On November 27th, 2019, the day before Thanksgiving, our world was forever changed. After experiencing numbness and weakness on her left side, followed by a bad headache, we rushed our daughter, Chloe, to the emergency room, where an MRI revealed she had a brain tumor. We were admitted to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis immediately and, on Thanksgiving Day, Chloe had her first brain surgery to remove pressure. She had her second, more complicated surgery to remove the tumor and do a biopsy on December 5, 2019. In the midst of a difficult recovery from surgery, we learned the devastating news that Chloe has a very aggressive form of brain cancer. We were recommended to begin radiation as soon as she was strong enough after surgery. We were utterly heartbroken, but we had to help our daughter move forward. Chloe struggled the first few days after surgery, with difficulty seeing and numbness and weakness on her left side. As a left-handed artist, this was almost more than she could take. She was very sad and slept a lot those first few days. But she slowly began to recover, regaining a lot of her eyesight (with a left field cut to her vision remaining), and she began to be able to walk and use her hands, through physical and occupational therapies. She began to laugh and joke, and family and friends came to visit, lifting her spirits. There was even a family party at the hospital with cake for her aunt's birthday and cousin's black belt graduation, complete with grandpa bringing his guitar for a jam session.
We were discharged on December 16th and got to have the week of Christmas to ourselves as a family. It was a wonderful time of enjoying our baby at home, spoiling her and loving her.
We continue to see improvement in her left hand, and she's learning how to compensate for the partial loss of her left field of vision. She is starting physical and occupational therapies locally, to help her regain strength, fine motor abilities and balance. She has an amazing piano teacher who has graciously agreed to come to our home and help her practice songs that work with her left-handed challenges. Her kind orchestra teacher has also visited us, helping her adapt her cello playing. The middle school has sent us a wonderful tutor who has started visiting our home to help her begin to catch up with her academics. And she has also started radiation to target the cancer cells. These are all great positives in a very dark time. Because the reality is, she is still facing an uphill battle, and we are still praying every day for complete healing.