I just got a call from the neurosurgeon's office and they have moved Amy's surgery up two hours! It is now scheduled for 12 pm instead of 2 pm on Wednesday the 9th. This means that her surgery shouldn't be running into a shift change or when people are wanting to head home from work, which is good!
There are all sorts of complications when one is a teenage girl who gets stuck in the country of her parents longer than expected. Mia anounced, "Ugh! I'll have to take all of those classes that I scheduled for next semester when I thought we wouldn't be here!"
Happy Thanksgiving! We hope you had a great day of giving thanks with friends and family. We went to Crete, NE to visit Allen's sister Carolyn. She organized a 'Turkey Trot' which went on despite the miserable weather. Only 8 people started. Only 4 people ran the four miles around the section. But we felt like we earned our feast.
Carolyn (red) and Sarah crossing the finish line with Carolyn's husband Neal and daughter Andrea.
Amy's been having a lot of headaches and we hope that surgery makes them stop. Waiting patiently.
Amy was initially told that her surgery would be at 4 pm on December 9th at UNMC and that it would take 4 to 8 hours. We envisioned tired surgeons and nurses working until midnight, wanting to go home, yet needing to delicately remove tumor from fibers of Amy's brain that control movement on her L side of her body and her vision. We decided that we'd prefer an earlier start on a later date, so I called the office to see if we could reschedule. When I called, she said that the surgery is now scheduled for 2 pm (We have to go in at noon) and is expected to be done in 4 hours. Okay. That sounds reasonable.
Amy has gone several days without a seizure, but is still having lots of headaches and taking lots of tylenol, which usually helps. Going for a swim or a run tend to help her headaches too. Sarah is coming home tomorrow night, and Amy's parents will join us the next day to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. I may sound deluded saying so, but we have so much to be thankful for. We've already gotten 8 more years than we expected when she was diagnosed in 2004 for starters! Thanks for praying!
Today the neurosurgery office called to say that they couldn't get Amy scheduled for surgery until December 9th. We're disappointed that we have to wait three weeks before we can find out what is really going on inside of her brain. (Does anyone really know what is going on inside of a woman's brain?) Pray that she doesn't have worse headaches or other problems while we wait.
Meanwhile, life goes on. Today Amy led the discussion at the MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) group at the Crete Berean Church. She talked about finding goodness in all situations and being thankful. We do have a lot to be thankful for, despite the current situation.
An icebreaker at MOPS
Today we had an appointment with Dr. Puccioni, the neurosurgeon. Mark, as I call him, was one of my gross anatomy partners in medschool. Some classmates one doesn't want to see on a professional level, and I think neurosurgeons top the list! But it was still good to see him. He was quick to say that he had been talking to the neurologist and the neurooncologist and they were recommending that we do surgery as soon as possible. He felt that the tumor was likely one of two things:
1. A returning tumor that has possibly progressed to a higher, more malignant grade IV glioblastoma, or
2. Radiation necrosis, which are changes to the brain caused by the radiation and chemotherapy that Amy had in 2004 and are almost impossible to differentiate from a glioblastoma by looking at an MRI.
We sure hope it is the latter. Either way, surgery is indicated. Surgery should be able to remove most of the mass and the pathologists can look at it under a microscope and tell us if it is tumor or radiation necrosis. There is a risk of paralysis on one side of the body and losing some of Amy's visual field from the surgery. Hopefully, her seizures will decrease after the surgery. Surgery has tentatively been set up for December 2nd, but this hasn't been confirmed yet. Thanks for praying.
Welcome to our blog! In the past we have used it to repost our prayer letters or mention something interesting that has happened in our lives. For a while now, this will be where we blog about Amy's health. Amy was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2004. It turned out to be a malignant grade III neoplastic astrocytoma with a short life expectancy despite surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Thanks to many prayers, Amy beat all the odds and we were able to continue serving as missionaries for the past 11 years in Peru. In October of this year, Amy started suffering headaches and increased seizure frequency. Unfortunately, her MRI from November 9th of this year showed a relapse of the tumor. We'll use this blog to keep people up to date on surgery dates, prayer and material needs, and how things are progressing. Thanks for praying!
I have too many hobbies. So many, I can't do them all while we are in the States. I love running, swimming, metal detecting, coin collecting, bird watching, board games/chess, Husker football, fishing, etc. Collecting Hotwheel cars isn't one of my hobbies, but today would have been a good day to start since I was metal detecting in a sand-volleyball court and found 24 of them in good condition. I left them on the picnic table just in case someone knew whom they belonged to.
Last week, we visited several people on the East Coast. Lynn Tanner was a gracious host and was our tour guide for Washington, DC. As we approached the capital (under renovation) there were a bunch of booths promoting Peru! I found a group that looked like they were dressed from the mountainous areas and I spoke Quechua to them. They didn't seem surprised at all. They must think we all speak Quechua in America!
I forgot to mention in our last mass emailing: I passed my family practice board exams! I wasn't really worried about it. I had actually studied this time and have always passed before, but it's just nice to have that taken care of. This year the scoring system has changed. One can't compare how he did compared to others. No percentiles. Just a bunch of meaningless scores. But it looks like I scored about average. I did score very high on the 'Public Health' and the 'Sports Medicine' sections. It seemed like every sports medicine question was written about me: "A 47-year-old male marathon runner..."