Six Months After Treatment

From James:

Almost six months ago, So Young completed radiation treatment for her brain tumor. The doctors have told us that the radiation does its work for six months or so after treatment ends. That is to say, if it is going to destroy tumor cells, it will do so not only during treatment but up to six months afterward. Of course, it has longer lasting effects as well, such as possibly stopping or slowing the growth of the tumor. Radiation can add years to a person’s life, so it’s a big deal.

Here is how So Young is doing six months out:

  • Vision — The same or perhaps slightly better. Certainly, her light sensitivity has decreased. The black spot in the middle of one eye has dissipated, although in both eyes everything is still obscured with “static.” No driving. Reading only with great effort. (But she has become a big GodTube nerd. Go figure.)
  • Seizures — So Young used to experience some auditory and visual hallucinations that possibly indicate focal seizures. These have decreased significantly, and she is going to be entirely off Keppra, the anti-seizure medication, in about a week. Then she will be completely drug free, also a big milestone.
  • Memory loss — So Young thinks she still has trouble with short-term memory, but it doesn’t seem to be anything life-affecting. It could just be confusion caused by a loss of eyesight and MOTB (Mommy on the Brain) Syndrome.
  • Balance — She did better on her balance test the last time she saw the doctor. She couldn’t walk in a straight line foot-to-foot very well before. That could also be a vision thing.
  • Hair loss — All the hair she lost from the radiation is growing back quite well — same color, same texture.

I can’t immediately think of much else. Basically, it’s all about vision, vision, vision.

Psychologically, So Young is handling everything remarkably well. Several people (including me) have observed that she doesn’t complain much. She also isn’t often depressed, although I wouldn’t say she is never sad.  If anything, she has a lot of joy and renewed purpose in her life. She jokes and laughs a lot. She has these amazing divine encounters with other people. Strange coincidences that can only be explained by God happen to her. She has so many wise things to say right now. She is living life with a keen understanding of its fragility and therefore what matters is in the forefront for her now more than ever. I married well.

So Young and I are asking that everyone who believes would continue to pray that her vision will come back and that the brain tumor will shrink. So Young wants nothing short of a miracle. The end of radiation gives God a chance to do a miracle without people crediting it to medicine.

+++++++++++++++++++

So many prayer requests for others:

  • I mentioned Pannie’s mom on the blog before, how she was suffering from cancer. She has passed away.
  • Our dear friend Elaine, very recently married to KT, is recovering from surgery and awaiting the results of a biopsy for a tumor that was removed.
  • My cousin Elizabeth’s unborn baby has been diagnosed with Edwards syndrome.
  • My grandfather has been having some health issues recently. He is in his 80’s.
  • A church member’s daughter is back in the hospital.
  • Thomas’s dad died last week.
  • ABC’s Haiti missions team is serving in earnest starting this week.

There are many needs unmentioned above. We’re praying for them, and if you think of it, please pray too!

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8 Responses

  1. Prayers and lots of positive good vibes going your way.

    • We feel ’em!

  2. Prayers and love love love.

    Speaking from experience, the short term memory loss can also be from the prolonged stress of a cancer diagnosis. I also had a cancer that affects short term memory retention (any disruption of the endocrine system is BAD BAD BAD for memory, as anyone who’s had pregnancy brain three times could tell you!) and eventually I figured out that some of it was just STRESS!! Some of that may well right itself as time goes by and the fear recedes. I still have occasions where my brain turns into a sieve, but they’re much less frequent….or maybe I’ve just always been a space cadet….anyway, just a thought for you guys on that.

    • Loved this very insightful response. Thanks so much, FireCat!

  3. I rejoice in the good news, while expectinig a miracle. I agree that you both married well.

    • …And chose our parents well! No, wait, we didn’t get to choose but are incredibly blessed in that regard.

  4. Always in my thoughts :o)

    • And you in ours! Thanks, Debby.

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