Wednesday, October 23, 2013

April Fools' Day......It Was No Joke!

So here begins my new story. I must first say how sorry I am that I was unable to continue writing my Blog for seven months. I am doing my very best to continue with my Blog now.

I had celebrated and posted my birthday on March 16th this year but have not written anything since that day. On Easter Sunday March 31, 2013, I spent the day with my son Tim again and walked the trail close to my Cottage and near the house that Tim was going to buy.

We had such a lovely day but that night around 11:30 PM, I woke up and had an unbearable headache and nausea! I was so bad off that I phoned Tim and asked him to rush me to the emergency room. Tim drove over to my house from 15 minutes away and raced me to the hospital. Heavy pain meds. were administered and I was taken to the Xray room. 

It was then discovered that I had a very large brain tumor. After the doctors looked at the Xray, they decided an MRI was necessary. The MRI was confirmed. A large, nectarine sized tumor, found on the left temple side of my brain, was identified as a "Glioblastoma Multiforme," the same tumor as Mr. Ted Kennedy.

                  Here you can see the original MRI. The large tumor can be seen in the top and 
                                                     bottom photos at different angles.

I was immediately sent to Portland, Maine where a wonderful and highly regarded brain neurologist by the name of Dr. Jeffrey Florman, told me that I needed surgery right away to remove the tumor.

                                                                   Here is Dr. Jeffrey Florman

Four days later on April 5th, I was driven back to Portland Maine Medical Center by my daughter,    
                                                     son, sister, McLean family and friends.

Here is the picture of me just before I left.

Within hours I was operated on where 98% of the tumor was removed. Unfortunately, the diagnosis was not so good. Dr. Florman confronted everyone in the waiting room and told them I had 6 to 18 months to live based on the significance of this type of tumor.

  Here is the brain area after most of the tumor had been removed. Dr. Jeff did a beautiful job don't you think? Regardless of my diagnosis, I was so at peace and comfortable because I was surrounded by the most wonderful doctors, physician assistants, nurses and hospital caretakers. I was extremely well cared for. 


Here is Owen a wonderful, compassionate nurse on the left and Jeffrey Hamm P. A., a warm and sensitive doctor on the right, who extracted an 8 inch long tube (much looking like a grenade) from the inside of my brain. 

Anyway, I stayed in the hospital for several days and when I felt stronger (and hungry) we headed to my friends house, Frank and Libby Simon's place. Tim, Bekah and Joanne my sister stayed with me at their house by the lake so there were plenty of lovely bedrooms for all of us.

This is Tim and I after leaving the hospital.     This is Tim and Bekah who came all the way from CO.

                 This is my sister Joanne who came for several weeks from Maryland to care for me.

I will enter my journal and information in my Blog soon again. I am finally able to write, however, because my brain has been severely affected by radiation and chemo (which I will discuss in the future) it is often difficult to think, write and use words that I remember. Please forgive any mistakes I may make. I will get better at it...I truly believe and am very hopeful for a long and happy life ahead. I have been so very blessed and I look forward to being able to help others some day.

                                    Thank you for reading my Blog and being patient with me.
                                                    True health and happiness to you all.

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