Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another epidural...

This is my pain management doctor, Robert Lillo. He's so nice...he did my 4th epidural cortisone injection into my spine this morning. He talked to me the entire time asking all about my kids and their jobs and interests. It made the time go so quickly, I barely felt the needles go in. I'm sure hoping this helps for awhile. I've been in such pain the past few weeks but most especially this past week. It was really hard to go to work and be on my feet. I don't have much pain when I sit because it opens the area that is being compressed in my lower back. I came home and slept for a couple hours. John had to take the day off to drive me so he's been doing home repairs today. He had bought a new vanity and sink for the spare bathroom. When he got ready to install it, the vanity was too wide. So he had to go back to Muncie...the second time today and exchange it for a smaller one. Then when he started to work on it, the door was crooked and we saw it had been bumped or dropped and was out of alignment. So he's been working on getting that fixed. Our elderly neighbor decided to check on his progress so he's in that tiny bathroom with John trying to "supervise". John is being so patient...I'm really proud of him. There isn't any way I can help him so I'm just praying he doesn't have any more problems with it. I think he's starting to wish he'd waited until he had a full day to do this. Molly and Myron and Betsy are coming Saturday evening to visit so he wants to have things looking really nice. We had our carpets cleaned and have some of our painting done. It takes a lot of work to keep things clean and looking good! I'll take some photos when we get all finished.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Update on my mother...

Mom had the appointment with Dr. Lin, the oncologist, at 1:00 Friday. The nurse took a very complete history, and then Dr. Lin came in. She told them how they would make a molded mask for mom to wear for the treatments, so they would know where the beam would go. That way, she does not have to go home every day with sharpie marks on her head. She said she would likely lose her hair where the beam entered and exited her head. Sometimes it grows back a different color or texture, and sometimes it grows back patchy. They are doing a simulation on Monday. The actual treatment times are only about 7-8 minutes each visit. She will have 30 visits there. They are setting up an appointment with the Medical Oncologist so Mom will be on chemotherapy at the same time as radiation. The two treatments need to start within a day or two of each other. She will be taking Temodar. She examined Mom, and said she had really good function, and that radiation is not as rough on someone who is still healthy and not having neurologic deficits. Most of her patients are already having problems when they start, like walking and talking problems. She will review the imaging and decide if Mom needs another scan to update the MRI from a month ago. She will need to stay on the Dilantin, and not have to take steroids unless she starts to have brain edema side effects from the radiation such as headaches, nausea, etc. They were there from 1-4, and had another full day. My brother, Gary went with them. He had patients at his chiropractic office in the morning and then went back in the afternoon to finish. He's really put a lot of time and effort into finding the best care for Mom...we all really appreciate his hard work! We're praying that the treatment will shrink the tumor and give us more time with our precious Mother.
I called her today and Dad answered. He got very emotional and said Mom was having a tough day emotionally too. She had decided she needed to start sorting things and she came across the notes from my grandma's funeral and it really made her cry. She's just now starting to come to terms with the reality of her situation and it's really difficult. I'm praying that the Lord will manifest Himself in her life in a real evident way as she seeks His grace and understanding of this terrible blow. She's really stronger than I would be in this situation but I know she's really having a lot of fear about the treatment and how the tumor is going to start causing symptoms. Right now the only symptom she's noticing is the difficulty with her speech. She doesn't really have any pain.
I have been having a lot of pain today. I saw the back doctor yesterday and he's going to give me another epidural injection of cortisone next Thursday. He said after this one we'll need to do another MRI and see if the spinal stenosis is worsening. I'm hurting down the left leg so much today. I wanted to help John paint the bathroom but just couldn't stand long enough to be much help. He finished it and it looks so nice! He's really been in the "fix-it" mood lately and I really appreciate it!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I went out to visit with Mom and Dad this evening. She is supposed to see the oncologist on Friday, but my brother, Gary, has found a brain tumor specialist in Indianapolis who will see her tomorrow! I'm very hopeful...this doctor uses newer methods to treat brain tumors and it's at least a glimmer of hope for us. Mom is doing pretty well really...not really having any symptoms yet. She seems pretty tired all the time...partly because she's had so many visitors! I broke down when I was leaving this evening...I told her that she's on my mind every minute and she gave me a big hug and kiss. I said "I still need my Mommy" even if I am 57 years old! Thanks to all my friends for your continued prayers. We're not giving up hope!

