Sunday, October 16, 2011

How do I begin again?

I asked myself how to begin writing this post, and then decided to just start typing and let the words take me there. Many of you may have been wondering where I’ve been, although some of you already know.

In mid-August, after a routine MRI to recheck for tumor recurrence, my husband and I were informed by his doctors at Johns Hopkins that it looked as though his brain tumor had recurred. Another scan was ordered to confirm, and the case was presented at a Monday morning ‘meeting of the minds’ at Hopkins. In mid-September we were told that recurrence was definite, and this time there were two of them.

After discussing our options with doctors, my husband decided to undergo surgery to remove these tumors, and it was scheduled for Fri., Oct. 7. Because this is of such a personal nature, I will not go into any details, but I will say that although the surgery itself was a success, the reaction to the high doses of steroids was not, and to top it off, my husband still suffers from aphasia.

My husband was first diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme, a grade IV astrocytoma, on May 3, 2004 and we were told at that time that the prognosis was not favorable. Since then, he has continued to defy the odds and surprise his doctors, as well as the people who love him. This is his 3rd surgery. And it will be his last because I will never let him put himself through this again.

God bless Dr. Alessandro Olivi, a neurosurgeon with a heart as big as the entire hospital. This man shocked me with his compassion, and all the help and personal attention he daily gave my husband.

Living with brain cancer does not define who I am. I rarely discuss it on this blog because it’s not my place to discuss such a personal matter. I live with a brain cancer survivor. And in the next few weeks, my writing will probably be a bit sporadic, although I do plan on sharing my photography – just with less words.

 

2011-10-15_14-10-42_123 copy 2

Shot with my camera phone, this is the Jesus statue at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. We had a very beautiful experience here yesterday. My husband, who is not a religious man, was deeply moved in this sacred place that we never knew existed until the wheelchair attendant asked if we would like to see it as he was accompanying us down to my car.

 

To read more about this statue, visit here:

 

A Provocative Icon

 

To read more about the previous surgery (not that there’s much) that brought us to the home on the hill where we currently reside, visit here:

 

Sharin’ the love

 

I will be taking off from my job for the next couple of weeks. Until later, my friends . . .

123 Signature

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you and praying for strength for you.

Diane Cayton-Hakey said...

Love you, Kate. Thank you for sharing this very personal information. I thought of you each day that you were not here on your blog and my summation was that it was the love for your husband that was keeping you away. Now I see that that was indeed the case. Take care of his needs as well as your own heart and touch us all with your incredible photography and words when you can. {{hugs}} Di

Hilary said...

You are a special lady, dear girl. Love you much. Think of you OFTEN. Pray for you and your husband every day.
I hope the aphasia passes, but if it doesnt, then you will find a way. I have no doubt.
HUgs.

Brynwood Needleworks said...

Dear Kate:
So much I would say to you, but for now, please know that you and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers. God, His great Love and all of your friends (near and far) will be there to support and sustain you as you travel this difficult road.
You are not alone.
xoxo
Donna

Beth said...

Dear Kate,
I think all of us who read your blog may have had in the back of our minds that something like this may have happened. Our prayers are surely with you at this time. You two are very strong people and I believe you will make it through again. Boy scouts know how to hang in there. If you ever feel the need to rant, we will understand. If you don't want to talk about it, we will understand that as well. Take care of yourself and your family.
God bless.

newmexicomtngirl.com said...

I knew the brightest spot on my google reader was away tending to life and I have sent positive thoughts your way from time to time. Glad to hear your honey is a survivor and a fighter to boot. Stay strong,
peace n abundance to you and yours,
CheyAnne

Marilyn said...

remember to look after yourself too. being the caretaker is sometimes harder than being the patient. when someone offers help, take it, even if it's for an hour. I wish you strength and a sense of humour...but you already have that...so I wish you the best of everything...always.

Gayle said...

Sending prayers and good healing wishes.

jinxxxygirl said...

What does one say........I immediately try to place myself in someone elses shoes and i could never fill yours. I wish you and your husband all the best. I will keep you in my thoughts. Let this blog be a pressure release not a burden . Write,share what you need to not what you think we want to hear........deb

TexWisGirl said...

oh kate. i am truly sorry to know you and your husband are going through this again. my prayers are with him for strength and healing.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

I am sending good thoughts your way and hope for good happy days for you and your husband.

Jeannelle said...

My thoughts and prayers will be with you both.

karen said...

Keeping your dear husband and you in my thoughts and prayers...{{{hugs}}}

Jeanette said...

