Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sleep Needed

once i retire for the evening after being home from the hospital i lay in bed dozing in and out thinking a nurse will be coming in to give me my meds. no....... doctor dave does that throughout the day. he is constantly reminding me the time i last took tylenol and says i have X amount of time left remaining "do i need some?" he is so good to me. yes, i do call him my prince. kinda cheesy as my younger sister (dee dee)thinks so. oh well what can she do?

i am waking up too early lately. at the hospital it ranged from 1 - 3 am. here at home it has been close to 3 am and i tend to go downstairs to the couch by 5 am so as to not disturb dave's sleep. i toss and turn to get somewhat comfortable once awake. my left hip bothers me. please pray for a good nights sleep. i watched the patriots play football late last night staying up till 10:30 which is very late for me. so glad tom brady had a win last night over the new york giants.

my mom, aka soccer gram, soon to be basketball gram as carter & cole will be playing this winter. stuart so desires to be old enough to play a sport. when asking him what he is thankful for at bedtime he mentions, basketball, football, and soccer. what's this mom to do? just love on this sports fanatic which is being done. i forsee that he will excel in his 3 y.o. evening gratefulness, as he has great hand eye coordination. just ask any non-family member who knows him well they will agree.

brain surgery FUN FACT: ( to make you look smarter in the new year): 2nd time around with surgery, staples are not used just stitches as the staples tend to loosen & come out easier - don't want that! i did have the stitches removed last saturday in the rehab hospital - 10 days post op- . it did not feel good as i had hair growing back from where it was shaved for surgery. so thankful for hair regrowth. knowing radiation (hair loss) is not an option this time around. the chemo (temodar) that is proposed does not cause hair loss.

thanks for praying over my emotional health. today was a good day. we were able to go to church. i did have my hair done along with makeup. major accomplishment. dave is learning the art of my hair with headbands. careful not to disturb the incison site. quite tricky as loose hair needs to be tucked in. carter (9.5) helped me put on my earrings this morning. he did great!

cole (7.5) is mister helper. he loves to buckle me in my car seat and be the shoulder for me to hold on to while walking once in public. he is such a patient gentleman.

stuart (3) likes to find me in my bed and "hide" under the covers. we make a tent. he thinks someone will be coming in to find us. it is so cute as it brings me such joy in our hiding excursion. he also gives his special kisses when i am on the couch in the living room he loves to touch people as he is very tacktile. he is known to touch others at dinner especially their arms & faces. we try to make sure no food is on his fingers.

it is good for the boys to experience this time in our family life. many thanks to all who post scripture, i love reading it.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


being home brings mixed emotions as i am not 100% functioning with my left side. yes, i am discouraged i so want to be able to squeeze the toothpaste out of the tube and tie stuart's shoes. my shoes were adapted in therapy so i could put them on as they have elastic laces that continually stay tied i am to slip my feet into them. it seems that now i am home, my disabilities are more pronounced. i cried last night in bed to dave - telling him that i didn't want this. i realize this is temporary and i will be able to have full function in the months ahead. the doctor and therapists at the rehab hospital were quite confident of this. yes, my left side has come a long way especially the usage of my left leg- i can walk - my hand needs most help - the rehab doctor stated that it takes more brain power to use the hand. let's pray for the lateral frontal lobe to get the correct signals

i am to start ot/ pt next thursday along with seeing dr. forget and dr needles we should have an idea then as to my continued cancer regimen.i also have a follow up mri on wednesday.

the biggest excursion today was a family haircut & having my eyebrows waxed. they (the eyebrows)were driving me nuts at the hospital. yes........ that was a priority today! many thanks to aunt dee dee for taking the older boys ice skating this afternoon. i so wanted to be there to watch.

as you can tell............. i typed/ pecked this one handed..... still hanging in there, please pray for my encouragement......kate

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Great News, Many Praises

Today we recieved the results of the pathology on the tumor that was removed from Kate's brain two weeks ago (it's been a long two weeks!). The results show that her tumor is still considered a mixed glioma, which is a mixture of astrocytoma cells and oligodendroglioma cells that are cancerous, this is also known as a oligoastrocytoma. The good news is that her tumor is less agressive than last year and is more in line with a grade 2 tumor. Last year Kate was diagnosed with a grade 3 mixed glioma, called an anaplastic oligoastrocytoma. Kate is extremely happy today and feels very blessed.

Normally tumors become worse (more aggressive) when they recur and we were worried that it might have morphed into a grade 4 tumor, also known as a glioblastoma. Praise the Lord that Kate's tumor has become less agressive. The doctor called it a "gift". Indeed! Every good and perfect gift comes from above!

We also learned that Kate is being discharged from the hospital on Friday and coming home. We are all very excited! Kate can't wait to see the boys, sleep in her own bed again, and start back on her healthy diet. I'm busy getting things ready for her around the house as she needs a few accomodations since she is not 100% yet. She still has a long way to go and tires easily during the day. After she is discharged, Kate will continue to receive physical therapy on an outpatient basis, three days per week for three hours a day.

Praising the Lord for His many blessings,


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pics to Enjoy

Stuart enjoying a candycane

Snodgrass Family 2007

I am typing with one hand which makes it difficult to update you. My left hand just holds down the key without letting up. There is so much to say as I have been "blogging" in my mind at the rehab center. Just know I am discouraged with my left hand & will try to remember to bring a big pad of paper/ pen once leaving home if I can ............... actually write as I haven't tried. I am sure it won't be a problem since I am right handed. Today (Christmas) was a good day. Thankful for it. Many thanks to Kelly Park Photography for the pics prior to surgery.

Tired of typing with one hand,

thanks for checking in............... kate

Mommy & her boys

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Quiet, Busy Christmas Eve

It's been a busy couple of days around the Snodgrass household getting everything ready for Kate's (temporary) return and Christmas festivities. Hence the reason for not being able to post an update sooner. We are blessed that several people wrapped many of the gifts for our children. This took a huge burden off of us. Thanks!

Kate continues to make progress with her left side. I'm very encouraged but I know it still is not happening fast enough for her. I attended her therapy sessions this afternoon to receive my "home" training. Kate was able to walk down and back the hallway of the rehab center without much assistance, although they still need someone to walk beside her "just in case". She was also walking up and down stairs with minimal assistance as well. This is positive since we have plenty of stairs in our home. Finally, she was using her left hand during therapy to grasp clips, similar to chip clips, and place them up on a pole to the left of her. She also used her left hand to hold a knife loosely at dinner while trying to cut a piece of chicken, though it was very difficult and she wasn't successful.

The therapist said that this Wednesday the doctors and therapists are going to get together to start working on her discharge plan. This is extremely positive news because it means the end is in sight! After she returns home, she will likely have home therapy for a short time and then outpatient therapy for an extended period of time.

