Next week sometime we will see Dr. Yosher. He is the neurosurgeon. We spent about 3 hours with Dr. Alford and Dr. Oghalai today. Somehow we have kind of ended up with some of the best of the best.
So what’s the skinny?
The tumor is believed to be a meningoma. It is very large, though not the largest anyone has seen (but “getting close”). It is inside the skull, but not attached to the brain. It is pressing against the brain. Tracy has not suffered any motor or neurological losses to this point. The tumor is aggressive, but slow growing. Aggressive because it branches out like tentacles and takes up whatever space it finds. As a result, as it will have originated in the meninges (sp?), but it found spaces to invade through the hypoglossal and jugular foramen canals. These are holes in the sk! ull where these nerves pass through. The tumor found these holes and squeezed through them to begin growing on the other side of them. That is how it got to the eardrum and made doctors think it would be a glomas jugular or glomas tympanicum.
Well, we must have the thing taken out. Radiation is out of the question because it is too big. Waiting to see what happens means death in about 5 to 10 years because the growth would eventually squish the brain stem and essentially suffocate it, so to speak. Thus, surgery in 4 to 6 weeks, or as soon as Dr. Oghalai and Dr. Yosher can get a day together. The surgery will take between 12 and 16 or so hours. She will be kept asleep for a day, or so. She will be in ICU for a week, or so. Then she will be in a rehabilitation hospital for 4 to 6 weeks, or so. All the “or so’s” beca! use recovery and rehabilitation depends on lots of factors that no one can predict.
She will lose the mechanisms for hearing in her right ear and they will close it off. Can’t be avoided. She will likely have facial nerve damage on the right side permanently. She could have trouble with her right shoulder temporarily as well as her right arm and leg. She may need a walker for some time, even as long as a year, depending on recovery and rehabilitation progress. She will lose the ability to swallow for a while and must have a feeding tube, either in her stomach or up her nose. She will likely have a tracheotomy until she can learn to swallow so that her saliva does not leak into her windpipe and cause her to have pneumonia.
The surgeons cannot get the entire tumor out. It is impossible. So, there will be remnants left. MRI’s to follow in the months, and years after will direct other treatments, which may include radiation. Though the tumor will still be in there, it is not expected to grow to a dangerous level again in her lifetime.
There may be more info, but it’s late, I’m tired and my brain is begging me to stop. Tell you more when it becomes significant.