UPDATE: On Monday, November 6th, at about 6:30 a.m. Minneapolis time, Susan succumbed to her malignant brain tumor after spending just over a month in hospice care. More details will follow.
Greetings: My name is Paul Linnee. I am Susan's bother. Jane (my wife) and I will be managing this site with the assistance of our daughters Anne Linnee and Maggie Cosgrove. Its purpose is to provide a central point where the people who care about Susan can be uniformly kept abreast of the progression of her medical journey.
As a starting point, in late July, Susan was noticing some symptoms of disorientation, so she scheduled a visit to her primary care physician. She was then referred to have an MRI of her brain done on July 28th, which was completed. Once complete, but before she left the MRI facility, it was determined that there was some form of untoward growth showing up on her brain and she was sent right over to the ER for further testing and monitoring. Later that day a spinal tap was done to see if there might be some infection affecting her brain. Also, a CT scan was done to assess whether there were any conditions elsewhere in her body that might have transmitted the problem to her brain. Both of these procedures showed nothing out of the ordinary. She was released from the hospital the next morning and came to our house to recuperate.
The following week we met with the neurosurgeon and it was decided that the logical next step was to do a minor surgical entry into her brain to remove some of the suspect tissue for a biopsy. This was scheduled and completed during an overnight hospital stay August 17 and 18. On Monday, August 21 we met with the neurosurgeon and he advised that the biopsy and the resulting pathology had revealed that the mass on her brain was, in fact, a cancerous tumor of the glioblastoma variety. (This is the same type of tumor which John McCain was diagnosed with and for which he is receiving treatment).
This afternoon (August 23rd) we will be meeting with the head of the oncology team to learn about and make decisions regarding her treatment going forward, and we will post information as it is learned. Susan's current condition is best (and understandably) described as fragile while she is processing this information and how it impacts her future. She is suffering from a moderate (but quite annoying, nonetheless) physical symptom of loss of significant control of her left hand and arm, which is due to the location of the cancerous lesion on the right rear of her brain, which is the area that controls the left side of her body. This condition severely hinders her ability to use a keyboard on a smart phone, iPad or computer.
But (with the addition of some anti-anxiety medication) Susan seems to be rallying and regaining some of her well known wit and humor. For the time being (and we have so much to learn before making any specific plans) she is staying at our house in Bloomington, Minnesota, and we have all been fortunate to have the company (in residence) of our oldest daughter (Anne, who is also frequent foreign travel partner of Susan's) for the past few days and up to just before Labor Day, and our youngest daughter (Maggie) living with her delightful kids and husband just a few blocks away from us.
I think Susan has likely received many phone calls with voice mail messages left, and a slew of e-mails that she has not responded to, and I trust all can understand her lack of response, thus far. However, with the caveat that she'd prefer to discuss what's happening in YOUR life, current events, etc. and leave the medical stuff to this Caringbridge site, feel free to keep the calls and e-mails coming.
So, that's it for now. If you want to send Susan a letter, our mailing address is 9726 Rich Curve, Bloomington, MN 55437 and we promise to pass them all on to her.
Meanwhile, as further significant information is learned, we will try and share it promptly.