Today, I arrived while Kate was doing group therapy and noticed that Tim was wearing his new tennis shoes. The therapist mentioned that they were helping him walk much better today. They looked pretty stylish as well!

Kate had a restless night's sleep last night despite being on sleep medication. Not sure if it is due to taking too many naps during the day. Please pray that her nighttime sleep would improve. Also, she still has a slight fever, around 99-100 degrees F. Please continue to pray that this would subside and not get worse.

Tomorrow, I'll pick up Kate and bright and early to bring her home for the day. She and all of us are looking forward to a great visit. Please pray that she would have the strength to enjoy the day. It is sure to be an emotional one.

I'll leave you with a great passage this Christmas eve:

"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:28-31

Merry Christmas to All,


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home for Christmas

Mission accomplished...Tennies for Tim that is. Kate delivered the tennis shoes to Tim today at lunchtime. They look very comfy and hopefully will help him in his therapy. He was very thankful to say the least, he was almost speechless. Thanks to Kate's special friend for purchasing these.

While eating lunch today, Kate was surprised by her Uncle Tom who brought her a Terramizzou frozen custard from Ted Drewes, packed in dry ice. If you're from the St. Louis area, you know how wonderful this stuff is. Uncle Tom used to live near Ted Drewes when he was a kid and knows how much Kate likes it. Thanks, Uncle Tom!

We received word yesterday that Kate will be allowed to come home for 8 hours on Christmas day. (No visitors, please) She is looking forward to it. I have to go in for some training on Monday on how to handle her physical limitations in a home setting. Let's hope it doesn't involve any heavy lifting! In case you are wondering, my back is feeling a little better each day and should be resolved soon.

Kate still has a mild fever and has asked for more prayer about it. The doctors continue to believe it is due to a bladder infection and she is still taking anti-biotics to combat it but can't seem to shake it.

Several people have asked about visiting Kate at the rehab center. Aside from family and close friends, I would hold off on visiting her at this time due to her busy therapy schedule and much needed rest times. As much as she enjoys meeting with visitors, too much activity is not the best for her right now. I'll let you know if that changes.

Kate is still making daily progress with her left side. She is able to walk 500 feet with minimal assistance. Also, I noticed she was lightly grasping at an object with her left hand, so it appears her grip is slowly returning. Praise God! I know the progress is not moving fast enough for Kate but I'm pleased that slow and steady progress is being made. Her recovery is going to be more like a marathon versus a sprint.

We are blessed to have so many people praying and supporting us. Thank you for following our journey and making intercession on our behalf.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tennies for Tim

Kate had another packed day of therapy sessions today and seems to definitely be benefitting from them. She walked from her bed to the bathroom this evening with hardly any assistance. She lifted her left arm about shoulder high at dinner and even moved her left wrist front to back. I was very impressed!

This afternoon she had a cognitive neurological exam that lasted about 45 minutes, it sounds like a much shortened version of the 3 hour baseline exam she had before her surgery. No results yet, I'm sure it will take a week or so to hear back.

During her group therapy session Kate met Tim, a mechanic from Union, Missouri that recently suffered a stroke and is learning to walk again. Kate noticed that Tim wears what appears to be steel-toed workboots while attending therapy and it seems to make it harder for him to walk because they are big and bulky. Apparently, he does not own any tennis shoes and the therapist said that it would be much better for him if he had some. So, Kate got it in her mind that Tim needs a pair of tennis shoes. While Kate was sharing this concern with a visiting friend of hers this afternoon, this friend graciously offered to purchase a pair for him. Tomorrow, Kate is going to work on finding out his shoe size. It makes my heart glad to see that my wife hasn't changed a bit! In addition to "P-Coat Kate" we are going to have to call her "Reebok Kate".

Kate's mood seemed to be improved today although she frequently becomes spontaneously weepy for a minute or so. She is not sure what that is about, hopefully it is just her body reacting to the trauma, medication, healing, etc. She specifically requested prayer about this.

Several people have asked me when they expect Kate to leave the hospital and go home. There has been no timetable given because it completely depends on Kate's progress. The doctors and therapists are aware of her home situation, that she has to return to managing three young children in a three-level house (with temporary help from Gram and Aunt Dee Dee).

Cole is still sick and stayed home again from school. He also missed his piano recital at the retirement center. We are planning on having him do a private piano recital for Mom at the rehab center when he feels better. Please pray that his illness would resolve soon. Also, Aunt Dee Dee and Stuart are starting to have the sniffles, let's pray it doesn't go any further than that. Otherwise, we will have another trial within a trial within a trial...

My back feels a little better today, not as many spasms. It seems to flare up more often the longer I sit at work and then try to stand up. I'm taking more frequent stretch breaks and it seems to be working. Another good night's rest will definitely help.

Have a blessed day and thanks for your prayers and concern for us,


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fevers Abound

As Aunt Dee Dee indicated in her comment on the last post, Cole left school early today with a slight fever and a sore throat. Also, Kate has developed a slight fever as well, not sure why. As I have said before, there is nothing like dealing with a trial (fevers) with a trial (strained back) within a trial (sick children) within a trial (surgical complications) within a trial (brain cancer), all at the same time. I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!

Today was my first day back to work as I had much to catch up on before the Christmas holiday break, plus I knew that Kate would be tied up for most of the day with therapy sessions. It went well except that my back is in worse shape than yesterday. I spoke with my doctor and it sounds like I am having back spasms where my lower back tightens up and is very painful. It has been several years since I've had anything like this. I am walking around hunched over to ease the pain. Hopefully the medication and advice my doctor gave me will help out. If not, I may have to admit myself to the rehab center!

Kate said she was a little discouraged today with her left arm and hand. However, I saw her lifting her arm this evening and it looks a little better than it did yesterday. Please pray that she can persevere through this discouragement. Also, I noticed that she was walking a little better on the left leg. She walked from the toilet to the sink (in a large bathroom) without any assistance. I believe she is making some progress!

She also was able to get a shower in today. She said she was feeling a little nappy and funky since she hadn't showered for several days and a warm shower felt great. The rehab center encourages patients to wear their street clothes when possible so that you feel less like a hospital patient. Plus, the occupational therapists have been teaching Kate how to dress one handed. You try it, it's pretty challenging!

Aunt Dee Dee brought Carter and Stuart up for a visit this evening and it went very well. Carter has been begging to see Mommy more often. When I come home, Stuart always asks, "Where's Mommy?" Unfortunately, Cole could not attend since he was sick.

After work I was able to join Kate for dinner and we sat next to one of her new friends who is in her group therapy class. His name is Joe (believe it or not) and he is an older gentleman from southern Missouri recovering from a stroke. So, already it appears Kate has met her first "Joe", literally.

