Thursday, January 31, 2008
Although, three recommendations were given, I passed the driving assessment! I should be cleared to drive in the next few days. I think I have to wait on the doctor to sign off.
My mom will continue to help with childcare for Stuart while I complete out patient therapy. Early February, chemo (Temodar) might start. Fatigue is expected. The date & duration have yet to be determined.
Looking forward to a SNOW FriDAY. Not sure if it will be called off. But I sure hope so for the boys sake. Me as well. I was so bummed in the hospital after surgery that a big snow storm came and I couldn't be outside to enjoy it with them. Great picture moments!
Today was a good day. . .
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Fun Fact: In my high school years I had a 4x4 Mazda blue truck (no radio just a portable one with a cassette player) that was alot of fun in the snow (remember Gina?)and a river ravine. Shhh!
I will try to find time to keep you posted.
Friday, January 25, 2008
The above is a quote that came in a Christmas newsletter from a neighbor mentor that is moving with her husband to Italy in June of 2008. When taking a long walk not long ago I was selfishly saddened upon hearing her news in person prior to receiving her newsletter.
It is my prayer that I can steal (ok not steal, but state) her quote in the years to come. At this moment it is difficult for me to trust God for the years to come.
The following verse is printed on my "Thank you for Taking Care of the Snodgrass Family" information folder it was also in the newsletter. A good reminder for me.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
1. took a shower without the shower chair
2. tied Stuart's shoes(actually double knotted them)
3. walked upstairs in the middle of the stairs (normally it has been holding onto the railing).
4. another great item that can only be told in person to a girl. Trust me it was a halleluiah moment.
5. Stopped using step stool to get in and out of bed.
I find family, doctor appointments, Bible study, naps, and home therapy( have at least 10+ HEP's, home exercise program, from therapists that need to be completed) are taking a backseat lately. As I desire to be at the computer to update ya'll. I find there is not enough time in my world. Please know if you do not see a lot of updates that I am trying my best to prioritize my time. I will update as soon as it is possible.
My left hand fine motor is somewhat improving.
Dave and I want to sincerely express how thankful we have been for your prayers. God has been merciful, loving and gracious.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Yes, a previous post was removed but, not without saving it along with the comments on our PC.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Hi everyone! We are the meal coordinators, a.k.a. Sue Stark and Stacey Preis. 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 the month, plus many open dates for you to choose. 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 , Crazy Bowls & Wraps, First Watch, JJ Twigs Pizza(Valley Park), Culvers burgers, St. Louis Bread Co, and Dierberg's, Trader Joe's, or Whole Foods if a gift card works better for you.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
I took the following list for granted
1. pulling bed covers up to my shoulders & letting go. (letting go was the tricky part)
2. helping Stuart(3)get dressed/ undressed- socks & all.If there are buttons & a zipper forget it.
3. holding blowdryer & hairbrush with my left hand steadily.
4. taking the cap off my deodorant. ** this is finally getting easier!
This is a small list for the blog but, not small in my life as I am sure there are more to namethat haven't come to mind....
Monday, January 07, 2008
Sunday, January 06, 2008
The past few nights I haven't slept well. Yesterday I took a 3-hour nap waking at 4:30 PM. I was exhausted after going to Carter's ball game. I wouldn't have even missed it being his first game. I knew I would be spent for most of Saturday afternoon. I finally went to bed for the night at 11 PM for I was tired, hoping that would help my sleeping issues. Unfortunately it did not. I ended up falling asleep sometime close to 3 AM and woke at 5 AM this morning. The alarm was set for 6 AM, not 5. Not Fun! Please pray that I would be able to sleep through the night. Starting to wonder if I have anxiety issues. I am planning on calling the doctor tomorrow.
Today was a good day as I was able to get myself dressed & ready for church, without assistance. Blowdrying & curling my hair, getting dressed, and even putting in my earrings.
Yesterday it was amazing to me that I was able to pull up my pants using my left hand and allowing it to release (fingers extending). I used to have to take my right hand and manually release the fingers of the left hand for my thumb for liked to hook and not let go.
It has been a humbling being at home versus being at the hospital. I joked with Dave while at the hospital that it seemed I was the pediatric patient compared to many of the other patients who were older. Now at home I feel like a geriatric patient because I walk steps one at time and also I use a special shower chair (thank you to those of you who have donated to my trust fund). I also drool occasionally due to my left sided weakness affecting my face and causing the left side of my lip to stay down and move slowly while I'm talking or not.
I better get to bed because I've got a busy week ahead with four days of therapy.
Friday, January 04, 2008
I do have one comment about your Blog though. It is entitled a "Brain Tumor Story" and that just doesn't settle with me. It is not the tumor's story. Do not give it glory. This is your story. This is the kingdom of God's story. The glory of God is in you. Ministry is happening because of this story. The kingdom of God is advance if only in my own heart because of YOUR story. And so why should some un-natural brain tumor get the credit? I guess I just feel that it's so many other story's than the "brain tumor." That's just my two cents. Take it or leave it. I do understand though and I think it's fine the way it is. That's just my reaction.
Thankful for the email suggestion,
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Kate started her out patient therapy this morning with one hour of OT and one hour of PT. It was determined that she is relying too much on her eyes for coordination and not her inner ear, which is more important for keeping your balance. A person's inner ear is responsible for 65% of their balance/coordination. It is difficult for her to stand both feet together with yes closed and keep her balance, she has a tendency to fall over or desires to hold onto the bar. The PT gave her some home exercises to improve this. Please pray that she would learn to rely more on her inner ear for coordination. The PT also detected that Kate has some fear about using her left side more confidently. Please pray about this as well.
