Friday, March 21, 2014

Post Op MRI this morning!

Just a quick post to let you know I am scheduled for an MRI this morning. I check in at 9 and they will start the IV (yuck!).  I should be in the tube for an hour, or hopefully less, starting around 9:30. I meet with Dr. Mickey immediately following to go over the images.

I am not overly nervous, but also not feeling completely peaceful about it either. Dr. Mickey thinks he got it all, but his words from December still echo in my ears. About it being micro surgery and the tumor cells being microscopic...any tiny remnant has the chance of regrowing. Blech!

We just came back from an AMAZING road trip out west during which we stopped at the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Huntington Beach and then finally attended a great family missions conference. During our fun trip, a sweet, and way too young friend, died in a tragic sledding accident. We also passed 2 AWFUL accidents on the road, and a local man fell to his death off the south rim. Life is feeling very precious and super fragile to me at the moment.

Attending a funeral with your 9 year old so she may support her twin classmates who no longer have a mother is heartbreaking and sobering. And a good reminder that these pesky tumors and surgeries I have faced have left me scarred in a minor way, yet VERY FULL of LIFE!

Thankful yet still anxious about sitting next to Dr. Mickey this morning as he pours over each image and then turns to me and opens his mouth with news.  My prayer is that whatever the "news" is, good or bad, that our response is one that demonstrates our faith to him well.

It is truly amazing to me how the Lord continues to use my children to minister to me. Jade's current verses to memorize? A big chunk of Matthew 6, ending with these verses:

Do Not Be Anxious

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[g] 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Hearing her shy little 6 year old voice say these by heart warms mine immensely. So, into the tube I go, carrying these encouraging words with me!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

2 months! 1 year! Anniversaries and Scar Pic Fun!

We celebrated some big anniversaries this last week. Friday was Valentines Day...but I think it was more celebrated by us for another reason...1 year out from a very successful acoustic neuroma removal surgery!

Then Sunday (2/16) marked being 2 months out from the meningioma removal surgery.

Wow. We are still in a state of utter amazement! 2 brain tumors completely (hopefully) removed within one insurance year. Having about $90,000 worth of surgery behind me feels fantastic. We are so thankful that they both have proved to be benign and I was left relatively unscathed.

Other than the more visible scar, the meningioma tumor removal was by far the easier of the two. I am still adjusting to the deafness and eye issues that the acoustic neuroma tumor removal left behind.  And sadly, a year later, my deaf ear STILL RINGS. Crazy!

But, those things are SO minor! The Lord has given me a couple of people to minister to that have either gone through the AN surgery themselves or are caring for a parent who has just undergone the surgery.  Unfortunately, neither of them had near the experience that I did. It is humbling to be faced with the complications that I faced actually being realized in someone's life. Facial paralysis is not fun. It really is a miracle that I am not dealing with that and all the complications it brings.

Sorry I have been silent for the past 6 weeks. Please know that it is just a sign of a good recovery!

Life goes on! There have been a couple of fun events for family and friends that I have been involved with...namely, a baby shower and a surprise 4oth birthday party. And I also started a new job a couple of days a week...and most recently we decided to list our house and it FIVE days! So the fact that I am even blogging right now just proves that although the movers come at 7:30 in the morning, I am so over packing!!

So, how am I feeling? GREAT! How do I look? Well...the good news is that I don't have to see the back of my head. I feel sorry for the people who sit behind me at church! If they don't know my story, they are surely wondering if I have a patch of scabies on my scalp! I was wearing a hat routinely, thanks to my friend Rachelle sending a lovely care package, but these 70+ degree days have made it too hot.  It was a big horseshoe shaped incision, but only the top part of it really still shows. I will show you some pix of the progression...


The IV mishap bruising has disappeared! Only 1 small scar left from the arterial line.
This picture shows all of the staples while I was still in the hospital. The bald spot at bottom left is where they shaved for one of the mapping system anodes before surgery.

top L) immediately post op; top R) 3 days post op; low L) 7 days post op; low R) 7 days post op staples removed

Above three pics are 2-4 weeks out

this pic was about a week ago. gross, i know!
So, basically it's not too bad, right? Dr. Mickey's NP told me to take a rough wash cloth and basically give the scar a good scrubbing in the shower about 10 days post op.  Nah. That didn't sound fun to me! But now I realize I probably should have. I have had more than one friend offer to pick the scab off for me.  Not kidding.  But it is slowly shedding...makes for some fun dandruff!

The hair is growing back in. Right now it is just at the surface, should be really cute as it gets longer and starts sticking out everywhere! ;)

Thank you for your prayers and interest in my story. We remain so thankful. I have been loving Psalm 34...the whole Psalm, but especially the first 8 verses.

Psalm 34
I will bless the Lord at all times;
    his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
    let the humble hear and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
    and let us exalt his name together!
I sought the Lord, and he answered me
    and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant,
    and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
    and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps
    around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
    Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Like verse 3 says, magnify Him with me and let us exalt His name together!

I go back for another MRI next month. There is a chance that the tumor will show regrowth. I am definitely praying against that, but also sincerely know of the Lord's goodness no matter the outcome.

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