In Christ,


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

First Day of Therapy

Today was the first day of therapy for Kate at the Rehab Hospital. As providence would have it, her occupational therapist (OT) is the daughter of a co-worker and friend of Kate's mom (Gram). She grew up in the same area as Kate and attended the same high school. She is a believer and is actively involved in YoungLife. Kate and I attended a recent YoungLife fundraiser about 2-3 weeks ago and her OT indicated she was there as well. I'm sensing "God prints" here!

Kate was pretty tired after all of the therapy sessions but did a great job and is making gradual improvement. I noticed she moved her left arm a little more today, though still no movement with her left hand. This is not surprising since your gross motor skills probably need to return before your fine motor skills.

Kate saw her neurologist/physiatrist today and he is putting her on some additional medication for the nerve pain she is feeling behind her right eye. It is not a pain killer but something that will specifically target her nerves. Please pray that it works. Also, it was determined that she has a slight bladder infection, likely from the catheter that she previously had, so she is on some antibiotics as well. Please pray that this heals soon.

Kate is now allowed to sleep horizontally on her bed, though not on her left side. Ever since she got out of surgery she has been sleeping with the top half of the bed at a 45 degree angle. Not exactly the most comfortable position for an extended period of time.

One of the nice things about the rehab hospital is that you eat meals in the cafeteria instead of your room. Room service was nice at the previous place but it gets old after awhile. The food here is much better, even I am enjoying it!

One of Kate's friends dropped in for a visit last night and decorated her room with a Christmas tree, wreath, and a small decorative sleigh. She also brought over a CD player and some Christmas music CD's. It looks and sounds very festive in there!

Some of you may be wondering about my back pain. I visited my chiropractor and he said in addition to being out of alignment, it appears to be strained. I tried icing it and took some Aleve when I got home, despite all this it is still pretty sore. I guess my back didn't like sleeping in contorted positions off-and-on for the past 6 nights and doing awkward lifting during the day. It finally said, enough is enough! At least Kate's room has a lounge chair that converts to a somewhat comfortable flat bed.

Several people have asked how I am doing with all of this, saying that I appear to be really calm about it. Believe it or not, I'm handling it surprisingly well. I have a real peace about the situation, knowing that the Lord has allowed it to happen and it is out of my control. His purposes are higher than my purposes and His ways are higher than my ways. I'm just trying to be patient, encouraging, and helpful to my wife. Your wise comments and the Scriptures you have shared have been a tremendous source of comfort and hope.

Hopefully Kate will be able to get a good night's rest tonight, she has another full day tomorrow. Thank you, as always, for remembering us in your prayers and following our story. May the Lord bless you all!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Additional Prayer Requests

Kate wanted me to post a few additional prayer requests this evening. First, that the pain behind her right eye would subside without the need for heavy pain killers. She was having a very painful episode before dinner (pain rating 7 out of 10) and had to take a vicodin. It helped and she took another one before bedtime to help her sleep. Kate doesn't like to take narcotics because they make her tired and loopy. She would prefer to manage the pain with Tylenol alone especially with a daily therapy regimen where she needs to be alert and fully engaged.

Next, Kate requests that she has "Joe" moments here at the rehabiliation center. For those of you following our blog for a while or have read the archives (Dec 06, Jan 06, Feb 06) will know what she is talking about.

Finally, please pray for my back as it has been getting quite a workout over the past few days helping Kate in and out of bed and her wheelchair. I am prone to back pain and it is starting to get a little sore. Hopefully, a trip to my chiropractor tomorrow will help.

Have a great night!


Moving Day

I went home last night to be with the boys and get some rest in my own bed. Unfortunately, Carter was up at 2 AM with a fever of 102.5 F and heavy coughing. So much for a night of uninterrupted sleep! Cole woke up with a fever as well, so the older boys are home from school today. Carter's fever was gone when he woke up but I took him to the pediatrician anyway and it was determined that he has bronchitis, so he is on some medication to clear it up. Nothing like dealing with a trial within a trial within a trial. Please pray that these boys would get well soon.

Kate transferred to St. John's Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital ( early this afternoon and it went smoothly, although she was disappointed that she didn't get to ride in an ambulance. It is a nice, new facility that has only been open a few months and is small in size but has nice large patient rooms. Let's hope the food tastes better than the previous place. It looks as if Kate will start her therapy sessions (Physical, Occupational, and Speech) tomorrow. Her daily regimen will be therapy sessions in the morning and afternoon with lunch and a rest break (nap time) in between. We are still not sure how long (days or weeks) she will be here, it all depends on her progress.

In addition to what was mentioned above, here are some additional prayer requests at this time:

1. That Kate would have the energy she needs to be fully engaged in the therapy sessions.

2. That her appetite would steadily increase.

3. That her brain and surgical site would heal swiftly and fully.

4. Of course, that her left side function (leg, arm, hand, face) would regain 100% functionality.

5. That Gram and Aunt Dee Dee would have the strength to handle caretaking on the homefront and would receive needed rest and relaxation.

6. That we would be able to successfully coordinate all of the practical help that is offered by family and friends (meals, housecleaning, carpools, special projects, etc).

7. Finally, that the Lord would use us to bring glory to Himself.

Thank you deeply for all of your prayers, comments and concern,


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Family Visit

Last night, Kate and I had a relatively good night's rest while it dumped snow outside. We weren't sure if the boys would be able to come up for a visit because of the weather but it sounds like Pop Pop (my dad) and the boys were out shoveling snow and scraping car windows this morning. That, along with the snow plows and salt trucks, allowed Gram and Aunt Dee Dee to successfully bring up the boys for a nice visit. Kate was wearing some of her nice new PJ's from a friend and a headband, she looked great for her situation.

The boy's visit was followed up by another PT/OT session which Kate enjoys to be able to walk around (assisted) and stretch her arm, hand, and leg out. Tomorrow she is still scheduled to transfer to the rehab center. Please pray that they will have her oral steroid medicine (decadron) available there.

Kate has been having some considerable pain behind her right eye. This is normal from having surgery behind that eye but it is very uncomfortable nonetheless. Please pray that this pain would subside. She is still doing the Tylenol routine though she had something stronger last night at bedtime to help her sleep.

Kate has spent most of the afternoon resting/sleeping. That's good because she will need plenty of energy for her upcoming rehab sessions.

The day of the surgery, Kate said that while she was in the shower she took time to thank the Lord for a heart to love, hands to hold, and feet to walk. Today, she said she is still thankful for all of these, though they are a little weaker. Kate is also thankful that they removed her IV today so that she can move her left arm and hand without pain, and take her meds orally. Finally, she is very thankful for the nursing staff here at St. John's, they are wonderful.