This afternoon she had visits with her neurosurgeon, Dr. Forget, and oncologist, Dr. Needles. Both were very pleased with the progress she has made thus far and believe her left side will make a full recovery. While reviewing yesterday's MRI scan, it was determined that the reason for Kate's left side weakness is due to the surgical resection being so close to the thalamus, part of the brain that, among other things, relays motor signals from the right-to-left and left-to-right sides of the brain. One part of the tumor was right up against the thalamus, hence the reason for operating so close to it. If the surgeon had gone 1 cm (0.4 inches) further into the thalamus, Kate likely would have lost left side function permanently. Praise God for a surgeon's wisdom, steady hands, and modern medical technology.
Both doctors concurred that Kate is ready to start taking Temodar (chemotherapy). Her monthly chemo regimen will be 5 days on Temodar and 23 days off. There will likely be some side effects such as nausea, constipation, and fatigue. But no hair loss. There is also a possibility of the chemo affecting her blood counts, which the doctors will be monitoring closely. The exact start date is still to be determined.
Some of you may be wondering, was the surgery successful. In other words, did they get all of the cancer? Unfortunately, there is no way to know with 100% certainty. Due to the complexity of the brain and the nature of brain cancer cells, no doctor will ever tell you that you are "cured". As we have already seen, these tumors have a tendency to recur over time. Surgeries, radiation, and chemo usually just slow down the process. Only God knows the future and only time will tell if it is gone for good. Until then, we need to live wisely and keep up the fight.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support for us.
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
OK, here it goes...........
After returning to the rehab hospital from my Christmas leave I settled into my bed and Dave left to go home. My evening nurse reported to me that she was going to put up my foot rails and turn on the bed alarm which meant that I needed to use the call button if I wanted to get out of bed. I let her know that I had yet to have an alarm activated while at the rehab hospital. She said that I should of had it on the past few nights and to use my call button if I needed to get out of bed. I was not thrilled & she knew it. I told her that I drink a lot of water which in turn meant a lot of calls for potty breaks. Later the nurse tech came and I asked her to ask the nurse to please come to my room for I had a question. I was totally tired by this time from the Christmas events at home. The nurse came and I asked her "What is your philosophy behind the alarm and rails, did a therapist or doctor order it?" She asked, "What?" I realized my voice was weak but I wanted to understand why the bed alarm was necessary. She concluded to tell me that since I was on anti-seizure meds the possibility of me falling out of bed was high and most patients have their alarms on at night. I didn't have the strength to challenge her to let her know my anti-seizure medicine, Keppra, was only for precautionary reasons.
I called Dave crying letting him know I was in bed jail for that is what it felt like. He calmed me down explaining that I was a liability (thank you, Safety Dave) to them and a previous patient most likely fell out of bed. It made sense, yet I still didn't like it for I had freedom the nights prior. It was Christmas night of all things. She was my joy robber, aka: thief of the night.
For the record, the alarm did go off at 1am on 12/26. I was trying to figure out how to adjust myself so I could lay prone. I ended up sitting where my feet belonged to throw a pillow up towards where my head would be and at that moment the piercing alarm went off. I was in shock! Hospital staff came running into my room and I explained that I wasn't trying to escape, just adjusting myself to be able to lay on my stomach. They said that the alarms are sensitive to weight shifts. Thank you very much - Big Momma here with a weight shift in bed. My new nurse whom I had before told me that he would leave the alarm off and return around 3 am. I was relieved to hear this. Oops! At that moment I realized it was 1:20 am. The clock in my room was difficult to see in the dark. Go figure. I propose it should be placed in a different locale. Glow in the dark qualities would have been nice. Ooooooooooo wouldn't that be cool? I am sure it is not in the hospital budget. Can you tell I am a mom of boys?
The next morning, I told the doctor on call that I didn't appreciate being restrained in my bed as I told him what had conspired the night prior. He agreed that it was unnecessary. "If a patient on anti-seizure meds would be a risk at falling out of bed there would be padding on the side rails."
"Do we see that here?" I responded with a "No." He affirmed my thoughts on the Keppra being precautionary.
It was better for the nurse to be more safe than sorry is where I can now stand on this issue. I didn't think this on the day after Christmas.
Really............ I was not trying to escape.
For a couple of nights following this incident the bed alarm was activated but I wasn't as livid. Thankfully on my last night the doctor made sure no alarms would be activated with a note in my records.
So glad my master bed at home doesn't have an alarm. Maybe that is why I couldn't fall asleep the first night. I have been traumatized. Just kidding!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Currently my most difficult task with my hand is extension-basically when fingers are outstretched It is most difficult when I grip to let my hand go to the extension mode.
I have practiced extension often throughout the day. Unfortunately the brain signals to hand have yet to understand.
When Dr. Forget came into my room sat near my feet asked how I was doing. I knew he was asking in regards to my left side. I responded that I had been sad and cried but do not blame him for he did a radical surgery- what we had asked him to do. His response was that he understood my sadness. He has such a good bedside manner. So glad he is my neurosurgeon.
We had a lazy New Years day here at the house which was good for all. After much begging,Dave took the older two boys out last night to a neighborhood party. They did not stay out too too late.
Gram helped me put Stu to bed. Her and I were a sight to behold last night while on the couch. She was snoring while Stuart was in her face trying to "talk" to her. I was reading a book with my eyes shut. Not a good way to comprehend. Huh?
this post took me an hour to type........... aghhhhhhhhh
I have my post surgery MRI tomorrow at 9:30 am.
Thankful for lazy family days,