Sunday, June 6, 2010

Travis Update: First Oncologist

On June 4 we meet with a neuro oncologist (at St. Lukes). A lot of his focus was discussing different seizure medicines which I wasn't too pleased about... I want to focus on getting rid of this tumor not covering up it's symptoms! He then pulled up the MRI image and told us that he thought the entire section that the two surgeons had told us was swelling was actually part of the tumor! How can they not recognize the difference between swelling and a tumor?! I sure hope he's wrong! Also, in my last post I mentioned that we never received a call regarding information from additional tests... well, the oncologist had those results and informed us that there was no 1p 19q chromosome deletion, which in English means the tumor may not response as well to chemo. So, as you can imagine by the time we left the appointment I was feeling pretty discouraged.

{It was not a good day for me... and it didn't help realizing first thing that morning that my car had been broken into in our own drive-way the night before... My front passenger side window was broken and my purse was stolen!}

As some time has pasted I am feeling more positive now... remembering the power of our awesome God and reading about cures from natural sources!

We are meeting with more oncologist during these next few weeks.

Please continue to pray! Pray for guidance to the right oncologist and the right treatments, and for HEALING!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Travis Update: Please Pray for God's Healing

My hubby, best friend and love of my life needs your prayers!!!

Last August (2009) Travis started having partial seizures in his left arm. The first one actually happened at church while we were listening to a sermon. My first thought was that it was a muscle spasm since it happened the day after he dug the window-well, but when they kept occurring (around 5 times a month) we started to think that maybe it was epilepsy. So we decided Travis should see a neurologist but that we would wait until after the first of the year for insurance reasons (We were going to meet our deductible the next year with the birth of Chiara).

In March he finally got in to see a neurologist whom ordered an MRI and EEG, although he didn't have the test done until May 10 (after Chiara was born, thinking it would be better insurance and payment wise). A few hours after the test were done we got a call from the doctor telling us they found something (Travis took the call, all I know is that the words abnormality and tumor were used) and that they wanted us to schedule an appointment with a neurosurgeon... Travis had a brain tumor! Definitely not what we wanted or expected to hear!

So, the next day (May 11th) we meet with a neurosurgeon (at Shawnee Mission Medical Center), he informed us that the tumor was located on the right side of his brain just below the motor strip (not somewhere you want to operate on) and that it was about the side of a grape (thus likely slow growing since his seizures began in August). He then recommended we have a brain biopsy done soon rather then 'wait and watch' given that there was swelling in his brain around the tumor.

After visiting with another local neurosurgeon (at North Kansas City Hospital) we decided to go with the first one we met with to perform the biopsy. The day of the biopsy (May 19) we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am, after the doctor performed the biopsy he informed us that everything went well and Travis was able to go home the next day (our anniversary, May 20) by noon (Thank you, Lord! And thank you everyone who was praying!). Later that day we got a call from the surgeon telling us the tumor is an Oligodendroglioma. After googling 'oligodendroglioma' we were discouraged, frightened, sad and scared (going to the internet was not a good idea).

At this point we had a follow-up appointment scheduled with the surgeon for June 1 and were expecting a call with more results from additional testing (which never came). So, we filled those next 12 days researching natural / holistic treatments (Travis is now doing the Cellect-Budwig Protocol), shopping at Whole Foods, ordering products online (masticating juicer, essiac tea, MonaVie, apricot seeds), trying to sort things out with Travis' work, enjoying the outdoors / getting sunlight and exercise (running, taking walks and sailing) and most importantly PRAYING!

When we went back to meet with the surgeon he was very positive, which made me feel much better. He told us that Oligodendrogliomas were one of the more favorable types of tumors to have, that it was stage II (which is low-grade), and that it tends to be very responsive to radiation and chemo. Why didn't it tell me any of this on the internet? Hopefully we continue to hear encouraging news!

We are now scheduling appointments with local oncologist and researching oncologist around the country.

My favorite picture of us: Dance lessons just before our rehearsal dinner the evening before our wedding!

Please pray for Travis! The power of prayer is amazing! Pray for healing and guidance!