Thank you for your continual prayers and support on our behalf.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Range of Emotions

Sorry we haven't been able to provide an update since yesterday afternoon. It's been a little busy around here and I went home to sleep in my bed last night. Thanks to a good friend for spending the night with Kate and allowing me to rest up and see the kids.

Kate was accepted to the St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital where she will stay and receive extensive and specialized physical and occupational therapy for her left side. She was supposed to be transferred today but they did not have any of the steroid medication there that she is on. So, she will go over on Monday.

In the meantime, she is doing daily physical therapy here at the hospital, having her first session today. She did a great job with standing and walking (with assistance) around the PT clinic and was exhausted afterward. Her left leg is much stronger than her left arm. The stretching exercises with the left arm seemed to help because she barely lifted her arm a couple of times later this afternoon. She took a great nap this afternoon after all this work. She will have another PT session tomorrow.

Dr. Forget met with us late yesterday and indicated the preliminary pathology results show that indeed there was cancerous tumor cells in the section of brain was removed. That's positive because it means the surgery and the resulting complications were for something.

Kate has been a little discouraged, especially with her left arm. She is a kid's worship leader with the 3-4 year olds at church and has been teaching them sign language for the song, "Silent Night". She is concerned that she may not be able to do that again.

Right now, while she is waiting for dinner to arrive she is listening to Everything that's Beautiful by Chris Tomlin on her iPod. Tomorrow, her boys are coming up for a visit and she is excited to see them.

Please continue to ask the Lord to restore her left side function, especially her arm and hand. Also, please pray for fresh hope and encouragement for her.


Friday, December 14, 2007

Long Journey Ahead

Praise God that His mercies are new every morning and He gives fresh hope throughout the day. Because of your constant intercession, which we treasure deeply, His grace is at work in us and around us. May the Lord grant you a double portion of the kindness and faithfulness that you have shown to us. I have been reading each and every comment posted on our blog, and they have been a tremendous source of encouragement. It's good to know that so many of you care about my precious wife, especially those of you that have never even met her.

Reality is setting in a little more today for Kate, she was a little discouraged this morning because of her circumstance. However, I brought in a couple of pictures of the boys which are displayed in her room to remind her of what she is working towards. She was so delighted that I brought those.

Kate had an OT/PT consult this morning and they were encouraged with her status (same as the last post), they believe there is a lot there they can work with to restore her left-side function. Most likely, today or within a couple of days she will be transferring to a nearby rehabilitation hospital where she will undergo daily rehab therapy for an undetermined period of time. I'm not sure if this will be days or weeks. Also, she may never be able to restore 100% functionality, but I know with the Lord's help anything is possible. Your faithful prayers are evidence of that.

Kate is going to have to work very hard to restore that left-side function. This is probably going to be the biggest challenge of her life (like having brain cancer, two surgeries, and radiation therapy isn't challenging enough). She has an incredibly determined spirit and tremendous willpower. I believe she is up for the task and will need your continued prayers and practical support along the way. The journey will likely be very long, but we are taking it moment by moment, as the Lord has commanded us to do (do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow has enough troubles of its own).

Please pray for several specific items:

1. Most obvious, that Kate's left side function would continue to restore, hopefully to 100% or close to it.

2. That she will accepted as an ideal candidate for the rehabiliation hospital program.

3. That the Lord would provide daily encouragement and hope, as well as strength, courage, and determination.

4. That she would get plenty of rest in the hospital (she is still very tired and sleeps most of the day).

5. That I would be able to get needed rest so that I can fully support my wife during the day.

6. That the Lord would provide me with the physical strength to assist my wife with adjusting in the bed, going to the restroom, getting dressed, etc.

7. That Kate's appetite would increase, thereby increasing her strength.

Hopeful and encouraged for the future,


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Praising God for Progess

A terrific update. About 30 mins after getting into her new room as I was observing her and feeling somewhat downtrodden, I noticed that she moved her left leg. She moved her left leg! At first I thought maybe I was seeing things from the stress and exhaustion but then she did it again, and even started moving her foot around.

I wanted to open the door of the room and yell down the hallway, "THANK YOU LORD". I didn't because that is not my type of personality, so I whispered it instead and raised my hands.

About 5 minutes later, Dr. Forget dropped in for a visit and was very excited to hear the news. He did a quick neuro check and she lifted her leg and her arm. She has improved to around a 3 on a scale of 5 (earlier I thought it was on 10 point scale, actually it is a 5 point scale). Praise God. He removed her turban (bandage) and she said it feels much better without it rubbing on the incision site and stitches.

Finally, the speech therapist came in a tested Kate with her swallowing. She did just fine and is now able to drink and eat solid foods (easing into these). She is off the morphine and back on Tylenol, which seems to work just fine.

Thanks for keeping up with our story and for all of your prayers and support.


Out of ICU

Praise the Lord that Kate was able to leave the ICU into a private room. It is much quieter. They were able to put her on 1/2 a dose of morphine to ease her pain. She is resting peacefully right now.

A speech therapist will be in shortly to test Kate's ability to swallow correctly. Please pray that her left side weakness does not impact her swallowing.

My spirit and flesh ache for my wife as she is going through this. Please pray for strength and endurance.


Dr. Forget's Update

I just met with Dr. Forget, he said that he is still unsure why her weakness exists and is surprised by it. It still could be swelling from the operation or the aggressiveness of the surgery, getting into an area of the brain that controls left side motor function. I forgot the name of the area he mentioned.

He said there is slight twitching in her left leg, 1-2 on a scale of 10. She will be starting aggressive physical therapy today after she is transferred out of ICU. Please pray for strength.



I've been in several times to see Kate, no change in status. She is still sleepy (expected). She wants to move out of the ICU for some peace and quiet.

I'm waiting patiently to see Dr. Forget for a more complete update and next steps. Please pray that would happen soon.

I had a decent night's rest last night sleeping on the floor of the ICU waiting area, all of the recliners and couches were taken. I slept from 1:30 to 7:30. Thanks for praying about that.


1 AM Update

They have given Kate some minimal pain reliever (Tylenol) and she told the nurse it helped a bit. No change on the left side status.

Kate is mostly sleeping, so I am going to try and do the same.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another ICU Visit - More Prayer Needed

I just came back from the ICU again. They are not giving Kate any pain meds or fluids because of her situation. I'm not exactly sure what they are thinking but all I know is Kate is pretty uncomfortable in there. Please pray that this would resolve quickly so that she can get some relief from her pain. As you can imagine, it's hard for me to stomach what she is going through.


ICU Visit

I just got back from the ICU. Kate is more responsive than earlier and the nurse said Kate twitched her left toes, it only happened once and she couldn't repeat it. Kate is aware of the situation and mumbled, "I can't make my left side move". She sounded worried. The positive is that she has feeling on the left side, but just can't control it yet.

