The Suburb Woman
Trust The Science, Believe In Your Faith
Posted on October 5th, 2013

Friday (Oct. 4) was busy. 

We started the day with lab work at 7:00 AM and went from appointment to appointment for a total of six different meetings. We left our last appointment around 5:00 PM.  

I was able to go with Mike to several different meetings, but most of my day was spent reading and waiting.  I’m learning a lot about what our new normal will be, and although it will be different, it will be special. 

There are experiences we’re having, people we’re encountering, and lessons learned I’m not sure either one of us would trade right now. We do really miss our kids and being home. We miss the simple pleasures of sitting on our back patio listening to their stories, enjoying their play, and watching our favorite time of the year make its entrance.    

That said, we’re thankful for family and friends who live close that love our children dearly and are keeping them on as normal a schedule as possible. We’re also blessed by the wonderful service we receive from everyone in the Texas Medical Center “City” area.  We are told that 150,000 are employed in this area of Houston. Skywalks connect many of the hospitals and hotels. But, everyone – from the cashier in the snack shop, to the waiter, secretaries and doctors ­– are so kind and willing to serve you.

Today started with cognitive testing. Memory tests, word recognition, right-hand, left-hand dexterity, puzzle problem solving. This gives the doctor and other specialists a baseline to measure from after surgery to be able to see what, if any, has been affected by the resection.
They shaved a spot on the top of my head and behind my ears to attach “fiducials.”

There are six – including three right in the middle of my forehead. The instructions are they can’t get wet or fall off prior to surgery. They say, “no hot showers, can’t wash your hair,” but in Houston with the high humidity they should also include, “and don’t walk across the street.”
Next stop was two hours in a  MRI conducting a relational mapping of my brain using the fiducials as GPS markers as well as providing greater detail for the surgeon on the tumor and the area where it is located. 

The technology is almost unbelievable. The doctor explained this type of MRI provides 17 layers of detail in just the specific area of my brain. They would show me a letter (say "A") and ask me to "think" (not say out loud) every word I could think of that began with that letter. We went through half the alphabet it seemed. Then, I would be asked to think in groups of categories (animals, food, cities, etc.).  

After each test I would rapidly open and close my fists. The process of opening and closing fists moves the blood from your "thinking" brain to your "motor" brain. When I'm asked to "think," blood flows back to the "thinking" brain and lights up on the MRI! This helps them to identify the specific areas of speech and motor skills and their relation to the area of my brain that will be removed.

By the end of the testing, the radiologist had created a 3D relational image of my brain. The fiducials become the GPS markers, more of less that Dr. Amy will use as a roadmap during surgery.

We ended the day in anesthesia. The anesthesia doctor explained the "open craniotomy" surgery. She says I will be the “hot ticket” for the teaching hospital Monday because it’s not often someone agrees to undergo this type of surgery and allow others to watch.

Basically, they use short-life medications to put me under and bring me out because it helps them during surgery to know how successful the resection is and what abilities may or may not be affected post-surgery. I'll be under until they expose the brain (after the bone and Dura mater are removed). Then, they will wake me up and ask me to verbally communicate with the surgeon during the resection of the tumor. Once the tumor is removed, I'll be back under for recovery. I'm scheduled for surgery at 7:30 AM on Mon., Oct. 7. It's expected to last six hours with reports out to the family every two hours.

I'm amazed by the science! The technology reflects the finest healthcare in the world. You don’t feel rushed and I lost count of the people who said, “I will pray for you.” We have the next two days off and have been told to rest and hydrate before Monday morning.

I sincerely appreciate your prayers! I'm feeling the power of prayer because I have a "peace that passes understanding. ”I'm not afraid. I believe God has placed me in the care of the best medicine and physicians in the world. MD Anderson is remarkable! But more importantly, I KNOW, beyond a shadow of doubt, I'm in the hands of the Great Physician! He's in control. He has me here for a purpose and my prayer is that he will clearly reveal that purpose in this trial to me.

I really do have the "A" Team on this – from Dr. Brian Geister at INTEGRIS in Oklahoma City and Dr. Amy Heimberger as the lead here at MD Anderson. When you realize my first MRI was one week ago and within 10 days I'm in the best medical facility in the world – that's no accident, it's answered prayer.

The outpouring of thoughts, prayers and e-mails from so many people humbles me. It has allowed me to share my testimony of faith and trust in God that I did not so easily share before now.

(LORI) My view of the day was a blessing. We truly feel the peace that can only come from hundreds of you praying specifically for that for us. I’ve asked for a miracle too in the hopes – that despite what tests are showing – the tumor is benign. 

However, if it isn’t, I still pray for a miracle that it is manageable and we will continue to marvel at God’s creation and complexity through science.

As a friend so aptly stated, “Trust the science. Believe in your faith.” 

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