Saturday, May 24, 2014

Flashback #10 - Finishing chemo...and then, a 2nd surgery, plus, you know...life goes on!

High time for another flashback post, don't you think? Picking up from where I left off the last time.

October brought many things...it was the one year anniversary of David's diagnosis and surgery. We threw a party, I think ;) I have no pics, no status updates, or anything, but I'm fairly certain we had a big cancerversary party. I mean, parties are fun, and any excuse, right? Plus, every year is another reason to celebrate! We met David's new oncologist, as Dr. Lassman moved to another hospital. We survived a blizzard and power outage...lots of craziness!

heading to NYC tomorrow for an MRI and visit with the new Dr...prayers are always welcomed and appreciated 


We had met Dr. Omuro once before, when Lassman was on vacation, but didn't have the most favorable opinion of him. It seemed like he didn't know David's case at all, so we were a little concerned when he became David's primary oncologist. I don't have any notes, but from what I remember, we were much more pleased with this meeting and felt much more comfortable having him as David's doctor. Not the most personable man, but very sure of himself and his expertise/treatment plans...and really, that's pretty important. 

just looked out the window and am seeing the biggest fluffiest snowflakes ever! I would be happy about that if it were maybe late november than october

my lights just flickered for the 5th time in a row... booo...please don't go out, please don't go out!


Booooooo....lights out at the woolley house 

There is entirely too much snow on the ground for October! No electricity, no heat, ran out of wood by 9 last night... very thankful for the hot shower I just took!

That tree is normally twice as tall! So much snow!

Praise God! We just got power!!! Huge thank you to all the guys at CLP for working your butts off this week!!!

Thankfully the temps outside weren't awful...after the snowstorm it actually got back into the 50s, but our house was also in the 50s, and believe it or not, low 50s in a house is FREEZING!!! Thankfully our water was still hot. All in all, we were out of power for four days...some places were worse! What made it so bad was the fact that all the trees were still full of leaves, so when the snow piled up, it made branches and whole trees come crashing down, especially on power lines. It was a mess! Not to mention, this was just two months after the whole hurricane power outage! At least the rest of that winter was actually pretty mild, if I remember correctly.

I came across a project to raise brain cancer awareness...The Beauty Book...kinda weird, but cool I guess.

I could really care less about the majority of these celebrities and don't even know if I'll get the book...but it is heartening to see Brain Cancer being talked about and fundraised for. I have to admit before it impacted us, it wasn't on my radar at all and can't ever remember seeing a ribbon or fundraiser for it.
THE BEAUTY BOOK for Brain Cancer is a 312 page hardcover collectable coffee table book featuring over 120 of your favorite celebrities, musicians and top models including Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Hugh Jackman, Justin Bieber, Miranda Kerr, Dianna Agron, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Miley...
AMAZON.COM


Apparently that year I was really into crafting...I made a lot of wreaths! lol...Pinterest! 

Candy corn (Buddy kept popping them off and eating them!) and Yarn Ball
Marshmallow (so heavy it bent the wreath frame...lol) and Ornament
Ornament Mobile, I stole the idea from a Craft and Barrel catalog ;)

Red One turned 10, got her ears pierced (that's the tradition). Christmas was good as always.

Merry Christmas to all our dear ones near and far! We are so thankful to our Lord for all the many blessings He has given us, our awesome friends and wonderful family, but most of all for the gift of His only Son! As the girls say, "Happy Birthday Jesus!"

After 6 months I got my car back on the road. Went through a tank of gas in a day driving like an idiot. 10.3 mpg. Thats either really cool or really bad.

Oh, here's proof of one of the few times that Mustang was actually driveable. I think that might have been the last time. Ugh...lol!

In January David started having some pretty bad headaches.

ok...need some motivation...my house disintegrated after a measly 36 hours of no housework (ER trips certainly don't help) and I can't get myself to do anything about it...
Mary Catherine Woolley was at the ER all day yesterday with David...he's been having really bad headaches so of course the docs wanted to scan him...everything looked the same and no brain bleeding, so that's good, but still don't know what's causing the headaches. Getting a little better though, so that's good.
Mary Catherine Woolley naw, we're good, appreciate it though!...he went to work today and said he feels a lot better...who knows  gotta follow up with his head docs to see if they can figure it out

Come to find out, David had a crazy sinus infection!

good news! the massive headaches David has been getting have been found to be caused by a ridiculous sinus infection...the dr has him taking horsepill antibiotics and after just starting them this morning he's already feeling better. Never knew sinusitis could get you on Percoset, lol

Turns out that the antibiotics didn't actually get rid of the infection. Dr. Schwartz had referred David to an ENT doc in Hartford. David improved, but didn't get all the way better. Apparently, some sinus infections are caused by fungus, and you need a special inhaler and med to treat...but it's still a new thought, so it was only available from a pharmacy in CA, and insurance didn't cover it. We went ahead and got it though, and boy, it was like magic...his infection cleared right up!