Thank you for praying for wife during this unexpected trial within a trial.

Also, please pray that I can get some rest in the ICU waiting room.


Post-op visit

Kate has been transferred from post-op recovery to ICU. I visited with her in the post-op recovery room for a while. She is very sleepy and groggy (as expected) though she smiled when I mentioned that her boys love her and would be proud of her.

There is still no movement on the left side of her body, not even fingers or toes. This is obviously concerning but I'm not drawing any conclusions yet.

Waiting prayerfully and patiently,


Urgent Prayer Needed

Kate is in the post-op recovery room. We just met with Dr. Forget and he said that she is awake and responsive and can follow simple commands (counting on fingers,etc). However, she is very weak on the left side of her body. This is either do to swelling at the surgical site in her brain which is affecting the adjacent area that controls motor function, or it is due to the aggressiveness of the surgery.

Please pray that it is the former and will improve as the swelling subsides.


Another update

We just received word they are finishing up and putting the dressings on Kate. Everything is still going well.


Another update

We just received word they are finishing up and putting the dressings on Kate. Everything is still going well.


Another Update

We just received word they are finishing up and putting the dressings on Kate. Everything is still going well.


A quick update

One of the nurses came out about 30 mins ago and said the surgery was going great. Thanks for your intercession.


Surgery has begun

They just started...keep those prayers going!

Grace and Peace,

Just Left Pre-Op

Kate just left the pre-op area and is heading into surgery. Surgery should begin in about 30 minutes. I will keep you, our faithful prayer warriors updated.

Kate was unbelievably calm and peaceful in pre-op. She has enjoyed me reading your comments and Bible verses to her.

Praise God for the peace that passes understanding.

In Christ,

Tommy Socks

Kate and I are here at the hospital going through all of the pre-surgery prep work. She just had the green life savers (stealth MRI markers) put on her head and she will be getting her MRI soon. Presently, she is working on her CBS Bible study (1Kings & 2Kings).

Being at the hospital again is like dejavu, several of the nurses and hospital staff are the same as last year. Good to have some familiar faces around.

Kate wore her Tommy (Hilfiger) socks today in honor of her neurosurgeon, Dr. Thomas Forget. They say "Tommy"on the toes. Dr. Forget said that he will be sure to check those out during surgery.

Everything is still on schedule. Thank you deeply for praying for us. Please leave some comments during the day to let me know you're out there.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What to pray & more

The following is a list of things Dave & I thought of for others to pray. Please do not limit it to the below items. Pray as the Holy Spirit leads. The top prayer for me personally is the emotional / planning aspect. Not to lose it!

The surgery will take place tomorrow at St. Johns Mercy Medical Center at 11 am. We are to arrive by 7 am. Dave will update the blog with his BlackBerry during the day.

Prayer Requests for Snodgrass Family

For Kate, pray that the Lord would:
top specific in regards to the surgery / post op
** For her emotional response to things to not be affected. Also the organization / planning not to be harmed in any way. This can be the case with removing the anterior frontal right lobe.
** for her emotions prior to the surgery – She has been discouraged.
1. give her body a complete and miraculous healing. For the spectroscopy to be wrong. No cancer to reside in brain.
2. be glorified through this trial.
3. calm her fears and give her peace in the midst of the storm.
4. give the treating doctors wisdom along with the nurses, & anyone else in the room.
Forget (neurosurgeon), Krummenacher (anesthesiologist)
5. guide Dr. Forget’s, hands and decisions.
6. enable the surgery to go smoothly, with no complications.
7. allow all of the brain cancer cells to be removed during surgery.
8. allow no post-op complications.
9. grant a short and restful hospital stay.
10. allow a quick recovery.
11. allow no neurological, cognitive, or personality / emotional deficits from the surgery.
See top of list!
12. give her and Dave wisdom regarding future treatments.
13. allow her to be refined and sanctified through this trial.
14. provide the necessary financial resources to pay for medical expenses.
15. allow her story to lead some to Christ and encourage others.

For Dave, husband of Kate, pray that the Lord would:
1. be glorified through this trial.
2. calm his fears and give him peace in the midst of the storm.
3. allow him to be patient and wait on the Lord and see where he is working.
4. enable him to care for and support Kate.
5. uphold him with various support mechanisms.
6. allow him adequate periods of rest, reflection, reading the Bible, and prayer.
7. allow him to process the appropriate emotions.
8. enable him to trust others with daily household and personal needs.
9. enable him to be focused and productive when at work.
10. allow him to be refined and sanctified through this trial.

For Carter, Cole and Stuart, pray that the Lord would:
1. calm their fears and give them peace in the midst of the storm.
2. grant them hope for the future.
3. enable them to increasingly trust Him.
4. keep them safe and secure while their parents are away.
5. allow them to be obedient and helpful around the house.
6. enable them (Carter & Cole) to be focused and productive when at school.
7. grant them good health and plenty of rest during this time.

8. bring others in their lives to love on them and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
9. grant great play time on Christmas break with each other.
10. fill their hearts with true joy during this time of their lives.

For Sandy, Kate’s mom (caregiver of boys and Kate during this time) pray that the Lord would
1. Be glorified through this trial
2. Calm her fears and give her peace in the midst of the storm.
3. Allow her patience and understanding of each grandson.
4. Grant her good health and rest during Kate’s post op time.
5. allow her adequate periods of rest, reflection, reading the Bible, and prayer
6. enable her to care for and support Kate while Dave is at work in the latter weeks.

7. enable her with the planning of the boys school lunches. (This is a big one for her.)

Don't forget about Jean, Kate's sister aka: aunt Dee Dee. She will be popping in to help when available.

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Downlike Day

I have had a somewhat melancholy day. I am having feelings of not wanting to do this surgery yet, I know it is the best option I have. It was said to Dave and others that if I didn't have him or the kids I am not sure I would have gone through with the surgery. The thought of possibly not being the Kate most know concerns me. I haven't had time to mention to the bloggers that it was said on Friday at my neurological baseline exam (which took almost 4 hours - my brain hurt- I like to call it "show Kate how dumb she is") that the right frontal lobe was "once considered the silent lobe. That is not the case." It controls somewhat the emotional responses (personality) in a person along with the way they organize and plan. Whew! I have been really pondering this. I am so one to organize and plan. It is what I do! I am truly between a rock and a hard place with my decisions.

I have been thinking about Jesus' death on the cross. He died out of his love for me. I am having this surgery out of my love for my family. My heart hurts tonight.

I hope to post the prayer requests tomorrow for all to pray. If you haven't already emailed Pam in regards to taking a time slot to pray be sure to do so. Her email is: (pammywatson at

Thanks for standing in the gap for our family. This is a true heart ache. When answering questions over the phone for pre op yesterday the lady asked if I had any pain related to this surgery. I told her "Yes, my heart hurts." Honest truth.

