On Sunday December 4, 2016, BJ went to the hospital with symptoms of a stroke. After testing at multiple facilities, BJ was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On Thursday December 8, 2016, BJ underwent surgery to have as much of the tumor removed as possible with the expectation that she would be back to herself and home by December 11th. The pathology of the tumor came back with the diagnosis of Glioblastoma.
During the surgery, BJ coded but was quickly revived by medication administered by the anesthesiologist. The surgery was considered a success with an estimated 85-90% of the tumor being removed. However, complications appeared shortly after the surgery indicating that BJ's movement on her right side and speech was completely impaired. Initially, doctors speculated that BJ may have suffered a stroke during surgery or that there was internal bleeding causing the complications. A CT scan and MRI revealed no signs of either stroke or bleeding, so there was hope BJ was suffering systemic shock that would recover with therapy. BJ spent 10 days at Healthsouth Rehab and then Gordon Lane Care Center for 46 days (long haul).
BJ's physical and medical condition have improved since her discharge from the hospital, but she is not at her prior level of functioning. BJ's speech became increasingly impaired. After a recent MRI at the start of radiation, the tumor showed additional growth. BJ has chosen to proceed with radiation and showed improvement of speech after 3 treatments. Today she has 13 completed. The radiation lasts about 5 min. and BJ is tolerating the treatments well along with Oral Chemotherapy pills at bedtime. She is in good spirits and has made choices for her own care and treatment along with the support of family and friends.
A very happy and insistent BJ returned home on Tuesday February 7, 2017. She is under constant supervision by either caregivers or loving friends and family members. Everyone is welcome. Anyone who saw her at the rehabs knows she was tolerant but miserable. She is so happy to have the opportunity to be in her own home with caring friends, family and caregivers.
BJ also has daily radiation treatments, visits from nurses, physical therapists, etc. BJ's motor skills on her right side are still impaired, especially her right arm. BJ is comprehensive and is able to speak a limited vocabulary but has difficulty formulating many words and full sentences. Although her daily schedule is exhaustive, BJ still enjoys company and seems to thrive on visiting with her lifelong friends.