Life Is Unexpected

Saturday, February 20, 2016

I never would have imagined what the last three days have brought.

On Wednesday afternoon, I got an email from a guy my mom works with asking if she was okay. He said she was feeling sick and my brother (Matt) had come to pick her up from work, as she was feeling too dizzy to safely drive herself home. I tried reaching Matt to no avail. Maybe half an hour later I got a call from a number I didn't recognize. My brother Matt was calling from St. Luke's ER - no cell service in the basement there. Mom had been feeling nauseous and dizzy and had a headache. Preliminary CT scans didn't show anything where they were originally looking, but one of the techs saw something that made them want to get an MRI of her whole head. We anxiously awaited the results for a couple of hours. The MRI showed a mass on her right temporal lobe, about 8 cubic centimeters (2cm x 2cm x 2cm). They couldn't tell from the MRI what exactly it was, so they wanted to run some more tests to rule out some things.

The next day they did scans on the rest of her body to check for other masses, effectively checking to see if it might be cancer that had started somewhere and metastasized in her brain. All of those scans came back negative, which sounded fantastic. Her surgeon wanted to perform brain surgery the next day (Friday) to remove the mass. The location was very fortunate - on the very outside of the brain in a spot where they were safe to remove part of the brain with very low risk of adverse effects.

Early Friday afternoon they brought her back for surgery and successfully removed the entire mass. Great news! But we aren't out of the woods. They were able to remove the entire tumor, but it was malignant, which means cancer. Without the final pathology report they don't know exactly what type it is, but the neurosurgeon suspected that it was a primary brain tumor (glioma).

My mom might be the most positive person I know. Her attitude throughout this has been unreal. I have no doubt that she's going to kick this thing's ass. But some extra prayers wouldn't hurt. So if you've got a minute, I would greatly appreciate you taking a moment to lift her up in prayer.

Despite all the bad news here, there has been so much good that has come out of this. It's unbelievable to see the outpouring of support over the last few days from family and friends. So many people have rallied around my mom, and rightly so - she is the most selfless person I know and has always gone out of her way to help others in their times of need.

For those of you who have reached out via text, Facebook, Twitter, email, or in person - thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Myself and my whole family have been overwhelmed by the love and support you have shown us. You are incredible. Thank you so much.