Whew! What a whirlwind of a week.
First and foremost - my son is doing well! We've set up a caring bridge site so all of his family and friends can follow his progress and it truly is amazing to watch. I took a photo every day so the journey would be documented. Looking at him today - wearing a stylish hat and sporting a little goatee you would never guess he had surgery to remove a brain tumor just one week and one day ago.
Thanks to EACH and EVERYONE of you who read my post, who posted a comment, who sent me a message, who prayed, and who thought about my son during this challenging time. I'm tearing up right now just thinking about the incredible support you all - this large sewing related internet family - provided to us.
Please know that if I haven't responded to you yet, I will. I have read and treasured every response and some of you have gone through some heart-breaking experiences yourself. Thank you for sharing them with me.
This past week has been one that went by in a blur. Last Saturday we were just thankful he was alive and survived the surgery with what appeared to be no side effects.
We've since learned the tumor was a stage 3 anaplastic astrocytoma, about the size of a baseball. It is likely it had been a stage 2 (less aggressive) and growing for 10 years only recently becoming more aggressive. The experts do not know what causes brain tumors or why some people get them and others don't. Because they can be there for so long with no symptoms they're difficult to detect before they become stage 3 or 4 tumors.
The surgeon removed as much as he could but had to leave behind some that was close to the speech area of the brain or risk damage to his speech. He'll undergo radiation and chemo for six weeks targeting what was left behind.
We've been hearing from medical staff how surprised they were that he hadn't suffered seizures or arrived at the hospital in a coma. They've also said that they expected to see side effects after the surgery is amazing, and he'll need no physical or speech therapy.
Late Friday night, when we were finally able to see him in ICU after his surgery, we walked into his room only to witness him cracking jokes with the nurse. In between drifting in and out of consciousness, and of course he doesn't remember any of that. My son's known for his optimism and sense of humor and at that moment we knew he would be okay.
That's not to say he doesn't have a long, tough road ahead of him, because he does. The good news is that he has no problems with speech, motor skills, memory loss, or vision. It was a bit hard for me when they first took the dressing off of his head as I was not prepared for the large incision held in place with staples every 1/8" or so. Today, barely a week out of surgery, you'd never know what he'd just been through. With a hat on, the only evidence is a black eye that is healing quickly.
He has a large network of very close friends and the love and support they've provided to him this past week just warms a mother's heart. They have visited him constantly, bombarded him with texts and emails, provided little gifts to keep the boredom at bay, and are in the process of setting up a benefit to assist him with the medical expenses.
We continue to praise God and can see that His hand has been all over this. While we don't understand why this happened - and believe me I've had many of those moments - I do know that God is still sitting on His throne and I know that He loves my son so much more than I do - and the love of this mom for her kids is pretty darn strong.
Thanks again my sewing and internet friends. As life gets back to normal - as normal as it will be for now - I do believe I'll be able to find some time for my favorite stress reliever: sewing.