Thursday, January 03, 2008

A Busy Day

Today was an exhausting day for Kate, so she asked me to write this blog post.

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.



Anonymous said...

I was just re-reading some of your old posts and this scripture bears repeating. Emphasis mine.
"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 (Kate) and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men (or Kate with her left side weakness) stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD (the entire Snodgress family) 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
Dave and Kate- I am encouraged by you both. You are in the fight of your lives. You are going to the right place for your help, wisdom and strength. I will continue to pray for you all.
Thanks so much for keeping up with the blog as much as you have. I know I speak for many who check it often and love to pray specifically.
Elizabeth Ward

Anonymous said...

Many prayers continue coming your way, Kate and Dave. The Lord knows your needs and He will not leave them unfulfilled. May this be a year of new beginnings.

Love and God bless you~ Pearl

Ramona Lisa said...

Cancer, cancer GO AWAY!
Don't come back another day!

That's my cheer for you.
Love you!

Shiela Johnston said...

Dear Kate... I have long been wanting to write and never realized I could respond to your blog this way. I have been praying for you since last year when Marnie shared your story with me. I have some very fond memories of you from back when we were all members of E-Free. You were one of the first women who greeted me and my children in the nursery area and reassured me that my baby would be fine... educating me about the security system in place. So friendly and smiling, so helpful! You made me feel comfortable in the largest church I had ever set foot in. Amazing! You made such an impression on me, also, when our Ryan was ill at Children's hospital. Making a meal for us, watching my other children so that Darell could come visit us. You were sensitive and kind, your heart was on your sleeve when you came and sat with me in the ICU. Kate, my heart is so full with emotion, knowing how much you have sustained this past year or so. I truly believe in God's miraculous healing power and your faith is inspiring. I have lifted you in prayer, and please know that you have another friend locally who would be happy to help in any way. Please alert me through Marnie of ANYTHING I can do for you other than prayer, you are a good friend to Marnie, she is very concerned about you as you know. I hope to see you sometime in 2008 and tell you in person what a sweet lady I have known you to be! Jesus is obviously your Rock and I am so thankful to have been given a way to connect with you again. God Bless You and your Beautiful Family, Kate. With Affection, Shiela Johnston

Gram said...

Great Scripture in Isaiah Elizabeth. Good one to memorize.
Gram pondering the miracles.

Lori said...

Thank you for the updates. We are continuing to pray for you and your family.
God bless,

Heather said...

Praise God indeed for the wisdom of the surgeon!!! Aven's tumor that caused all his left side diability was also in his right thalamus, so if it was that close it is a good thing it is now gone. I will continue to pray that she will be healed completely. I will pray for stregnth while Kate continues to fight this battle.