I'm sorry for what you and your husband are going through and will keep you in my thoughts.

RottenMom said...

I am sorry that your sweet husband is going through this again. Thank you for letting us know, and please know, that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

In times like these, Kate, I pray for you to feel those loving outstretched arms of Jesus around you and your husband. I cannot envision a more peaceful existence than that. Keeping you in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Snap said...

Dear Kate,
I have some idea of what you are going through. I watched Mr. Dragon go through horrific surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and after his passing wondered if I would have had the courage to undergo what he did. I wish I was there to give you a great big hug and to help. Take care of yourself. Wishing you and your dear husband well.......

missing moments said...

Dear Kate,
You have been in my thoughts all week and so glad you are both home again. Make sure not to neglect yourself and hope the aphasia is short-term. But whatever comes to pass, I know your strength and love will guide you.
Sending lots of love,
R

Gone Country said...

Thank you for the update even though it is so personal. I have been wondering what's been keeping you from blogging.

I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and I will keep you both in my prayers during this difficult time.

Do try to take care of yourself while you are caring for your hubby. Being a caregiver is an extremely difficult job, so take some time for yourself, even if it's just a few minutes, so that you'll be able to handle the stresses of caregiving. (((HUGS)))

Caroline said...

I have been thinking about you. You are in my prayers...take all the time you need. Sending you an email... ((hugs))

troutay said...

Kate:

Few words are necessary. Mine can not even begin to say how much I will be thinking of you and your husband.
My best to you both.

Deborah said...

Kate,
Thank you for sharing these very personal and tender days of your lives.
I will be lifting you both up in prayer and I know that God will give your dear husband the peace that passes understanding..the peace only He can truly give.
He will sustain you both and your family in these days and hold you in the palm of His hand.
I was so touched that God met your husband and touched his heart so.
Sending you warm, tender hugs.
Jesus will be his All in All.

In His love,
Deborah xoxoxooxox

Michelle said...

Kate, I had not a clue. I will add you to the list (oh, how I wish there wasn't a list!) of people I've never met but love through their blogs that are experiencing health crises. Praying is all I can do for you from here, but I know a mighty God who can do EVERYthing!

(((HUGS)))

The Weaver of Grass said...

Having being there myself albeit kidney rather than brain, I know that watching someone you love go through it all is infinitely worse than going through it yourself. My thoughts are with you both and I send you my love.

Bonnie said...

SO sorry to hear this Kate. I hope his recovery is swift and that the aphasia is temporary.

I will be accompanying my daughter through another round of tests and scans this week to see if her cancer has recurred. Scary, sobering times.

Devon said...

I am sorry to hear of you and your hubby going through this hard time. Don't worry about blogging... we will be here to support you whenever you feel like writing.
I am sending love and prayers for you and your family. Take good care!

Sallie said...

Kate, God bless you and your husband. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Mental P Mama said...

Love you.

Low Tide High Style said...

I've been thinking of you non stop and hoping that things are as good as they can be. My mom suffered from aphasia, so I can relate on some very small level. Sending you strength, courage, and hope as you face the days and weeks ahead.

Kat

Deltaville Jamie said...

Thinking of you and your husband! If you need anything at all that I can help with, please give a shout... we aren't too far away geographically speaking. Sending love, good vibes and prayers!

Country Gal said...

Sorry to hear you both are going through this. You are in our prayers and thoughts that you get through this.

tainterturtles said...

Just getting updated with your blog again Kate and sad to hear of your husbands struggles. He certainly is in good hands at John Hopkins hospital. Will add you both to my prayer list.

Lovely photo of Jesus...thank you for sharing.

themoose53 said...

((((((Kate)))))),

I'm sorry that you and your husband are having to face this again. I wish it weren't so.

I've been following you guys (and George) for only about a year now; so, don't know your whole story. I do know that images, rather than words, are what tie you two together.

Stay strong. Take care of each other and yourselves.

You have no idea how much love and support you bring to your family through your little blog. Feel all of us standing beside and behind you and WITH you.

BIG HUGS (and healing prayers.

Barb

A New England Life said...

When I didn't hear from you I knew it had to be a touch and go situation. I hope you feel the love and warmth coming in from those who follow your blog, Kate. Although I have no idea of what you are going through, I do know it has to be all consuming.

Take care of you, too, not just your husband.

(((hugs)))
Sharon

Tyra said...

