Delbert Unruh

First post: Feb 21, 2020 Latest post: Apr 30, 2022
Just so you all know a bit of Delbert’s story! Since this was many years ago I will relate the details as I remember them! If you have corrections let me know:) Life was going on in a mostly normal way toward the end of 1997 and beginning of 1998 except he had had a few times of losing his train of thought for a few seconds. It was enough different from what he had experienced before that he talked about it. Then one time it was more outstanding, maybe 20 seconds? but somehow we feel God impressed us to just get it checked out! That is something we have been thankful for many times over! The doc didn’t think it was anything serious but ordered a CT scan just to make double sure! The next day, a Saturday morning, we got a personal call from the doc that said the CT scan revealed a mass in top left of his brain. From there he was scheduled for a surgery the very next week! What they removed tested as grade II so he did not go through any treatment at that time! He did really good coming out of that surgery, not to mention that our livelihood was trucking and this did throw quite a wrench in those gears! Ryan was 4, Daneel was almost 2, and we had just found out that Raquel was on the way, although it was too soon to tell everyone yet! Jeanette came to stay with us during that time! Couldn’t have made it without all our dear family, friends, and “built in” support group/church family! 🙏

Second Go Around... Our outlook on life had already changed in many ways but in a lot of ways everything had returned to normal. Delbert had even had a sleep deprived EEG with good results and had totally been weaned off of the seizure meds. In Fall of 2000 he started having some issues that affected his right leg. It would have been considered a slight seizure. MRI showed another tumor... quite a blow as you can imagine! The 1st tumor was the size of a ping pong ball, the 2nd one, close to the same, maybe smaller? We can’t even remember!:-/ It was in the same general area but was much closer to intricate areas so this surgery needed to be done at UCSF. This time Lauren & Becky and my sis Lin came with us to San Francisco. My folks came and stayed with our children. (Ryan 6, Daneel 4, Raquel 2.) He spent his 30th birthday there. ‘Twas a long, weary, stressful, scary day. If I remember right it was estimated a 4-6 hr surgery and 2 hours past that point we still hadn’t heard anything! Then there was no room in recovery so they put him in some other funky room, where I was finally able to see him. He ended up having aphasia even though they told us this was a possibility but not likely. So about all he could or would say in the first few days was “I don’t know”. Then began the road of recovery! Therapies of all sorts, etc. began almost right away. Besides speech he had to learn to walk again amongst other things. I remember watching my young, strong husband having to be helped to even walk with a walker. He also forgot his right side and had to retrain his brain to remember it again. We finally figured out that he wanted a fan to blow on him cause he felt so hot! Most everything was starting to come back by the 3rd day but there was still a long road of hard work ahead for him. It was scary to go back home with this person who had changed so much from when he walked into the hospital! But slowly things would come back. To this day he still says that to concentrate to do what would be an easy task for someone else takes so much effort for him that it tires him out and takes him 10 times as long! And it’s all too true! I hurt for him so often but he has amazing determination and finishes most jobs even if it takes him a long time!😊 It was during this time that our dear friend Terence drove Delbert’s truck and wouldn’t take a dime for it!🙏 He went through the whole round of 8 weeks? of radiation and 9 months of chemo. During this time we got some very unexpected news that we were now expecting our 4th child. Delbert was excited but I, on the other hand, wondered how we could handle this yet, too!? We sure are glad we have Shane now!:) Delbert was back trucking sometime beginning of the next year though and carried a bucket in there when the chemo got to his stomach. His determination came through again! God helped us in many many numerous ways through these times and still is.

Delbert has had a follow up MRI basically once a year for 19 years! We never heard things like “after 5 years you are cancer free, etc.” and what a relief it was when we would get good results again. We are so thankful for the many many answered prayers and the many blessings we have received through the years! But life hasn’t been without struggles as he tried to live with the deficits of a lack of balance, hindered coordination (ie: never could draw/write again or throw a ball), difficulty processing thoughts into words, and a tremor that has progressed through the years! Just recently he was diagnosed with essential tremor since he has a tremor on both sides. Many times we fell on our knees begging God to please help Delbert’s right side to work again and please let him be able talk again. He has had these deals throughout the last 19 years from time to time. (Except none in the last year!) They were terrifying, worse sometimes than others. It became so heavy in our minds often & I would just cry out to God for help! They were getting worse it seemed & more often & we were kind of at our wits end towards the end of 2018. He lived with an unexplainable woozy? feeling often too & a couple times said he thought he was dying. Anyways we finally got on with a neurologist who let us know this weird stuff he was experiencing was probably due to ‘long term Dilantin’ use! So a long slow process of weaning off that and going to a different seizure med has brought a new lease on life! He was feeling so much better with none of those deals happening anymore and now we are here...
Dec was time for his yearly MRI & he is feeling much better than he has for a long time... and then we get the call that they have found a small lesion in the bottom of the cavity where his last tumor was. (5x8 mm) And this is a little of the roller coaster story of our life. Lots of ups, lots of downs...
We still did still go up to Pincher for Christmas. Anyways we were sent on to a neurosurgeon at St Luke’s in Boise. They wanted to gather all the previous records available but that’s like pulling teeth for stuff that happened 20 years ago! So they gave up on most of that and we finally got an appointment 5 weeks later. Felt like a very long wait! We were impressed with the doctor but we didn’t like what we were told. We had hoped it would be nothing serious or just a weird shadow. One grasps at straws in times like this. They said until proven otherwise it is viewed as tumor regrowth and it really needs to come out which means a 3rd brain surgery! And that is when it felt like we hit rock bottom... a flood of memories, questions, why’s, NO, we can’t do this agains, as you can imagine! But God has been with us, picked us up again and again, carried us when it felt we could not go on. I know that others have had much worse to go through and that we are not the Lone Ranger in these types of things. I just wrote my feelings as they came and it’s not easy to let you all in on some of the challenges of our life. We’ve gotten so many messages that we sometimes don’t get to answer them very quickly and for all you caring folks that have ‘been there’ for us, we felt maybe we should start this site. I also thought that Delbert deserved that you all know his story in part at least! So now a huge thanks to all for everything, it’s all too numerous to mention here! But we couldn’t have made it with out all you caring ones! We have felt your prayers many times. We had a very special beautiful evening Wednesday with a healing prayer also. We feel so indebted to everyone!