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July 30, 2005

turtle sundae


Aw yes, give Sandy the simple life. All she needs is a bowl of high fiber cereal for breakfast and a bowl of Edy's Turtle Sundae for dessert after supper and she is as happy as a lark. The brownie is a little bonus.

Sandy lost about fifteen pounds while she was in the hospital and during her recovery. She looks lean and mean at the moment but she will lose an additional one to two pounds a week during her radiation treatments and that will not be good. We spoke to Dr. Allen about it yesterday while we were at the clinic getting a blood test for Sandy. The good Doctor prescibed a dream diet for her: a bowl of ice cream every day. It seems her weight needs to go up and mine needs to go down. That will be a challenge.

Some days are good and some are not so good. Yesterday was a good one for Sand. Her spirits were high. I wonder why?

Today, Sand, the girls and I will be meeting Steven and his girlfriend, Caitlin in Lomira. Breanna and Erin will be spending the night with them. We are looking forward to meeting Caitlin for the first time. Then Sunday, we will pick up the girls and go to Joe Hronek's house (Sand's brother) for a birthday party for Justin (Joe's son). Justin turned 18 on the 28th. HAPPY BIRDDAY JUSTIN!!!!

Posted by jhyden at 08:21 AM

July 28, 2005

walking chuck


Yesterday Sand and I went a little further and took the dog with us. It was a beautiful morning with a cool nip in the air that was refreshing after two weeks of hot humid weather. Sand did not even get tired out after wards.

Sandy wanted her hair trimmed but did not want to go the hair dressers. She did not want to have to explain why she had a scar that runs from ear to ear across the top of her head. So daughter Breanna offered to do the job.

The physical therapist came by yesterday. She told us that Sand was doing so well she did not need any physical or occupational therapy. She still needs some speech therapy but will need to do that on an outpatient basis. She still has a little trouble speaking the words she is thinking. She also has a little problem with her judgement and cognitive skills.

Sand is a little apprehensive this morning about her first visit to the radiation oncologist's office Monday. Please send her encouraging comments; she does read the comments and they do put a smile on her face.

Click to enlarge.

Posted by jhyden at 08:28 AM

July 27, 2005

the shower cap


Sandy improves everyday. Here she is having fun posing in her new shower cap with her stepsons, Paul and Steven, and yes, she gave me permission to post this photo. Sandy only had to wear it two times. Doctor White's office called and said she could now shampoo her hair. The red object Sandy is holding in her right hand is a fish squirt gun that her sister Lori gave her. She likes to let me have it when I am not looking.

Doctor Bastin's office called and set up an appointment for next Monday, August 1, for Sandy. She will be fitted with a hood and have a simulation done then her radiation and chemo should start the next day and last for six weeks. The hood protects the part of the brain that does not receive the radiation. I do not understand what a simulation means but will post a more meaningful description after it is over next Monday.

Yesterday, Sandy and I went for a short walk down the street about three blocks and back. It tired her a little and she took a short nap in the afternoon.

The photo below is a snap taken in front of Sandy's garden with our dog, Charlie Brown, Paul, Erin, Breanna, and Steven.

Click to enlarge.

Posted by jhyden at 06:57 AM

July 23, 2005

the homecoming


Our little dog, Charlie Brown, can sleep peacefully now that Sandy has finally come home from the hospital.

It is called a glioblastoma and it is a cancer of the connective cells that hold the neurons together in the brain. When the pressure from the growing tumor began to ravage her thoughts and steal her memories, it is impossible to determine. But our family's world turned upside down on Wednesday afternoon at 2:47 PM, July 13, 2005. The doctor discovered a tumor the size of an orange growing in the left frontal lobe of her brain. After collecting our two daughters, we rushed to the hospital. She was slowly deteriorating before our eyes. Her walking was slowing down, her speech was softening, and she was becoming more confused. Dreadding to go home, we kissed her goodnight and left her in the care of the nurses.

By Thursday morning, Sandy could not walk without help and her speech was not much more than a few words said at a whisper. We told ouselves it was the medicine she was receiving through the clear tube that ran from the bag attached to the infusion pump down into the vein in her hand.

Doctor White removed as much of the tumor as he could. There were still some tendrils weaving their way through parts of the left side of her brain. The remainder would be left for the radiation treatment to come.

Slowly she began to recover in the intensive care unit. Each day, she stayed awake for longer periods, talked more, and was less confused. With help, she began to sit in a chair, stand up and take small steps. She was in ICU for eight days and the neural ward for two days. Now she sleeps next to me. Or I should say, she sleeps next to the little dog that keeps a protective eye on her and the little dog sleeps next to me.

Posted by jhyden at 06:35 AM