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.