Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Surgery Scheduled...Prayer Requests

First of all, thank you so much for your e-mails, calls, provision of meals, etc last month as we were walking through a dark time of sleepless nights and hard decision making.  We truly felt carried by the body of Christ.  I am not attempting to get back to each individual kind message, but please know that your words, quotes of scripture and encouragement were (and still are) treasured.

Before I give an update, one quick thing:
Many of you have asked how to get updates now and after surgery.  I used to blog here on a regular basis, and am going to revive it as a place to post prayer requests and progress after surgery. You can subscribe to it via e-mail on the top left. This is easier on your computer, but from your phone you have to scroll down and click "view web version" first. You do have to confirm your subscription, but I promise it will only e-mail you if there is an update! Jerry will update this after the surgery...maybe even during it, what else will he have to do during those 8-10 hours! ;)  I also plan to go back and document the diagnosis and decision making process at some point just because it is therapeutic for me.

My apologies for our silence.  We spent December seeing more doctors and letting the steroids get out of my system.  Praise the Lord that normal nights of sleep have returned.  Wow! So sorry to anyone who interacted with me during that time, I was a weepy mess! Sleep is wonderful.  After meeting with two surgeons earlier in the month, we then met with a radiation oncologist to discuss radiating the acoustic neuroma. This seemed like an encouraging option for a while especially with my blood disorder possibly complicating surgery.  We then saw the hematologist and she gave the green light for surgery.  We are thankful that though the Factor V Leiden deficiency does put me at higher risk for clots, isn't enough of a risk to preclude surgery.  Eventually we were persuaded against radiation because of unknown future side affects, the size of the tumor (3cm), its proximity to the brain stem and my young age. So after much prayer and counsel we decided to go ahead with surgery here in Dallas through UT Southwestern at Zale Lipshy.

The date:
I had to laugh when the surgeons said it could be done sooner, but they wanted to find a date when neither of them had a lot of other things going on.  WELL, thank you! It is an 8-10 hour ordeal, so I guess in theory they would have lots of time to do "other" things. ;) So, the date when they were both free is Valentines Day!  Yep, the surgery is scheduled for 2/14.  Valentines night in the ICU. Fun, fun. The surgeons are Dr. Bruce Mickey and Dr. Walt Kutz.  They have been so responsive and we are so thankful to God for them. They are using the translabyrinthine approach  which will leave me with no hearing or balance nerve on my left side.  Though the hearing loss will be tough, God made our bodies so amazing--my right balance nerve will eventually compensate in absence of the other one. I will be in ICU for 1 or maybe 2 nights and in the hospital a total of 5 days barring any significant complications. I will have physical therapy to regain my balance and hope to return to driving and life 4-6 weeks post op.

Prayer Requests:
  • Health for me and my family so surgery doesn't get postponed
  • Our girls' emotional health-that they wouldn't feel bounced around between family and friends
  • Strength for Jerry as he leads us through all of this
  • Sweet times with the Lord
  • Guidance of the surgeons' hands and their entire team--including some residents/fellows that will also take part
  • Pray that my facial nerve will be preserved
  • That my blood clotting disorder would pose no problems (going off aspirin 10 days pre-op)
  • That I would tolerate the anesthesia for the 8-10 hour surgery
  • Pray against infection and the following possible complications/side effects:
    • facial numbness/weakness/paralysis
    • difficult eye movement/blinking
    • trouble swallowing/change in taste
    • spinal fluid leak (could keep me in hospital additional 5 days if shunt has to be placed)
  • That the post op dizziness/intense vertigo would be short lived
  • That I would come to terms with being deaf on my left side :(
  • ULTIMATELY, that we would be a good witness to the medical staff and glorify God in the process
A somewhat unrelated request is for the other tumor they found on my scan.  It is another benign type--a meningioma--and is also about 3cm. It is sitting on the top of my brain near the superior saggital sinus.  In case you are like me and clueless about what that is--it is a large vein in the brain that takes blood back to the heart.  We are thankful that it is not causing any symptoms so we can just watch it. Would love your bold prayers that this tumor would STOP growing, NOT present symptoms, and NOT have to be removed.

Probably the sweetest thing for us as parents has been seeing our girls come around me with honest prayers, strong hugs and even hard questions.  Our 8 year old Lily has made Psalm 46:1 the theme verse for this season as she recites it over me almost nightly.  I will leave you with it----

Psalm 46:1-2a God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear...

Much love,
Kerry for the Gibsons

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Christmas Card Pics

November 2012--Lily (8) and Jade (5)

These were taken by my sweet mother-in-law at my husband's family land in Golden, Texas.

Words really can't describe my love for these people!

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