It’s been difficult to keep everyone updated about grandma Linda. It’s basically a blur since Sunday morning. I talked to her at 11am and she said she was good and we decided what she wanted on her taco salad for lunch. She called at 11:30 and said she needed me to come right away. I ran over (so there in less than 1 minute) and she was sitting on the edge of her chair. She said she just didn’t feel right and asked where Kevin was (evidently I was supposed to bring him with 🤷♀️). As I called him, she started to have a seizure on her whole left side. These would last about 2-5 min, stop for a minute or 2 then start again. She stayed awake but had no control of the convulsions and would start to posture with them. Evidently she had another one about 4am and fell out of her recliner. She called Tina at 5 to help her up but she just said she slid out of her chair. I had been with her until about 10:30pm and she was good when I left. I quick called my mom and dad while Kevin was running over to help (mom was sleeping because she was on nights). In less than 10 minutes, my parents, kevin, and I got her in the car and went to Jackson ER. We went straight to CT (luckily it stopped just long enough to get an image) then to ER. Got an IV in right away and got her Ativan which thankfully stopped the seizure. CT showed a mass and suspected metastatic cancer. They started IV decadron and a loading dose of keppra and flew her to Sioux Falls. She went to ER at Sanford and they did a brain MRI and CT of chest, abdomen, and pelvis. The MRI showed a 2.3 cm x 2.4 cm metastatic mass in the right parietal area with bleeding in the center of it. The CT showed a mass in the left lung about 2cm x 2cm (likely the primary cancer). I cannot even begin to count how many doctors, NPs, and PAs we have seen since then! So much information to process and conflicting opinions and thoughts. Plus our own emotions with grandmas ups and downs from one extreme to the other in the same sentence (due to tumor, meds, and the news in general - plus grandpa Bob died from metastatic lung cancer to the brain and Maddisen passed away 2 weeks prior). Just so much for all of us to comprehend....
She did have one more episode that seemed like a seizure the beginning of the week so they increased her keppra. Also gets steroids every 6 hours to decrease the swelling in the brain. She definitely has almost a euphoric response to the steroids and is happy as can be and talking 100mph! It’s like a severe case of ADD not medicated or a bottle of wine too much! We REALLY have to pay attention to follow along but nearly everything she says is accurate - even when talking about 3 different things at once! If either my mom or I leave the room, we have to fill the other one in otherwise we think she’s confused when she’s actually exactly correct and we just didn’t follow along! We got to take her outside for 1/2 hour the last 2 days and she was the official greeter telling everyone hi!! I even ordered her smiley face stickers to hand out if we get to go outside next week 😂. She made sure to point out people that would get 2 stickers if they said hi first 😁. She’s obsessed with everyone’s shoes and hair (prefers black shoes!). It has been very entertaining and we have certainly needed that! Kayden and Brycen got to come see her for a little bit on Wednesday but with COVID visitor rules we can only have 2 visitors checked in at a time so we had to switch back and forth. She was SO happy to see them and played some card games with them.
As for the next steps, she decided to go ahead with removing the brain tumor which was the recommendation from oncology and radiation oncology (even though her initial plan was absolutely no surgery or traditional chemo). Thankfully the tumor is close to the surface so not hard to get to. She had another MRI this morning with these things on her head that get connected to monitors in the OR that make the surgery very precise. It takes the guesswork out and the surgeon knows exactly where to cut and what to remove. The tumor will then be sent for pathology to know how to proceed. Will still need 3 treatments of high dose radiation to the area of the brain tumor to make sure we get all the cancer cells. The focus right now is on the brain tumor because of the seizures and quality of life. Our biggest concern with surgery is her breathing because of her COPD. She may have to stay on the ventilator for a day or 2. But as I type this, surgery has started! Should take 1-2 hours then recovery time. She will be in the ICU for at least a couple days. In the hospital for at least a week. We are praying that the steroids she has been on since Sunday will significantly help her lungs through anesthesia!
We want to thank everyone for the calls, texts, prayers, and well wishes! Huge thank you to Cassie, Brian and the girls for helping with rides, our furry children, and everything else they have helped with to allow me to stay in Sioux Falls!! And Kevin and my dad for packing everything we need from 3 different houses and bringing it to us! I think we may need both trucks to get all our stuff back home 😬! Tina has Gracie and she is doing well. Angie Facetimes with grandma every night and grandma tells her to take care of Mercedes and baby Bud! They will be here to see her this weekend! It is so difficult that we can’t all be with her together but we have to make it work! We haven’t been able to respond to everyone or keep everyone updated so hopefully this works better.