Welcome family and friends! Your love, encouragement and prayers for Michael and our family are so greatly appreciated. We have been so blessed by all of you and there are no words to thank you enough.
Mikes story began August 24 with a trip to the ER. (Mike had been having some confusion for a couple days) When we got there the intake nurse started asking Mike questions, what month is it, what day is it, who is our president? Mike looked at him and kinda chuckled and took a guess. He couldn't answer any of them. That moment it hit me that something was really wrong, I knew he was confused but It didn't occur to me that his ability to remember was so bad. They did a cat scan and the doctor came in and told us they saw two masses. They would need to do an MRI to get a better look at them. My heart sank, this can't be good. Mike looked at me confused, I don't think he understood. Mike was admitted and put on steroids and sodium to try and reduce the swelling from the tumors.
Michaels diagnosis was Glioblastoma multiforme, a stage 4 aggressive cancer that is treatable but not curable. His surgery was on August 29. They removed as much of the 2 tumors as they could without damaging his brain. He was home in less than 48 hours and with no damaging effects to his brain. Our prayers were answered! He took 4 weeks to heal from surgery and then he started his 6 weeks of radiation and chemo. Mike ended up in the ER again with seizures that wouldn't stop. It would take 8 days for them to get the right medications to get them to stop.
After his 6 weeks of treatment Mike had a lot of swelling, so they increased his steroids. He had difficulty doing everyday tasks. After a month, the doctor was able to reduce the dose of his seizure medications and we saw improvement.
In November, we went to The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina for a second opinion. They recommended chemo (which is a pill) for 5 days on and 23 days off. They also recommended avastin infusions every 2 weeks, which he gets at the Ann B Barshinger Cancer Institute here in Lancaster. So, the doctors at Duke are in charge of his treatment, but his treatment can be done here at home. Mike will see his doctor at Duke every 2 months. This is his current treatment. He will have an MRI every 2 months to keep an eye on the tumors and to check to see if the current treatment is working. Mike's last visit to Duke was January 19. His doctor was very pleased with his latest MRI results. The tumors have not grown but shrank and the current treatment is working. Praise the lord!