Just so you know I do have some thankfulness in my heart. I am thankful for my clearance $9.99 hot pink quilted Lands End slippers. On to find pretty p.j.'s tomorrow for the hospital ....kate

Cook for Kate

This email was sent to me by our meal coordinators and they asked that I post it. They also wanted me to post the title as stated above.

"Hi everyone! We are the meal coordinators, a.k.a. Sue and Stacey. We asked Kate to let us write an entry for the blog, to save her some time and so we could say whatever we want! :-) Thanks to all of you who have contacted us offering to make a meal for the Snodgrass family. Our email addresses are posted in the side bar if emailing is your thing; if not, you can call Sue at 636.386.8522 or Stacey at 636.391.1501. We have a few dates left to fill in December, plus many open dates in January. Also, several people have mentioned that they want to help in a tangible way but they can't cook or don't have the time. We hear that the Snodgrass bunch likes St. Louis Bread Co., Dierberg's, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Crazy Bowls & Wraps, JJ Twigs Pizza, Schnucks or Culvers burgers if a gift card works better for you."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pictures, Tree & Prayer team

We had a time of family pictures early this morning at 8:30. Many thanks to Kelly Park for offering her services humbly. She is a professional photographer whose oldest daughter is in Carter's class. She emailed me last week wanting to know if I would be interested in taking pics. I was brought to tears with her offer. We had taken family pictures about a month ago and the boys did great the placement of people unfortunately was not. We took retakes a few weeks later and the opposite was the case. Not so good smiles with good placement. I am looking forward to viewing pictures that were taken today.

We left the house after the photography session to cut down the Christmas tree. The cold rain was ... well... cold. We chose our tree rather quickly. Soccer Gram came along to take our picture. So glad she did! It is always a event in one way or another cutting down the tree. Last year it was snow with ice and weren't even sure if the tree farm would be open. The country roads were horrible. Dave was driving literally 10 miles per hour or less on the country road which was at least 5 miles long. It made for one long drive to and fro. The kicker of it all last year was realizing while walking to get the tree that I brought the wrong camera. I brought the video cam which was not even charged. Ugh! I was so utterly disappointed. I wanted a good memory picture for the boys to have. I totally remember my feeling of despair having no picture taken from that year of the tree hunt. Ok sorry to dwell on last year. This year was much better. Camera and all. We ended our tree hunt like usual with hot cocoa and candy canes for the boys while Daddy put the tree on the van. Hmmm, we usually get the better end of the deal for we stay in the warm log cabin while he is in the cold making sure the tree is secure. You know, Safety Dave.

2007 Tree Cutting

Stuart and I took about a two hour nap today. Waking up around 4:30ish. It was good to rest. I haven't been able to do that much lately for I cannot seem to rest my mind.

Last night's prayer time was good. Many thanks to all who attended. I will try to compile the prayer requests for the blog sometime soon for I want to add some specifics to Dave's list. I have received an email from someone wanting to have a formal way of making sure someone is praying at all times of the day especially on Wednesday. This is a portion of the email.

"I had an idea this morning and I ran it by Laura....I really felt last night while we were praying that you need to have a team praying 'round the clock, esp. for Wednesday's surgery. I'd be happy to spearhead it, if you wanted to let the blog people know they can email me at (pammywatson at and let me know what hour or 1/2 hour they would be available to spend the entire time interceding for you. Obviously, in other parts of the world, they may be fully awake while it is night time here! :o) I'd keep the schedule and pen people in, and let you know of any openings. I imagine we'll have many prayer warriors at each spot. We can email them this list from last night which will give them plenty of things to pray about."

I would like to end with the following passages in scripture. Some portions just keep coming to me lately.

Psalm 139: 1- 18, 23, 24

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Just wanted to give it to you in Christmas colors since we just cut down the tree. Now we just need to find the time to trim the tree.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tests & being busy

I was up at 4:30 this morning. There was this arm under my pillow that was in the way. When moving it I realized it was mine! My left arm had fallen asleep. What a hoot! I had thought it was Dave's arm. Anyway, I was scheduled to be up early this morning for I have a neurological exam at 8:00 this morning. I am to arrive no later than 7:45. It is a baseline test that will give results with my cognitive, speech, memory, etc.. I do hope they don't test my math skills for I will most definitely fail. The test has been known to run around three hours. Whew! Pray I can get a nap in this afternoon while Stu naps. Yesterday was wild. Phone calls literally all afternoon. So glad Stuart and I went out in the morning to his "December Fun" class. We needed a retreat from the home and my cell phone takes messages but I do not know how to retrieve them for I have forgotten my password. (So glad for that.) He made a sweet handprint keepsake along with a reindeer using his hands (painted brown) as the antlers. My basement stairwell is the gallery of all the boys artwork. Stuart is very proud to be among the artists. Mommy is as well.

Sorry I haven't posted much as there is literally not much time in the day. From housework, homework to loving it doesn't lend much time to blogging. I also have been rearranging my dental & eye appointments that were scheduled after the 12th. Whew! My eye appointment to track for radiation effects (cataracts) is this Monday down at Siteman. I totally want to tell you about the many blesssings from Wednesday after being down there. I do not type extremely fast but I will try to mention all the God prints. Realizing that my time down there was not wasted was good.

It started out by me dashing past the parking attendant windows. Tomyra was working. Yippee! I yelled hi and I would see her when I depart. That was always a norm for me. I ran down the corridor so I could go to the LL to visit my friends (receptionists) in radiology. I hugged Dot and good friend, Stephanie (who was on the phone) telling them I wouldn't be able to come back down after seeing Dr. Linette for I needed to get home. Soccer Gram was needing to go to work among other things. Ok - I then made it to the 6th floor, signed in, paid the copay, ticket validated, etc. Chatted with Dave and Nancy then decided I better go tee tee so my weight won't be too heavy. Yes, I did telll you I went to the restroom sorry for all the graphics there but, I have a point. After returning, Rob, Dr. Linette's nurse called my name and then said "Well, the prodical daughter has returned". I said "ha ha Rob! How is your baby?" He had his first born sometime around when I was leaving. I was enjoying the updates with ultrasounds he would show me. His baby is now eight months old. He weighed me and I was a few pounds heavier than normal. He said "I should have gone more." Rob, your just too funny - not! More was said as he took my vitals. Normal Kate stuff with me talking too much while he needed to take my temp in my mouth. He laughed for he always couldn't get a good reading. Yes, motor mouth but I want to hear how he was this time. Great conversation with Dr. Linette was had. Too much information here to tell the whole blog community except that surgery is our most viable option for erradicating this beast.

