summer of 2006, just before turning 7

Audra Lauryn Tucker

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Audra was diagnosised with a posterior fossa brain tumor: Medulloblastoma. 100% of the tumor has been removed. Praise God! Traveling to St. Jude's is in the plans for rehab along with chemo/radiation treatments there. God has a Perfect Plan for us, and we are on His time table!









Thursday, August 7, was my first day back to school at Crowder. I am in the 3rd Grade with Mrs. Drake. I came to St. Francis Thursday night after a softball game around 7:30. I had gradually been losing my sense of balance and having double vision. At the time we were thinking that we just needed glasses, because we had been to 3 different doctors over the past months and all had determined that nothing was wrong and that I would just have to live with headaches.

At 3:00 am, I was admitted into PICU, where i would later undergo emer. surgery at 2:00pm. Upon requesting a CT Scan in the ER, the Dr. found a large mass in the lower region of my brain that had caused a large amount of spinal fluid to build on my brain. The 1st surgery was to insert an external shunt (drain tube) for the fluid.

Tuesday Morning, August 12, I had surgery to remove the tumor. It was to take from 6-20 hrs. and they were thinking that it would be at least 10. The surgeon had not given much hope. He explained that he would do all that he could do, but at this point my life was in God's Hands. Even if I were to make it through the procedure, I would have many disabilities, and would never fully recover to the child I was. We are so thankful for all the thousands of prayers that have gone up and the Great Physician stepped into that operating room and my surgery was complete in 5 hrs. The surgeon report read that 100% of the tumor had been removed with no remaining edges. The tumor had smooth edges.

After 2 surgeries I have been diagnosised with Medulloblastoma a childhood brain tumor. It is something that can spread down the spinal cord, however the MRI's, 2 Lumbar Punctures, and testing of spinal fluid daily through the shunt has shown that the tumor was confined and had not spread.

A wk after surgery, we started physical therapy. We know at this point I have full movement from head to toe. I even do the small things like popping my knuckles and toes. I have several balls up here and i spent time holding and throwing them. Knowing what my interests are I have a wonderful PT, Lindsey that incorporates this for me. I have even been caught shooting my small basketball, complete with follow-thru and about every time they let me stand up I do 5-6 snaps, which are my pitching drills I learned from Coach Shanks this summer. God IS Grand!

On the 26th, they found that fluid was starting to gather between my skull & skin at the back of the lower part of my head where the incision of the skull was made. I had also started running a fever. Antibiotics were started, but they have yet to find the source of infection. My hemoglobin count had dropped alot so I was given a blood transfusion. The next day, they went back in to place an external shunt that had been removed 4 days previous. Since surgery, I have rested alot. Still responsive and can move accordingly. Going through the different surgerys is alot like dancing. Some days we take a step forward, some we may take 2 steps back. I have such wonderful nurses that have truely become a part of our family. They talk with me, care for me, and pray for me daily. They have made things so much easier. We know that God placed some in particular, David, Kristie, & Melissa, as true angels to comfort and guide us through. All the nurses & RT that I have had come in to check in and stay updated. I wish I could name them all here and what special gift of themselves they have brought to the room. They are AWESOME!

We are back in PICU rm 113. Once my external shunt is fully clear and can be clamped, I will get to travel to Memphis for a stay at St. Jude's.

Mom and I will stay there through out treatments and rehab. Dad and brothers will be at home. Brothers are in school and very busy with baseball. We all have a role in my recovery. It is very important during this time to not be subjected to germs and infection. We will miss seeing everyone and watching the games this year, but its very important that I have some time of solitude to fully recover. We plan to keep in contact daily with everyone at home. Thank you so much for all the prayers, acts of kindness, money, and numerous other daily tasks that everyone has helped us with. Thank you doesnt express enough the overwhelming gratitude we feel.

Im a "Gunpowder & Lead" kind of little girl and I plan on kickin this thing in the butt and coming back home a bigger, better, stronger, healther person. Audra did not fear surgery. God took those fears! Instead before her 2nd one her comment was "can we just go ahead and get this over, so I can start getting better, and go home". She has never cried and only works very hard to do everything they ask of her. To watch her not even flinch when they start an IV, draw blood or do the lumbar puncture, is beyound my comprehension. She is enclosed in God's Hands. He comforts her and fills this room with his peaceful spirit. We must all look to Him daily to carry us through this valley, til the day we are able to pull in the driveway home.





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