The girls got Daddy to go to the Father Daughter dance at their school...they had a great time, even if I don't have any evidence of it!

Oh my goodness!!! I completely forgot to take a picture or give my camera to David! He's taking the girls to the Father-Daughter Dance at their school...I'm so mad!!! It was right on the counter charging, but they were running late and booooooooo

Buddy was getting too big for his crib, so I found him an early birthday present...a car bed! He was pretty excited! Although he still crawled in bed with Daddy plenty!



In March I actually won a prize from a magazine contest! I couldn't believe it!

woohoo!!! I won a purse from Lucky Mag, but for some reason the manufacturer was having issues, so they sent me the cash value instead...$250!!! yeah!  although the purse would have been cool too, lol

Buddy was obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba, so I decided to make him a Brobee cake for his 2nd birthday. It came out really cute!


I was so stoked when the Hunger Games movie came out...have I mentioned how much I love Jennifer Lawrence? And the series is great too, so the combo was gonna be magic, I just knew it!

Can't wait to go see Hunger Games tonight!!! I'm actually getting butterflies...yes, I am a total geek 

Buddy was at the age of making messes everywhere! I had forgotten how frustrating that stage was until I went back and read some of my posts...lol

so, this morning Caden decided to redecorate my living room with chocolate syrup (yes, he can open the fridge now) and now he decides it needs some snow, so he grabbed the container of powdered sugar that I hadn't put away yet....seriously!!!! arghhhhh

So, I don't really have any updates for the rest of April, but apparently some point either in April or early May, David had another MRI that showed growth. He had finished a year of chemo, Temodar, in December and was on a watch and wait plan. The problem is, when he had his first surgery, it was such an emergency with so much swelling, that the surgeon could only get so much of the tumor out safely. He told us later that it was so swollen, when he cut David open, the tumor just like bubbled out! Crazy! Anyways, he knew he had left a good bit of it in there...his main priority was to save David's life. If David hadn't had that surgery, he would have died. But now it was a year and a half later, and that chunk of tumor left in there, not only had decompressed, so looked bigger, but was also starting to actively grow again. It wasn't a recurrence, but the remnants of the original tumor...the terminology might not matter to the doctors, but it sure mattered to us. Much more hopeful scenario!

Some time in June I will be having another surgery. The surgeon is more confident about this one than the previous one and it turned out well. But still it is a bit scary to wonder if your going to wake up in this world or the next. (Everyone wants to go to Heaven but no one wants to die) Please keep us in your prayers and let God's Will be done. (With hopefully some persuasion from the power of prayer)

For those of you who aren't friends with David on fb, and might not have heard, he will be having surgery again sometime in June. Prayers would be greatly appreciated!

David decided to go with an awake surgery, which frankly, kinda freaked me out! One reason was because the tumor was located very close to where they thought his speech function in his brain was. It would also allow the doctor to be much more aggressive during surgery. It's exactly what it sounds like, they wake the patient up in the middle of surgery and have them talk and answer questions while they are operating, so they can make sure they stay away from functional parts of the brain. He had to get a functional MRI, which is an MRI that they take while asking questions, making him talk, etc, so they could basically get a map of his brain. He did a big old NeuroPsych exam, so they could have a before, then after surgery he would do it again to get the after, to see if he lost any brain function. Because it wasn't an emergency situation, the surgery wasn't until the end of June.

Thankfully I was able to celebrate Sarah's birthday with her before all the craziness began.

had a lovely time hanging out with KimberlySharonCurtisea, and Jenny celebrating Sarah's birthday last night!!!  love ya!! awesome food and Snow White and the Huntsman was wicked cool!

But, it's always something! That next day...

Ok prayer warriors...David is at Hartford ER due to possible spleen issues. He woke up with awful abdominal pain and went to the Dr who said it wad swollen. Waiting on CT scan and bloodwork. Most likely unrelated to all the head stuff. Please lift us in prayer!

Turns out to be diverticulitis, which is an infection of the colon...so they are gonna give him antibiotics and better pain meds and send him home. Much better than some of the other possibilities floating around, so thanks for the prayers and keep it up!

Just so y'all know, David is gonna be going back in for another craniotomy on June 22. Which made yesterday seem just a little unnecessary, lol...If y'all could be keeping the upcoming surgery in prayer, it would help tons I know! He'll be having an awake surgery, which completely freaks me out, but it will help the surgeon, so, what can ya do. Anyways, the infection should clear up soon and the dr said it shouldn't interfere with his surgery, so that's one less thing to worry about.  thanks for all your prayers and keep them coming!

