On June 23rd Judy was taken to the ER for confusion and difficulty with her speech. The workup revealed a large mass that was causing a lot of swelling on her brain. She was transferred to a nearby hospital to see a neurosurgeon and get an MRI. The MRI showed a 6.5 cm mass that was causing her brain to shift to the right by 8mm. She was started on steroids, and other medications to help with her symptoms and plans for surgery were made. After discussion with multiple friends and experts we thought it was best that she be transferred to a different facility. Both Parkland and Baylor Downtown were full so she was sent to Baylor in Plano. We don't know the cause of this mass just yet but suspect a primary brain cancer. We will know more once biopsies are done. They are planning to take her to the OR on Tuesday the 26th.
Judy is settled at Baylor. She had a repeat CT scan with contrast today to see if we could get any new information about her bleeding. We don't have the results yet. The Intensivist and the Neurosurgeon are going to discuss the results and then meet with the family tomorrow morning to discuss findings and plan moving forward. For now we are just continuing the course.
Judy was seen and evaluated by the new neurosurgeon. He recommended no surgery for now. He changed one of her meds that is used to get the swelling down and wants to wait for now. The bleeding has stopped but it’s clouding what we can see on the MRI so he thinks it’s going to be more harmful than helpful to rush into surgery. She will continue to work with PT and try to make it home in the near future. After she has had some time to resorb the blood, she will have a repeat MRI.
Not much changed during the day today. She is planning to start PT/OT tomorrow. Judy is needing a lot of rest to recover properly. Given she is trying to rest as much as possible between her therapy and treatment, the hospital staff is asking that you contact one of the family prior to visiting the hospital at this time. She has really enjoyed all the visitors but the problem is she isn't resting like she should. We appreciate everyone's love and support.
Judy had her first day with PT/OT today and she was able to get some decent rest last night. We had a conference with the neurosurgeon who laid out a tentative plan. He thinks we can move Judy out of the ICU and continue rehab on the general floor. He is going to consult the oncologist to get their opinion but he believes this is a primary brain tumor. This is good that its not a metastatic spot in her brain but that makes any type of surgical intervention more difficult. Still, she will be getting more imaging of her body just to confirm she has no other tumors. Pending evaluation with oncology, we will need to determine whether we move forward with more conservative management with chemo/radiation vs full surgery vs a combination/something in between. If she gets some type of surgery it will likely be early next week.
Once she gets out to the general floor it will be easier for her to have visitors (we hope this will be tomorrow). We are now asking for people to come and see her. It REALLY lifts her spirits to see friends and family.
Judy had some good rest last night but wasn't feeling very well this morning. She was able to do a little with PT but it was pretty hard for her. They are going to move her to the 6th floor today. The oncologist will be by sometime tomorrow to see her.
Judy has been moved out to 620. She has been eating better this evening and her cognition is improved. We’re thankful for baby steps in the right direction. We have heard good things about the oncologist that is coming tomorrow.
It’s been a difficult day. The oncologist came today and delivered hard news. He believes Judy has a glioblastoma (a very nasty brain cancer with little treatment options). He emphasized he wants quality of life over quantity. Given all the risks of potential interventions he said if it was his mother he would choose hospice. We are not planning on any treatment at this time. She very likely has little time remaining. Thank you for your prayers.
Judy’s had a little bit better of a day today. She was discharged late last night and slept well overnight. She feels more comfortable at home. We are starting a meal train for friends who would to contribute, and there will be more details to come.
Judy has had been doing a little better for the last 36 hours. She has greatly enjoyed all the visitors - it really lifts her spirits. We have a lot of family in town right now but the outpouring from friends has been such a blessing.
Judy is holding steady. She has shown some improvements in her right side dexterity and function. We are hoping she will continue to get restored functioning as swelling goes down. Please keep praying
Judy is stable. She is supposed to be starting PT and speech therapy next week so we are hopeful that these sessions will help with her progress.
We want everyone to know how much we (and Judy) appreciate the outpouring of love we have felt - it’s truly been incredible. My mom is so encouraged when she gets to see y’all.
Judy has continued to make some small strides - She is wanting to stand more, use her right side more, and her mental clarity is improving.
I am posting the meal train link. Linda Somers-Engle and Connie Singleton are running it locally but let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you again for all your help. It’s been such a blessing.
Judy is still making small improvements. She is walking independently and becoming more and more functional. She is doing different supplements to help with inflammation to hopefully expedite the swelling in her brain. My family greatly appreciates all the help/support/love we have been shown.
Judy has been carrying on conversations better, thinking more clearly, and walking independently. She continues to slowly improve - Praise God. Once again, thank you for all your prayers, meals, and support.
Judy is doing about the same. She and my family want to express how grateful we in regards to the amazing meals we have been provided! We know how much time, thought, and efffort you have gone through to accommodate us and dietary preferences. So from the bottom of our hearts - THANK YOU!
We ask that you continue to stop by for social visits. It really lifts Judy’s spirit to see each and every one of you.
Judy is feeling encouraged by her progress back to some normalcy. She still is having some fogginess/confusion from time to time but is overall feeling more clear. She is continuing to work with PT and ST. Thank you again for your continued prayers and encouragement.
Judy is still holding steady. She has had good days and harder days but is trying to settle into a new "normal." She is hoping she can attend church this weekend. Please continue to pray for her healing and that Judy and Lance can deal with the daily challenges and lifestyle change of her illness.
Please continue to stop by and see Judy. It means the world to her and us.
Judy is doing about as well as could be expected at this point. She is still working hard with PT to get back to her pre-diagnosis strength. She had been able to do more and more lately - go to church, runs errands, see Jakes play (her grandson). She’s so happy to be able to be getting more independent.
We continue to ask you for your prayers of healing and peace. Thank you for everything you guys have done and continue to do.
Judy is doing pretty well. Last Thursday she was discharged from hospice because she was doing so well. She is still working hard with the physical therapist to regain her core strength. Stairs are the biggest challenge to her but she has been able to get out of the house more, which if you know Judy, has been a welcome change. We thank everyone for their continued prayers.
Hello all. It’s been a while since my last update because Judy has been fairly stable. She was recently able to attend Andrew’s (third child) wedding which was a joy for her. She recently saw the neurosurgeon and had a repeat MRI. It appears that the tumor has decreased in size, the swelling is greatly reduced, and the blood is mostly gone. He was happy that nothing had gotten worse and I think was impressed with Judy’s functional status despite no conventional treatment. He recommended she see a neuro-oncologist.
Judy was seen on 11/26 and got some encouraging news. She believes Judy has lymphoma, not a primary brain tumor. She needs to get a couple of additional tests to help with making this diagnosis but this has a better prognosis if that’s really the case. Judy will need to consider doing chemo for this but no radiation. She obviously has concerns about starting chemo but doesn’t want to make decisions out of fear. Please pray for the remaining work up, and the decisions about what treatment to continue/start
See journal entries for more updates