Upon leaving the office the receptionist said that someone brought by an envelope for me. I was dumbfounded. Who could have brought me an envelope in that short of time? Low and behold it was from Stephanie. Sweet note from her along with a sweet gift for the parking fee. Blessing abound.

On to Tomyra now. We chatted and I asked how she was doing with school. She will be finishing up at the end of the year and plans to go to Miami for training. I asked "Training for what?" She is going into the FBI for child pornography. I told her we need more of her. She was informed then about the brain surgery with the possibility of a personality change. When hugging me outside her door she said the sweetest thing that brought me to tears. "Kate, you won't change for it's all in your heart." Tears are in my eyes now thinking about it.

Prior to dinner I receive a call from Joe. If you remember he was with me while doing radiation in the winter. See archive blog post 12/29/06 for information about him. 3/29/07 and 8/16/07 have some information as well. He is a good friend. He was telling me that he is doing well, driving (big deal here) and living on his own now in Poplar Bluff. He has an apartment for he couldn't return to where he was living prior to his first surgery due to his wife dying while he was in surgery. The house was where she and him were together last. I totally understood. He affirmed me that he appreciated the times we spent together. I too affirmed him along with just expressing my heart about him knowing Jesus as his personal saviour. He has been on my mind lately and I needed to just chat with him. It was a good conversation that showed me my time was not wasted at Siteman last year. God was and continues to work.

Telling the older boys about surgery went fairly well over dinner on Wednesday night. Lots of heartache there. Tears in bed from Carter especially. Cole is processing which is good for he is known to take it all in. I was wallowing in my sorrow that night. If I have time I will tell you more. Just continue to pray. I am Ok with having surgery not ok with them hurting. They were better last night for sock war is always a good stress reliever. It has gone from sock tag to sock war in our home. Watch out!

Many thanks to Ramona & Stacy for their Trader Joes basket of goodies that night. Laughter is the best medicine. We were up till midnight. I hadn't wanted them to come over after the heavy conversation with the boys but thankful they did. More on the gift later unless one of the girls wants to post it in her comment.

Gotta run! I need to eat breakfast. Love to you all.

................... Toodles!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Surgery Scheduled

Brain Surgery has been scheduled for next Wednesday, December 12 at 11 am. We are to arrive at 7 am for prep stuff. I am to have a stealth MRI to aid in the surgery procedure. Bloodwork will also be taken just in case a transfusion is necessary. Hope not.

We will be telling the boys tonight. Please pray for their hearts reception.

We would so appreciate the prayers. I am including the wording of the consent to treat form for you to view. Last time I just cried over the first two and never read the rest. This time I read the whole thing. Dr. Forget said that there is just a less than 5% chance of any of these happening but I needed to be informed of what has happened to other patients.

Procedure: Craniotomy for Resection of Brain Tumor

I understand that there are risks associated with this procedure to include but not limited to:

1. Weakness or paralysis of muscles on the opposite or same side of the body.

2. Bleeding in or around the brain requiring additional surgery.

3. Change in or loss of vision in one or both eyes.

4. Difficulty or loss of ability to speak, read write or communicate in any way.

5. Cerebral spinal fluid leak.

6. Infection in the brain (abscess) or the spinal fluid (meningitis)

7. Seizures requiring short term or lifelong medication & possibly preventing the operation of a motor vehicle permanently.

8. Brain swelling or stroke causing paralysis, coma, persistent vegetative state, coma or loss of life or limb.

Whew! That is one heavy list. I realize they are unlikely to happen to me but all the same we need to pray over each risk. Especially for me personally the possibility of personality change (20 - 25%). That is really heavy on my heart. The risk of infection is greater with a second surgery.

Love to have you this Friday evening praying. Be sure to email us for we will not post the location on the blog. (davekate410 at Please again pray for the boys - Carter (9) and Cole (7). Stuart (3) is clueless for the most part. He knows something is going on but is still his cheerful self. So thankful for that.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Visually to see Dr. Linette

We will see Dr. Linette 9 am tomorrow. If you remember he was my oncologist till April of this year. He is a fine doctor and I really respect his opinion. Please pray for wisdom regarding all aspects of our decisions regarding treatment. Many thanks to Nancy for coming again to digest the information with us as well. Please pray that Dr. Linette is not running behind in seeing patients.

Just a reminder. If you are planning on attending a time of prayer this coming Friday be sure to email us. We will not be posting on the blog the location due to security reasons. See the post prior to now for the email. It will start at 7 pm.

This past weekend was great with the boys. Carter and Cole had some down time with the late afternoon rainy Saturday. They were upstairs working away. To our delightful surprise they invited us to Carter's room. A trail of sticky notes led the way to a "closet concert". Carter has a huge closet that almost runs the length of the wall. The room was dark except for some "spotlights" aka flashlights. They took the middle door and opened it wide after introducing the "artist". Carter was first on the venue. They had constructed their CD player to play in the closet where the audience would not see it only hear. Both boys love a band by the name Mercy Me. They especially love the song "So long self". With that particular song playing (from a CD mix that was done for me for my MRI scans) they had their guitar strumming and lip syncing the words. They did great! It was good family time in the bedroom. It brought back memories of my childhood and how my sister and I would put on shows. They also put on another show on Sunday eve prior to dinner. This time it was video taped. Stuart joined in with a Chris Tomlin song. He actually knew some words. So cute!

The boys have been told that the doctors think that the cancer has most likely returned and we could have surgery before Christmas.

I also would like to ask that you pray for me as I am trying to organize things in a very small scale around the home. Just ask Dave, I am not going crazy but there are some things that need to be in order. I have been able to delegate some duties. Many thanks to Jane for coming over yesterday to help make Carter's half birthday treats for school on Wednesday. Yes, she could of used a haz mat suit to clean our master bathroom. She offered to clean it. I was on the phone and computer for most of the morning that day. There is a lot of planning going on as we are most likely anticipating a surgery prior to December 25. So thankful that most of the Christmas shopping is completed for the boys.

Looking forward to taking family pictures in our home along with cutting down the Christmas tree this Saturday.

The following song I have always loved. It speaks even more to me now. Some of the clips are corny but the words are outstanding. It was the best sound and stable camera footage that I could find. Enjoy!

Jeremy Camp with "Give me Jesus"

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Utilizing Our Spiritual Resources

Understanding that our greatest resource in this battle against Kate's cancer is that provided by Jesus, we are planning to have a prayer meeting this Friday evening, December 7th, around 7 PM somewhere in St. Louis County. Exact location to be determined. This prayer meeting is open to all of our friends and church family.

If you would like to attend, please send an email with your information to (davekate410 at and we will send you the details as they become available.

