Well, we finally got some answers today... a mixed bag of crap... some good news, some bad news. Let's just start with the crappier stuff and get it over with.
There are two tumors at my cerebellum. We also found from the MRI that there are another two tumors on the right side of my head, they are however small and we did find out that mostly everything is operable. W.O.W. Surgery... on, my one and only brain. Whatever, we have heard that the neurosurgeon here in Kelowna is amazing. So, I still feel like we are in good hands. Honestly, at this point, there aren't really any options except to do what everyone feels like is going to be the best possible circumstance that we are dealing with. When Dr. M walked into the room to talk to us today he said, "Well, we've got a row to hoe." Another word he used was that brain tumors, once metastasized are "pesky", meaning, we are never really going to be in the clear. I like to still believe in the miracle aspect of this life and I don't for one moment think that anything is impossible.
Our day tomorrow will start off with the neurosurgeon. We will discuss surgery and side effects from surgery. Dr. M said that I will probably have two to three weeks off between surgery and then we will do a low dose of radiation on my whole brain here in Kelowna, then we will be off to Vancouver for a more centralized treatment on the two spots in the cerebellum - as "mop up" or "clean up" crew. Crazy way of explaining it, but, that's what it is. I was under the impression that all 4 locations can be taken care of, Ken was under the understanding that the two bigger ones can be removed and we will just have radiation on the two smaller ones on the right side. They are really tiny, like under 5mm's. I am just thankful for an MRI that revealed that we were actually dealing with a little bit more than we thought we were, now we can just do it all up at the same time.
Some of the more common side effects, but we will find out more tomorrow, are a bit of problems with short term memory loss, problems concentrating and I will be wiped out. Dr. M said that he has had people that have gone back to work pretty quickly, but usually peter out and need to take time off to recoup. Makes perfect sense to me!
The one tumor at my cerebellum is quite large but he said it was fluid filled, more swelling in it than tumor, you could see that from looking at the MRI. So it is actually not as large as a mass as we originally thought. Good, I guess. The other one, I can't really remember, I tried my best. It was still there anyways.
Some of the good news is that the little spots that we were looking at originally have cleared up, meaning, those little places that they "thought" might be tumors springing up, aren't, most likely fluid build up. So that was great news. Also, my spinal column is clear. There were no tumors present which it also great news.
The full brain radiation will cause all of my hair to fall out again, about 2-3 weeks after treatment and will take about 2-3 months for it to start to grow back in again. I was sad about this ONLY because, I was hoping that we would just kind of be able to blow through this without having to give the kids too much information, but such will not be the case. But I don't want them to be afraid, because I am not.... yet anyways. So we are just going to have to be open and honest, and not talk about dying.... because I am not going there anytime soon! I think they know that something is up anyways. W took a call from a doctor today and he seemed a little questioned as to why they were calling us. The kids are wondering when we are coming home, and now we are just going to have to get on our knees and pray for the best way to tell them what is happening and reassure them that this is just what we need to do and we will get through it just like we have everything else.... together, with each other, family, the Lord, friends and prayer.
I still feel at peace, probably because this is completely out of our hands and in the hands of our Father. I feel like I know that the decisions that are being made are best for us and I have to trust in that.
Dr. M did say, which was very encouraging, was women who take care of themselves, stay active and strong and healthy have, obviously, a much better quality of life - I am just factoring out the quantity... none of us know, and I honestly just want to live and not worry about "THE END". SO DOOM AND GLOOM, but seriously, I just can't even picture myself there.
That's about all I have for tonight. I am completely exhausted and somewhat relieved now at least we have a BIT of an action plan. Of course we will know more tomorrow after meeting with Dr. Neuro. We will fill you in again after that. Ken wanted to wait until tomorrow once we had more information, but I know some of you like us, may even love us and have been just as anxious as to what the heck is happening so I wanted to give you as much as we had today.
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support and love from everywhere!!!! So redundant, but we mean it from every fiber of our beings. May God bless you all and may you feel of our love and appreciation for you, all of you, no matter where you are.