"If you write FOR a particular market or FOR a particular editor you will often miss the mark. But if you write because your fingers have danced across the keyboard, because a character has tapped you on the shoulder, because a story has settled in your heart, then even if you never sell it you have done the work you were meant to do. And sometime, dear readers, real magic happens." Jane Yolen

12/9/09

Covering My Bases: Update on my Husband

Chances are, you have already seen this information - I have it posted/linked to on twitter, Facebook, and the FaithWriters' message boards. But, just in case, here it is once again. Thanks SO much for the prayers-those you've already said, and those yet to come. Trust me - they have been felt here in West Michigan!

Update on my husband, Marc (surgery this Friday at 1:30pm)

First of all, your offer of prayer and love and support have been absolutely WONDERFUL. I SO appreciate it, as does my wonderful husband.

Now, for some of you, part of this will be old, but I wanted to share exactly what led up to all this as well, so you can pray more intelligently.

In August of 2003, a tumor was found on my husband's brain - on the optic nerve, near the optic chiasm. Because it is woven into the optic nerve, they didn't remove it (removing it would have caused him to lose all his vision, because they would have needed to cut it, and optic nerves do not regenerate). He had a craniotomy back then (took off the front of his skull and went to his brain that way) - they meant to only take enough for a biopsy, but they apparently took a bit of nerve too, as his vision was definitely affected. As of a couple months ago, he had about a 30 degree range of vision in his left eye, and could barely see anything in his right (could see movement at six inches). He had a couple other craniotomies during that first year (no details necessary), plus he's gone through radiation and chemo (in pill form - for a year during 2005 because of tumor growth). There had been no further complications since then. (not a normal life, i should say - still always tired and hormonal issues, as the radiation killed the back part of his pituitary gland - but nothing new)

Fast forward to about a month ago. Marc got an absolute KILLER migraine that lasted for a couple days. We finally went in to the doc for a shot, which cleared it up, but even after it was gone, his vision was worse than before it, and he had increased light sensitivity (another issue he's had since the tumor was found, but it's more pronounced now). A couple days after, I called Marc's oncologist, who said it sounded like it was a symptom of the headache and to not worry unless it got worse. So, we gave it another week and then called again - played phone tag that week (was Thanksgiving week), until last week Monday, when I said I wanted an MRI, if only for peace of mind. They got us in the next day, and we got the results of the scan last Thursday afternoon - there was no tumor growth, but there was bleeding. He set up an appointment with a neurosurgeon for Monday (two days ago). We saw him, and he gave us more details.

Basically, an aneurysm had grown on the original tumor, and it had burst. The pressure of the aneurysm, and the blood, on the optic nerve, is the cause of his increased vision loss. We were given two options - waiting for the body to assimilate the blood there and such (which our bodies WOULD do in time! What amazing machines God made when He made our bodies!), or have surgery.

The obvious benefit of the wait approach was, well, no surgery. However, the longer that optic nerve is compressed, the less likely it will "work" when it is no longer compressed. In fact, the doctor couldn't even assure us that the four weeks it HAS been compressed already aren't too much to reap a visual benefit to Marc.

The surgery is less intrusive than any of the three craniotomies Marc has had before. Basically, the doctor would go in through his nasal cavity (this is VERY simplistic), poke a hole in the cranial membrane, and let the blood drain out. He believes it would likely be that simple. If, however, it didn't drain, he may have to "poke around" in there to get it out, which could cause other optic nerve damage. There could also be risk to his pituitary gland, but since it doeesn't work anyway, that doesn't really matter. Depending, he will likely be in the hospital for 1 to 4 days.

As most of you know, we opted for the surgery, which the doctor said he would be able to get done soon (this month, hopefully soon, because of the nerve compression issue.). I have a message in to him, with hopes of getting a call back today with a surgery date. UPDATE - surgery will be this Friday at 1:30PM

Currently, Marc's vision is quite bad. He can't focus on anything, and he said he couldn't even see me clearly sitting across the table from me. He also has the increased light sensitivity (been wearing sunglasses a lot) and is more tired than usual.

I can't think of anything else to share at the moment, other than another HUGE thank you for the prayers. Our peace has been straight from God, and I know you all are a part of it!

4 comments:

  1. Joanne,
    I did not know any of this..thank you for filling me in. I am praying!
    Blessings, big hugs, love, and prayers, andrea

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had the email and Bob and I both will keep Marc and your family in our thoughts and prayers!! You both have the strength to get through this obstacle as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the update, Joanne. I've been praying.
    Thinking of you guys,
    God bless.

    ReplyDelete

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