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May 23, 2018 Latest post:
Nov 19, 2018
In March, Melissa started getting headaches 2-3 times a week; however I just shrugged it off as she had a cold, and they were doing testing at school so she was stressed…… ect. However on Good Friday she had one that was so bad she was laying on the couch with a pillow over her face complaining about the light being bright (it was early morning the curtains had not been opened yet)and that her eye hurt. That’s when I thought this need to be checked out, so I called the dr’s office and they were booked for a week ……. So I called the eye Dr and the first appointment available was 4 days away but we took it. On April 5 we saw the optometrist and they prescribed her glasses and I thought ‘well that what the problem was’. Glasses arrived on Monday, April 9th, and she had another terrible headache with eye pain; however, I assumed her eyes needed to adjust to the glasses and shrugged it off. Tuesday evening rolls around and she has another headache w/eye pain & this time motrin doesn’t even touch the pain so I gave her Tylenol as well (desperate measures). It took an hour to see any relief, but she finally went to sleep so….
Wednesday morning she woke up with a residual headache that got worse as she was getting ready for school so I kept her home so I could take her to the Dr. Of course they were booked full, so I talked to the (on call) nurse with insurance (as they can be particular about E.R. visits). Went though a series of questions and when she said ‘we recommend you take her directly to the E.R.’, my body went cold and I don’t remember what she said after that. I called LeRoy and told him what they said and he headed to the meet me at the E.R., thankfully a sis-in-law happened to stop in and was able to go with us and took care of our youngest.
So we get to E.R. and they order a cat scan which came back abnormal, so they ordered a MRI and told us the reason for the MRI was because they found a “mass and 2 spots”..., they thought the spots were probably some kind of infection but wanted a clearer picture; hence the MRI. In the meantime they asked if she had a sinus infection and I said not that we knew of…… when the MRI results came back they told us it needed further testing and that they were transferring her to Riley Hospital, I rode with her in the ambulance while Leroy took Kristopher home and packed a bag because at this point we knew it would be at least overnight… She was admitted at Riley around 8pm that night. We were told they would be doing a more comprehensive MRI in the morning.
Thursday April 12 they came around 11am to take her for the MRI At 1pm we were told she had a severe double sinus infection which could be the source of the pain and that they were starting her on antibiotics. They also told us someone would be in soon to discuss MRI results. When the Neuro doctor came and asked if his assistant could stay with Melissa so we could discuss the MRI, I knew it wasn’t good. When he showed us the scans and we saw the mass and were told she has a tumor, I can’t even describe how I felt. He told us if he could, he would have scheduled her for surgery the next day; however he wanted to have time to meet with a team of people to get a solid plan in mind first. So they scheduled her for the following Friday (April 20) they also scheduled another MRI for the next day (April 13) She was discharged after this MRI and a “Functioning” MRI was scheduled for
Wednesday April 18. The functioning MRI was interesting I didn’t go in with her but they explained before she went is what she was expected to do and why like part of it was listening to a story that she would then have to answer questions about or wiggling her fingers a specific way when the picture of hand was on ect. On Thursday April 19 we found out he surgery was moved to Monday April 23. And that we needed to be there by 5:40am so we went down Sunday and got a hotel.
APRIL 23 DAY OF SURGERY
I remember being strangely calm/at peace and while I knew in the “back of my head” that all kinds of stuff could go wrong, I wasn’t worried about it. I thank those who were praying! Melissa seemed fine about everything until they brought her the sedation mask for her to decorate ( she got to “decorate” with stickers and pick a scented chap stick to rub on inside to mask the medicine smell) then she started getting nervous but did great they finally took her back around 7:45 and she started crying but they told us later as soon as she was out of site she was fine again. We were told they planned on 5-6 hours for surgery and that we would get hourly updates starting around 9:00. The surgery did not actually “start” until 9:20, and the 12:30 update was they were done and closing up!! Around 1:30 they called us back to discuss surgery with the surgeon he said it went very well and preliminary tests showed it was glioblastoma which meant nothing to me at the time…… at around 2/2:30 we were able to go to post op to see her and when I saw her it just about broke my heart. We were there less than 5 minutes when they said they were ready to transfer her to ICU. When we got to ICU, we were told she would not be moved into a room upstairs until they did the post op MRI and a few other things. By 4pm she had done the specified things and they had the MRI results and cleared her for transfer upstairs!! However we had to wait for a room to open up. We were finally transferred to the neurology wing at 6:55.
Tuesday April 24 Lots of post op check ups including Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, and ophthalmologist checking her motor skills, memory, vision, ect. They were all impressed at how quickly she was bouncing back to normal.
Wednesday April 25 More physical therapy and occupational therapy. She passed everything with “flying colors”. In the afternoon they said she could be discharged as soon as she had a bowel movement, unfortunately that did not happen and we had to stay one more night.
Thursday April 26 DISCHARGED at 11:30!! With appointments scheduled with oncologist on May 3 And a post op check up with surgeon on May 7
May 3 Met with the oncologist and were informed she had a high grade diffuse glioma (aka anaplastic astrocytoma ) BRAIN CANCER We were told radiation therapy and oral Chemo was the recommended course of action and that a radiologist would call to schedule an appointment within 2 weeks to discuss specifics including start date.
May 7 Post op appointment and the surgeon said she looked great and he was impressed at how well the incision was looking and gave her the all clear to resume normal activity (she was very happy to know she could go back to school) said to schedule a 3 month MRI for follow up (to be done in August sometime)
May 11 Met with radiologist and were told they need a cat scan and another MRI to determine the best way to do radiation, which is scheduled for May 23 and they decided to let her finish the school year before starting (which made her very happy as she was worried about that) Start date is June 4
We appreciate all prayers on our behalf and are thankful for each one of you.
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. ~Psalm 18:6