Nov 28, 2008 Latest post:
Sep 23, 2013
Thank you for your continuing interest and support of Mike as he finds himself battling CNS (Central Nervous System) Lymphoma.... again.
I wrote that in 2008. Little did I know I'd be saying it again in 2011. And hope to never, ever have to say again.
Two years later, 2013: We don't always get what we hope for. Mike's doctor told us in 2008 that recurrent CNS Lymphoma is rare. He told us in 2011 that it is not curable, but is treatable, and that we'll just keep on top of it and treat it when it strikes. In 2013, we were told to expect the return of cancer to occur at shorter intervals, which is already happening. Sigh...
(Nov., 2008) By now, our friends all know about Mike's battle with brain cancer in 1996 through the "updates" that have been sent out. For those coming along now, know that the power of prayer is paramount! Mike spent his 44th birthday in a coma in Intensive Care in '96, and shouldn't have lived to see 45. He did! The doctors don't know why. I do - it was prayer.
During recovery, I told Mike's oncologist one day that these would be the longest five years of our lives, waiting to see if the cancer would return. Five years is usually the period given to feel confident that cancer isn't going to come back. The oncologist said that with lymphoma, the waiting period is only two years! Yay! Two years passed and we breathed a huge sigh of relief. Mike wasn't quite the same as he was before his illness, but he went on to continue being a very active, very productive police officer after 10 months of hospitals & recovery at home, and four months of light duty inside police headquarters.
About 2 years ago, Mike began having hearing problems - a result of the massive radiation to his head 10 years earlier. Earlier this year, Mike began repeating himself a lot, and couldn't recall something he'd heard 5 minutes ago. I attributed it all to radiation damage, having read an article in Readers' Digest that fit Mike to a "T." I wondered how he could cope at work since his job required him to be alert and sharp - which he wasn't. The police department took notice, too, and required Mike to get a full physical and an MRI of his brain in April. The MRI report said there were no changes since his last MRI. That was good news. The physical exam also showed no problems, so Mike was allowed to work patrol again. The cancer Mike has is aggressive and fast growing, and has apparently formed since April. When Mike was unable to perform simple tasks, and seemed very confused, I took him to his neurologist, with "dementia" as the reason for the visit. The doctor was going to investigate dementia, which he didn't feel was Alzheimers, and he put Mike on Aricept to help with short-term memory. He scheduled tests for the following week. The following day, however, Mike was walking into walls and didn't know what year it was, and couldn't even tell me his name. I took him to the Emergency Room and he was admitted to Intensive Care again. Brain tumor. There was swelling on both sides of the brain which was causing Mike's terrible confusion and disorientation. The family doctor told me I did the right thing in getting Mike to the hospital. He lost a patient with the same symptoms who decided to wait until morning to seek medical attention. She didn't make it.
Mike spent 11 nights in the hospital, and a plan for treatment is being formulated now that final results are in from the biopsy done on Nov 21st. Mike is not a candidate for radiation anymore, so chemo (and PRAYERS) will be his only recourse.
I was lucky enough to get Mike out of the hospital to wait at HOME instead of in a hospital bed until chemo will begin. He will be readmitted to the hospital for treatment. Will keep you posted!