Exercising those thighs! Posted by Picasa

Betsy and her buddy, Gideon Posted by Picasa

Betsy reading Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I haven't been blogging much lately. I can't think of much of anything but my mom and her future and I just don't feel like talking about it. I talked to Dad tonight and he said she's exhausted from having so much company. Everyone loves her and wants to spend time with her but she really needs some rest. That's why we didn't go out there today. Dad was grateful that we didn't. He said she's starting to accept the diagnosis and is really fearful of what she's facing. She saw her younger brother suffer with brain cancer for 2 years before he died and she's fearful of the same fate. She has hundreds of people praying for her....I just wish she could sense that love and find some peace and comfort in it. She and Dad are going to their family doctor tomorrow to discuss the diagnosis. He's a wonderful Christian friend to them and I'm sure he will be a comfort. Then on Friday Mom goes to find out about the radiation treatments. They aren't going to do any surgery.
I talked to Molly yesterday and she brightened my day (as always). She and Betsy are going to come and stay with us at the end of Sept. I can't wait to see them! Betsy is walking now...she took her first few steps when we were up there for her birthday...Molly said after that she started walking although she still prefers crawling because it's faster. She always brightens my will be so great to see them again!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My daughter Molly has some great photos of Betsy's first trip to the zoo on her blog!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Update on my mother...

Thanks to all my friends for your continued prayers for Mom. She came home from the hospital on Sunday. We visited with her in the afternoon and she's very upbeat and hopeful. She's concentrating on the tumor being "treatable". The Dilantin still makes her feel weak and tired but she's doing her best to take this one day at a time. She should have more information on the tumor and on her treatment later this week. Keep praying!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Betsy's first trip to the zoo Posted by Picasa

Dad and Mom at his 80th birthday party Posted by Picasa

A very difficult day...

Today is my Mom's 77th birthday. She's spending it in the hospital. Yesterday we got up at 4:30 am to drive to the hospital for Mom's brain biopsy. She was in a good mood considering what she was facing. Three of my brothers and my two sisters were there too. My brother, Gary, is a chiropractor and had a full schedule of patients so his wife was there. After 2 1/2 hours, the Dr. took us into a room for the report. They found a malignant brain tumor. We knew this was a possibility but we were still stunned to learn the truth. He said the final pathology report will tell us more next week...then they'll know the type of cancer and how to treat it. His last words were..."it's treatable but not curable." It's so hard to think of losing a parent no matter what their age. Mom and Dad have always been strong for all of us through financial woes, health problems, and every other thing that has come into our lives. Dad is really devastated about this...he and Mom will celebrate their 59th anniversary next month and are so dependant on each other for everything. I know God is allowing our family to go through this for a's just really hard to see that right now through the cloud of pain and fear. My brother, Gary, cancelled his appointments after the diagnosis and came to the hospital. He is younger than I am but I always look to him for strength...he has a lot of medical knowledge and the confidence to ask the right questions. I know all of the brothers and sisters have looked to him for leadership in this. My poor sister, Ruth has had so much going on in her life. Her daughter was moving to college the day that Mom had the seizure. Ruthie's middle son has finished chiropractic school and moved to Kentucky this weekend. There were all kinds of problems with their rented home so Ruthie was trying to help deal with that over the phone while at the hospital. Then her husband's mother was taken to the hospital yesterday and her husband's stepfather has to be taken for dialysis 3 times a you see the pressure Ruthie's been dealing with! I called her this morning and she was up in the night sick with a migraine so she's trying to rest and get over that today. So please keep her in your prayers too. It's so comforting to know that my friends and all the friends of my siblings and parents are praying for this situation. I know God will be glorified through this painful time and I'm trusting him for my future and for the future of my parents too. I'm clinging to the promise of God in Jeremiah: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Betsy is one year old! Posted by Picasa

Betsy practicing her walking with her push toy from Aunt Wendy & Uncle Joel Posted by Picasa

Betsy's daddy reading to her all about his favorite team, Notre Dame Posted by Picasa

Betsy loves her new baby doll! Posted by Picasa

Betsy with Aunt Wendy, Uncle Joel and her mommy, Molly Posted by Picasa

Betsy on her 1st birthday Posted by Picasa