Lots of love and prayers of strength for you both. I, too, lived a brain cancer survivor -- my best friend and husband and father of our two darling children. Those GBMs are just plain awful.

Tiffany said...

God bless you and your husband. You will be in our prayers.

Laura~peach~ said...

thoughts and prayers to you both love you.

grammyscraps said...

Thank you for sharing...please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing with us.

Kanelstrand said...

Thinking of you and your husband. God sends us the challenges that will make us better people. Stay strong.

Annette W. said...

Oh Dear Kate,

May this time with your dear husband be a time filled with love and little pain for him. Thank you for sharing. Glad you have a good doctor.

Love, prayer, and hugs,
Annette Whipple

tj said...

...Sending all my love and prayers to you both right now , and always.

...Love you Kate.

...Blessings

Kathy Winter said...

Sending you thoughts and prayers.

Besoterio said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband.

Lizzie said...

Take care of your man Kate, but take care of you too..
thoughts and wishes for a speedy recovery from the surgery...
Lizzie
xxx

Kris Watson said...

Thank you so much for opening you hurting heart so that we all can support you. As a Christian, I will remind the Father of your husband's tumors, and ask Him to do His will for the both of you. That sounds so cold. That's not what I wanted to say. I guess what I wanted to say was that what I do when things like this happen, I quietly picture myself in the loving embrace of the Lord, sitting quietly with Him in a peautiful place. I cry, and He cries with me. And when I am too exhausted to cry any more, He just holds me close. I pray you have a moment like that any time you need it.

My friend has five brain tumors, and has just this week decided to stop all treatment, after almost three years.

Annie said...

Love and prayers for you both from Australia, Kate.

beth said...

i hope you know that i think about and pray for you and andrew every single day.....xoxoox

linda said...

Dear Kate! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband.

Gayle said...

My thoughts and prayers will be with you both.

Karen said...

Thinking of you, sending healing thoughts your way too...I already you've got the strength. One foot in front of the other. Please tell your husband he is in the thoughts and prayers of many.

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Kate, I'm so very sorry and will keep your husband, you and your children in my thoughts and prayers.

My niece had a brain tumor removed when she was 3, today's she's 24 and I remember it like it was yesterday.

We still worry when she's tired, or has a headache, I can't begin to imagine how you feel, but please know good thoughts are being sent your way.

Mary

Kerri said...

Thinking of you mr friend.....you both are in my thoughts and prayers!

Barb T. said...

Oh, Kate, you and your husband are in my thoughts. I am sending everything positive within me your way.

Donna S. said...

Kate, I am so sorry your husband & you have this to deal with. You both amaze me. I know, we do what we have to do, but some do it better than others :)
Hope you both get some rest & he heals fast & surprises the doctors again!!

Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your dear hubby.

Debbie from Illinois

Anonymous said...

Love visiting you through your blog. Take care of yourself' so that you can care for your husband.Prayers for you both. Deborah in South Carolina

ladylisabear69 said...

Good thoughts and prayers for both of you as he heals and you support.

becky up the hill said...

Ahh dear girl. I'm so sorry for this rough time. God bless you and yours, sweet husband. Strength for the weeks ahead.

BUSH BABE said...

Dearest Kate - you already know you are in my thoughts. I admit I had never heard of aphasia before (well, understood it anyway).

My wishes for a better quality of life for your husband... we will be here whenever you get the time or inclination to return.

Biggest hugs

BB

susie said...

I knew when you stopped writing for so long that something had happened, and I knew that it wasn't good news. I am so sorry for what your husband is going through. It is nothing less than a miracle that he is still alive, and I know that you are wanting to spend as much time with him as you can. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and know that I will be thinking about you as I check your blog everyday.

God bless!

spindrift,me said...

Kate--this is a beautiful post, as is the one you linked us to. I am so very glad that things are going well enough today that you could write. My thoughts are ever with you and your husband. Take care of yourselves: only do what you can each day. We'll wait til you post again, and think healing thoughts in between times. xoxoxo

Cindy said...

Oh, Kate. My prayers are with you and your husband.

Emom said...

Kate,
I am so sorry. But I am grateful that you are in the hands of angels at JH.....I was born in that very hospital 54 years ago....a very good place, filled with wonderful people.....Please don't forget to take care of you too.....smiles

Feel free to "bitch" to us....we all love you and can take it.....really....

achieve1dream said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm sorry you both are having to go through this a third time.

Sweetpea said...

Oh my dear CG, many prayers for you & yours...I'm holding on tight to every positive thought and sending them out to you like a mighty army...