In Christ,


Saturday, December 01, 2007

An In-Depth Look

Honestly, Thursday night I didn't know how to put into words all that was stated at the doctor's appointment and I really needed to have some conversation / down time with Dave after Mom and my sister, Jean, aka Aunt Dee Dee, left. So I will attempt to cover all the bases of what was discussed. Mind you there is a lot.

OK, first of all as stated previously Dr. Needles had time to speak with us first prior to Dr. Forget coming in around 4:40. It was a true blessing to chat with him alone on what he thought Dr. Forget was proposing. He mentioned that Dr. Forget would most likely be recommending a complete resection of my right frontal lobe, then follow with chemotherapy (Temodar). Little shocker there for I vaguely remember Dr. Forget saying a complete resection. I didn't realize he meant ALL of my right frontal lobe section. We also discussed the Gliadel wafers and how he is not an advocate of it due to lack of definitive research along with the not so good side effects it could cause. The second option was taking Temodar now without surgery and monitor any signs of increased regrowth by MRI scans every two months.

After Dr. Forget arrived he explained that he is recommending a resection of the right frontal lobe minus the premotor area. Not the whole frontal section, just the anterior portion. A little relief. He sketched a picture of my brain and explained his proposal. Dr. Forget mentioned putting Gliadel wafers on the brain after the resection. The concern Dr. Needles had along with ourselves, for we had already read the research prior to coming to the appointment, was discussed. Dr. Forget said he just mentioned the Gliadel wafers to me on the phone Monday because he was trying to give me the "no regrets / holding back on any conventional treatment available" mentality. He wanted for me to know all my options for treating the cancer. Basically for me to be able to say down the road that I did everything conventionally possible to combat this. He also concurred he didn't think Gliadel was the best option due to increased risk during and after surgery (slow wound healing, blood flow constriction, edema, etc.). Just an option if we so chose it. Whew! That was one big praise. It was unanimous. No Gliadel!

Much more was spoken of in regards to the surgery. The biggest part is for Dr. Forget to remove brain tissue as close to the premotor area (posterior) without actually touching it. The premotor area controls just what the name says - motor development ie: moving my legs, arms, hands, fingers, etc. Below describes in a little more detail what I am trying to say in regards to this portion of my brain. Keep in mind the difference between the anterior and posterior lobes. We are looking to take away the anterior portion of my right frontal lobe. Not to touch the posterior (premotor) area. There is also a difference between the right and left frontal lobe functions. The right controls mainly a small portion of personality from what I have understood.

Frontal Lobe - Front part of the brain; involved in planning, organizing, problem solving, selective attention, personality and a variety of "higher cognitive functions" including behavior and emotions.

Click Here for a Diagram of the Frontal Lobe

The anterior (front) portion of the frontal lobe is called the prefrontal cortex. It is very important for the "higher cognitive functions" and the determination of the personality.
The posterior (back) of the frontal lobe consists of the premotor and motor areas. Nerve cells that produce movement are located in the motor areas. The premotor areas serve to modify movements.

Hopefully you are tracking with my wordy post thus far.

The other risk involved when a patient has their anterior right frontal lobe taken out is they have a 20 - 25% chance of personality change. Dr. Forget explained Thursday over the phone that it is called a "blunted effect". Basically how I would emotionally respond to things - not as excitable. "If you were a person who jumped off the couch and cheered loudly when Albert Pujols hit a home run after surgery you most likely will say 'That's nice, Albert hit a homerun.' without all the hoopla."

This portion of the treatment has been weighing on my heart. I am one of those people who is vivacious, cheering on the top people in my life especially with sporting events. Go Snodgrass men! I have always been one to cheer on those I love. Even my little sister, Jean, with high school basketball games I rooted for. She was a great player.

After surgery I would then take Temodar (chemo) orally till Dr. Needles deems necessary to stop. Temodar would start 10 days to 4 weeks post surgery.

The surgery followed by Temodar is a better option thus far from everything stated. We are not sure if this regrowth has already turned into a stage 4 tumor (glioblastoma). We won't know this until a pathology of the tumor has been performed after the surgery. We are playing a guessing game also by not knowing if the fingers of the tumor are branching out yet. The scans do not detect that. By taking out the right anterior portion of my brain it enables us to have a better prognosis in the years ahead by not allowing the cancer cells to attach to an axon and travel to other parts of the brain. We pray it hasn't done that already. The doctors are doubtful.

Since my tumor has been considered a mixed glioma it is hard for the doctors to say how it will act since it is a mix and not a pure astrocytoma or oligodendroglioma. This is a difficult call to make.

I forgot to mention at the start of this post that I took the time to ask if I could meet Karen, Dr. Needles nurse, personally. I had yet to meet her face to face. I have often spoken with her over the phone. It is good to have a face with a name. So prior to Dave and Nancy showing up Thursday I had time to chat with Karen. It was a good conversation.

Dr. Forget spoke with me again on Friday over the phone and relayed more information to me. Basically, the specifics of the surgery plus off-the-cuff stuff. Will he use the same incision site? Yes. Will the same "man hole" be used? Yes, and possibly a little more posterior due to taking out more brain tissue. Will he wear that same obnoxious tie post op? (This is a joke between him and I.) He said he did find the tie last night and he might consider finding another tie. I laughed. My friends later that night at my kitchen table said he should give me the tie to use as a headband to cover the hair loss from surgery. I about died of laughter thinking about this one. I may approach him with that idea. Dr. Forget is a great neurosurgeon with a wonderful bedside manner. I am delighted God put him in my path. I did tell him Friday over the phone that if we choose surgery he will be prayed over, especially his skilled hands. Don't touch that premotor area!

Lastly, my "second opinion" appointment with Dr. Linette has been changed to Wednesday the 5th at 9 am. JoAnn, his nurse / assistant, called to say I would have been "frustrated" on Tuesday for I could have waited at least 2 hours to see him. He is busy that day. I can concur with that one. I had to wait like that once before. Many thanks to JoAnn for even calling. I might call on Monday and see if I can get a verbal opinion over the phone, if possible. My records (the ones I had copies of) were sent to him overnight Thursday. Dr. Needles office is to send by fax the remaining records from May till now. Pray that all of the records will get there in time.

After speaking with Dr. Linette we should be able to make a decison about treating this pest in my brain.

Top Ten Praises Here So Far!
Not in any particular order of importance.

1. Dr. Forget is a personable man.

2. Dr. Needles getting to know the real me by taking more time.

3. Could get into Dr. Linette this quickly.

4. I am at peace.

5. If surgery is chosen - posterior right section will be spared.

6. God is merciful and loving.
7. For knowledgable doctor minds.
8. For prayer.

9. For meeting Karen, Dr. Needles nurse, personally.
10. That no matter what, all is still good.

Thanks for being patient as I have been typing this post for the past 3 days. Edit, type, edit, type, etc.