Lory Cleveland

First post: Apr 10, 2018 Latest post: Dec 27, 2018
Welcome to Lory's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 
Several weeks ago, Lory experienced difficulty in walking and getting into and out of her car. She went to her doctor and the first thought was that it might be bursitis, but he decided to wait another week before giving her a steroid shot. Shortly after, we took a vacation trip to Sonoma to join some friends for wine tasting. She had difficulty negotiating the stairs, and I had to hold her hand going up and down. During the week that followed, the signs became more serious, her walk turned into a shuffle, she could get confused while driving or teaching at school, and her speech was sometimes slower than normal. We went back to the doctor the following week on a Monday and he ordered an MRI on a Thursday afternoon. When the radiologist completed the MRI, he came out to tell us that she had a large meningioma, a benign tumor, about 40mm or 1 1/2 inches in diameter which was in the layer between the skull and the meningeal layer and pushing into her brain. It would have to come out. We made an appointment with the neurosurgery unit at UCSD and after meeting with the neurosurgery doctor, he scheduled some more tests for the next week, as well as an appointment for surgery to remove the tumor for Thursday, April 12th. As we went through the week, Lory's shuffling steps were getting shorter, and when she tried to get out of bed this last Saturday, the 7th, she could not hold her weight or even stand. I had to sumo-wrestle her over to the bathroom and back to the bed. She slipped out of my grasp at one point, and was so weak she could not even push herself up onto her knees. I was able to get her back up and onto the bed. One of our friends, Holly, came over to dry wash her hair and sponge bathe her. While she was doing so, it was apparent that the left side of Lory's face was drooping and her speech was slurred. We called another friend, Kirk, over to help load her into the car and I drove directly to the UCSD Jacob's Medical center ER where she was immediately admitted and prepped for surgery. By this time it was Saturday afternoon, and they decided to operate first thing on Sunday morning. She went into surgery at 8am, and the neurosurgeon had estimated the surgery would take 6-10 hours, depending on how complicated the surgery was. The good news is that it took 6 hours, there was no excessive bleeding, no brain swelling (which would require removing more skull to allow the expansion) and they were able to remove the tumor. She was on a ventilator tube all day Sunday and Monday, and just had the breathing tube removed this morning. Her voice is very soft, and it is difficult to speak, but she can talk, with effort. She is still on a feeding tube, until she has sufficient mouth control to be able to swallow safely. Her right eye is very swollen from the surgery, but is progressing well. she has good control of her right hands and feet, but her left side is lagging behind, and she will need rehabilitation.  We will continue to update this site with daily progress. Thanks for all your concern and prayers, and we'll use this site to communicate progress and needs.