Tuesday, May 23, 2006

[Photo: steroid Mike is now on to reduce brain swelling]

This morning Mike was difficult to rouse from sleep. They ordered another CT scan that revealed significant swelling on the right side. He didn’t eat breakfast. After radiation, he wasn’t hungry for lunch and got into bed. I arrived at 1:45 and got him awake and eating. He ate a little mashed potato, chicken pot pie and some coke and chocolate chip cookies. Not bad. Everytime I dropped something on him or the bed, I chastised myself and Mike chuckled. Definitely in good spirits in spite of the fatigue.

At one point I gently poked his side and said, “hey. Hey. hey… you awake? Hey.” like I do from time to time. He opened his eyes, grabbed by hand and squeezed me back – “Hey hey hey… hey to you!”


Later, I said loudly, “I love you.”

To which he replied, “I love you.”

“No! I don’t think you understand! I LOOOoooooove you," I said.

Mike opened one eye and mockingly provided my inner dialogue, “Stupid stupid man!”


Dr. Andrews called around noon to let me know they will be giving Mike another steroid that is designed to reduce brain swelling (Decadron). Mike currently has significant swelling on the right side around the cyst - likely due to radiation. He only has 9 sessions left of radiation therapy, so Andrews would like to still continue to the end, uninterrupted. The swelling inside on the right is the probable cause of his weakness and tremors on the left side that we have witnessed over the past week or so. The latest scans show that the size of the tumor and cysts are the same - suggesting radiation is working on the S.F.T. - but the scans also do show this enhancement in the entire region, particularly on the right - this is the swelling that Andrews was referring to.

Again, hopefully all of this is temporary. All we can do is wait.

PS: Yes the SFT has certainly shaken my sense of comfort in the benevolence of the cosmos. However, if taylor hicks doesn't win American Idol... then there truly is no justice in the world.


Anonymous said...

Hubby has screwed my computer so no email for now. I'll tell you three great minds couldnt mend this one today. Will explain when I get email again. Its too good not to tell this one!! Luckily, I can still use the internet!!!

Fatigue and hard to wake-not uncommon
Loss of appetite-not uncommon
Enhancement during radiation-not uncommon

How are you going to feel about a chunky Mike? Decadron usually causes weight gain and puffiness. However, it also seems to increase appetite so thats good if he's not wanting to eat. Hopefully, he wont be on it long enough to have any long terms effects that wont remedy themselves pretty quickly. But there is something to be said for those cute round faces!!!

Humor is intact,on both sides,so thats wonderful!!! i am so glad to see you are enjoying one another even under these circumstances!!!

Simon says Taylor has it won!!! I do think he outdid Katherine tonight. Stay tuned.... Carrie just won Song of the Year on the at the CMA Awards. Shehas done so well in just one year!!!

francine said...

SOUL PATROL! (go taylor!). :) Give mike a hug for me. Tell him it's okay if he gets chubby from the steroids. As long as he gets well!

Anonymous said...

dear danna,

just checking in to see how things are going. i was so hoping to see you at graduation but unfortunately sad events in my family prevented me from getting there. your perseverence and positive attitude in this situation is just amazing and inspires everyone who reads this blog. i'm so glad to see that you are confident in yourself and your role as caregiver right now... as i'm currently setting up my dissertation data, from breast cancer support groups, i read how all kinds of people are coping with their diagnosis and treatments. all i can say is, i hope they all have someone as strong as you supporting them. it amazes me that through all of the experiences you share here, happy, sad, frustrating, anything -- you continue to succeed in putting things in the bigger picture and keeping control of what is going on and what will be in the future. all of my best to you... i hope that each day brings you a little closer to a happy ending.

The Brain said...

Alyssa, thank you for your note. Going through this makes me understand just how difficult it is to focus on work with family situations surrounding you. While I don't know what your specific situation is, I do hope you give yourself permission to set things aside for some time until you're ready to work again. Of course, if you see work as a respite which I did for quite a while, embrace it!

Hope you and your husband are well.