Mary Catherine Woolley We just went to the surgeon on Friday and had it scheduled, then he wakes up Sunday with the colon infection...it's like, SERIOUSLY?!??!?!? lol, oh well...just ridiculous

So, my brain was pretty much fried by then!

Guess where I was when I realized what was on my feet? Middle of the mall! Lol, I knew this was gonna happen. Caden brought me some shoes at dinner and really wanted me to put them on and I knew I would forget to change then before we left, lol...the things a mom does, haha

I had been wanting to do something fun with my hair...so I thought it was a great opportunity to go crazy for the summer! David was actually really wanting me to do it too! Thought it would be fun before the surgery/hospital stuff started.


Step one in the blue process...I have to admit, I don't look as bad with blonde hair as I thought I would 
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Gotta admit, I kinda love it 
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Getting close!

4 more days till David's surgery ...let's get the prayer machine started!

So, David's surgery is scheduled for 7:00 am tomorrow, which means we need to be there at 5:30...so if anyone is an early bird, you know when to pray 

Heading to pre-op soon...thanks for all your prayers!

They brought him back...now the wait begins. They booked the OR for 8 hours...

This surgery the wait was much easier! Dad was there the whole time with me. Our good friend Richie also came for the day. Sarah and Kim hung out with me for several hours...it was so nice to have company!

So, got an update, David is awake and communicating and the surgery is going well...don't know how much longer the rest of the surgery will be, but so far so good! Thank you everyone for praying!

David is out of surgery, waiting to see him in ICU...sounds like everything went really well!
Mary Catherine Woolley Praise God! And keep sending up the prayers! 


David is resting in ICU, still pretty groggy. The surgeon was very pleased and he may be able to go home as early as Monday depending on the mri tomorrow and how well he does. All good news so far!

Mary Catherine Woolley No, they put him under, then woke him up to see how he'd do and how long it took to wake him. Then they put him under for real,did the heavy cutting and as much of the removal as possible, then woke him up again and did the speech center mapping and fine tuning. Think he was awake about 2-3 hours...then they knocked him out again to close him up and then finally woke him up again when they were done. Whew, makes me tired just thinking about it, lol Apparently he did awesome though...sure freaked me out thinking about it! That's my man!

Dr Schwartz came and talked to him...said he's doing so well, he'll probably go home either tomorrow night or Monday morning, which is incredible! Said he did a "total gross reduction" which basically means he got out everything they could see safely, but because of the nature of the thing, there are probably stray cells still around...but I couldn't even tell if he's gonna need chemo again or not
Mary Catherine Woolley The biggest thing we still don't know is the pathology report, which will take about 10 days...so don't stop praying yet 


Pain management not going so well 

So they took his bandage off which helped a little with pain, but his eye is all swollen now...pain is better but still significant. He was able to finally get out of bed and sit/snooze in a recliner...don't know when he will go to floor, sounds like as soon as a bed opens up they will transfer him...

Mary Catherine Woolley Boooo, a bed opened up... he's on the floor and has to share...was really hoping he would get a private room like last time


So, just saw the PA and he said David won't be going home today because he hasn't been able to get up and walk around yet. He might go home tomorrow depending on physical therapy's assessment...not sure when we'll see them though. Pain is getting better, but still pretty significant. He's got a beauty of a black eye though, lol...actually minus the black, but super swollen!

It was very frustrating...and actually a completely different experience from his first surgery recovery. The first time was strange, but not a lot of pain. This time, he was in excruciating pain! We had found out from the diverticulitis incident, that he was allergic to dilaudid, a great pain med, but it gave him massive headaches. So he was on morphine, but it just wasn't enough. They finally started giving him fentanyl...which worked, but also basically just knocked him out!

We finally seem to have gotten ahead of the pain...thanks to the strongest painkiller out there, lol...I'm hopeful he'll be able to come home tomorrow, but we won't know till the morning. Thank you all for everything...love y'all!

Several of his friends, including Dave and Torrey came and visited him in the hospital. Because the surgery was on a Friday, he was released on Monday, so by the time our pastor was going to visit him, he was already home...lol

I just missed Dr Schwartz, but apparently he's releasing David to go home today! Maybe this afternoon, could be earlier depending on when the floor receives the order...yay!

HOME!!!! but the fun never ends...dr forgot to sign the pain med prescription...grrrrr
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I don't remember how we fixed this. I think I had to drive back to the hospital to pick up a new prescription, since it was for pain meds, so couldn't be called in. I remember being at the pharmacy for forever trying to get all his stuff worked out! At least he was home and would be able to be much more comfortable in his own bed, without a roommate (well, me, but you know what I mean ;) And with that, gonna wrap it up.