Everyday this happens to so many…in our case my husband, Ken, started his Saturday like any other teaching day. He is a golf instructor. After about 6 hours of lessons he called to see what I wanted for dinner. He was going to stop at Boston Market and pick up dinner. The next call I got from him changed our life paradigm in a way that we never could have anticipated.
Before I move forward, I will step back a moment. In April of 2016 we made a decision that changed our lives dramatically. My mother was taking a turn for the worst after having liver disease for approx 20 years…I had to be closer to my family (all live in NJ). Leaving California…my job of 32 years, selling our home, uprooting my husband and youngest son. I treasure the opportunity that gave me the chance to be with my mom at end of life. Sure wish it had been a different outcome. As she would always say, “It is what it is”.
That phone call; “Lisa, I am having that feeling in my left side again”, Ken said. Presenting what seemed to be a stroke. I was on my way to pick him up, my sister, Sandy (an EMT) was on the line with him. The symptoms passed and he called me and said he was driving himself to the hospital (men). I turned around and met him at the hospital. Being unable to stand upon entering the waiting area a code was called. Ken was rushed into a brain CT. After about 15 minutes we were greeted on a screen by a tel-a-doc neuro specialist. “I don’t see any brain bleeds. So we don’t believe you had a stroke. We do however see a brain tumor”. WHAT?!
That is the exact moment you know life as you know it has changed.
The tests start, hypothesis begin…all you want are answers. But not being our first rodeo (going through my cancer diagnosis 11 years earlier), we know nothing is for sure until after surgery and pathology. Everything else is a guess. Trusting the medical professionals and hoping you make the best choices based on their advice and experience. Only way to roll.
Our sequence of events:
8 Dec 2018: OCM Emergency Room, Head CT, Brain Tumor
9 Dec 2018: OCM MRI’s Transfer to JSUMC, Many more tests. Craniotomy Scheduled. Awesome surgeon discharges you so you can play golf possibly one more time. Just in case. Even more awesome your buddy from Cali flies in to play with you.
17 Dec 2018: JSUMC Craniotomy into ICU…wait for pathology. Post op preliminary diagnosis some type of lymphoma…entire tumor not resected. Protocol for Lymphomas. Also, having a surgeon that chooses not to damage you during the process. Make it through without any deficits. Home in 48 hours and before the Christmas holiday.
20 Dec 2018: Diagnosis – Primary CNS Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma B-Cell of the Brain (Well that sucks)
26 Dec 2018: JSUMC Start MATRIX chemo protocol. At least 6 days in hospital…2 Jan 2019 discharge.
My Reality in all of this…difficult to take on new clients. Doing my best to keep on top of current clients. Managing Ken’s care, medications, appointments and daily needs. While in hospital chemo is happening…making sure he has what he needs…spending 6 – 8 hours a day being at the hospital for him. Missing him at home terribly. The dog misses him too.
Updates as they happen will be posted. Keep the prayers and good thoughts coming!