October 20th, 2017 mom was out w/ her mother and sister Kathy enjoying an evening of Wisconsin staples- Friday night fish fry & old fashioned cocktails. Walking out of the restaurant she lost consciousness and was taken flight for life to Froedtert in Milwaukee. Upon arrival, CT scan was performed to rule out brain bleed, as she hit her head on curb when she lost consciousness. ER MD was happy to report no bleed was noted however the bad news was she "has a fairly large tumor" (R temporal lobe) After further testing and evaluation by the neuro team it was determined she would need to have surgery ASAP to remove the tumor. 6 days later she had the craniotomy to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Needless to say that day was dreadful, as minutes felt like hours, hours felt like days, waiting for any info from the operating room. Approximately 4 1/2 hrs later she was in recovery and dad was notified the surgeon would be down to talk with us in the family center. Kathy, Mark, Dad, and myself sat anxiously awaiting to hear what he had to say. He was happy to say she "tolerated surgery quite well and I was able to get most of the tumor" However his next 4 words will haunt us forever "but it's probably cancer" He went on to say she ""will definitely need chemo & radiation". He asked if we had any questions and needless to say even if we had a lot...at that point in time we were speechless. 1 week later the surgeon's anticipated diagnosis was confirmed from the pathology results & her tumor was indeed cancerous. (Glioblastoma stage 4)
Fast forward after weeks in ICU recovering from the surgery, she began her 1st cancer treatment: 6 weeks of daily radiation (@ cancer center in Menomonee Falls) and chemo pill. She finished that on Jan 24th. Now was the waiting game of 3 mos before another MRI to assess how effective treatment was and if there were any other tumors. Fortunately results were positive with 2 of the 3 markers from tumor would be responsive to chemo & resection site was unchanged. New small tumor noted at frontal lobe but d/t low platelets and continued effects from surgery she did think chemo was appropriate at that time. She requested mom continue with therapy to get stronger & improve endurance. Another waiting game...3 more mos until the next MRI (May). Again oncologist was pleased and labeled her tumors as "stable". No treatment ordered. Few days later mom fell in home and was put in Harbor Haven rehab to recover where she worked with physical & occupational therapists to ensure safe return to home. Mom returned home about 1 mos later. Home health was set up including PT, OT, nurse, nurse's aide & social worker to assist dad in her care. MRI #3 scheduled for mid July with appt with oncologist scheduled few days later. It was that day we were told her tumor at frontal lobe is growing and unfortunately is not a candidate for any treatment options (chemo, med, radiation) secondary to continued low platelets, certain side effects etc. Oncologist thought the risks out weighed the benefits for mom & she would be put on palliative/hospice care @ this time. She put her on 4 mg of a steroid to assist in decreasing the swelling in order to improve her function/quality of life.
Mom is currently at home enjoying what she always loved- bird watching, pruning flowers, visiting w/ many friends and family!
She truly is an inspiration to us all as she has endured so much and continues to fight! ❤
Thanks for visiting and keep the prayers coming!
We have been asked what people can do or what we need. Mom loves visitors, cards in mail, and small care packages to know she's not alone in this fight! Any small meals or snacks are also greatly appreciated as mom is unable to cook and dad is quite busy with other caregiver duties!