August 2, 2019 I had a grand mal seizure at work, while visiting the New Hope TreeHouse. My amazing manager, Kari Boyce and the site Area Director, Renee Keen-Natzke called the ambulance and met me at North Memorial Hospital and spent several hours in the emergency room with me. This was a beautiful summer Friday afternoon that they sacrificed. I’m so thankful that these two ladies were so quick to respond and get me the care that I needed.
I had a MRI that afternoon that indicated something was in my brain. I was admitted to the hospital and within a few days neurosurgeons and a neurologist talk to Wayne and I about possible options. Because of the location of the tumor, they thought the tumor could be inoperable to remove but they decided to get a biopsy sample. Honestly, most of my stay in the hospital is a little fuzzy, probably an after effect of the seizure. On August 6th I had surgery where they took a sample to send to Mayo for pathology. The neurosurgeon told us we should have results within 2 to 3 days. I had a follow up appointment with a GP a week later and she had not heard anything about the pathology. Of course, in the meantime all I can think of is what is in my head and let’s start some treatment. The next week I had an appointment with the neurosurgeon to have the staples in my head removed and he hadn’t received a pathology report yet either. This was very frustrating for both Wayne and myself. About a week later they had me meet with an oncologist near north memorial and she finally had received info from Mayo. Because the tumor is glioblastoma, she referred me to the University of Minnesota where they can offer more specific treatment options for this diagnosis.
Since mid-September, I have a fantastic care team at the U of M. I have done 4 cycles of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation (5 days a week). I wear a medical device on my head 80-90% of the time called optune which is sending electric waves to the site of my tumor. Theoretically keeping cancer cells from growing and hopefully killing off cancer cells. Wayne helps me shave my head and apply the optune transducers every 3 days. He takes it very seriously to follow the diagram provided for placement. Plus he has me confined to a chair where I have to listen to his corny jokes. I have another surgery scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 at the U of M. I’m feeling pretty confident with the new surgeon and also because I have so many prayer warriors out there.
I have felt relatively fine during this, just more tired than normal, minor occasional nausea and daily headaches. Nothing that is unmanageable.