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Sending healing prayers and love your way!

Ellen said...

Prayers and good thoughts for you and your husband. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can help in any way.

Kelly Marie McKee said...

Thoughts and prayers to you and your husband.

Kamana said...

thinking of you and your husband... sending prayers your way.

Andi said...

I knew something wasn't write. Missed your writing, and sensed their was a reason. Praying for both of you, and your strength and healing. If I lived closer I would do what I always do for friends in need and feel helpless, cook. I will send you virtual chicken soup hugs. Wish I could do more.

Stacey Dawn said...

Jesus is with you - always. Praying for you and your husband.

wayne15575 said...

We love you Kate.

catarinah said...

Sending strenght to you all the way from the Mediterranean Sea. Life doesn't sign a contract with us with how it's going to be like. All we can to is to tag along and cherish wonderful moments, happy moments, sad and hard-to-understand moments as they're all a part of it. All the best to you and your husband.

Mary said...

Oh dear Kate, I don't know what to write that hasn't already been written, but I do hope that you know what is in my heart. I've been thinking of you and praying for you both -- for strength and courage and healing. Just know that you are in my thoughts often. xoxo

Daryl said...

Never say never ... the aphasia will pass ... now please take some time to do something for you .. because we know I've been there and if you dont take the time for you, you wont have the strength for anything or anyone else. xo

Sharon said...

My thoughts are with you. Cancer sucks. Stay strong when you have to. Let it go when you can.

Deb said...

Kate my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...your husband seems to be a strong person...and with you beside him...that makes him even stronger...thank you for sharing with us...

growing wild on waverly lane said...

All the best to two lovely people. You are big on my mind.

WPgirl said...

My thoughts,{{husg}}, and prayers are with you and your husband.

Carolynn said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. My heart goes out to you both. May you both be held in the peace that only God can give and know that there are many who are praying for a full and speedy recovery for your husband.

xoxo

Lili said...

In my heart I knew why you were away and its good to hear your update. There is something deeply emotional about the image you took of the Jesus statue and your words on here today Kate. Both of you are, and have been in the fore front of my thoughts. Sending much love your way. God bless you both, you are in my prayers. ~Lili

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I've never commented but want to take the time to let you know that I am thinking about you and your husband and George, and praying for you and your husband and your family.
`Donna in Colorado

Joy said...

Dear Kate, my prayers are with you and your husband.

Debra Rector said...

I'm so very sorry to hear about your husband, Kate. Please know that you both are in my thoughts in prayers. Wishing you the best.
Hugs, Debra

kate i said...

Kate, I'm so sorry to hear that you and your husband are going through this. Please know that I'm adding my heartfelt thoughts and prayers to this beautiful avalanche of love and healing that is being sent your way.

Oliag said...

For some reason or other although I missed your posts I really optimistically always thought you were just taking a blogging break. I will hold you and your husband in my heart and mind daily...

xoxo
Gail

Yvonne said...

Thoughts and prayers for you and dear hubby

bv said...

when my son died my aunt said lovingly 'take care of yourself dear.....what ever the hell that means'....and we both laughed. i guess it means whatever brings you peace, even if only for a moment...you know what is needed for all. and i hope the comfort we all send wraps its arms around you.
love and prayers,
BV

Sheila said...

Sending good thoughts your way for both your husband and you - take care.

Anonymous said...

Kate,
I visit your blog almost daily but have never commented, until now. I will keep you and your dear husband in my prayers.

May God bless you and your family.

Bridgemor

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

You have touched so many people in so many ways, and now they are all ready to support and boost you. We are here and waiting. Just say the word and we will circle the wagons and do whatever is required.

The most critical thing I want to convey is, in the midst of all this turmoil, please take time (however briefly) for yourself. Do something good for yourself. Never feel guilty for taking a break or enjoying something that is just for you.

Because you absolutely deserve it.

Candace said...

Thoughts, prayers, good wishes are being sent your way from every possible direction.

Donalyn said...

prayers, love & hugs - all the good stuff, coming your way.

Navigating Northward said...

I've grown very fond of your quiet husband who always seems to be there in the background of your blog. I wish you both healing and peace.

Lee Owenby said...

God bless you and your husband. I hope things get better soon.

His Song to Sing said...

Praying for you and your husband, Kate. You will be missed but you are right where you need to be. We'll be waiting right here for you.

(GBS) NewsFromTheHill said...

Kate, though we've never met I feel so inadequate sitting here at a computer trying to express my caring.... I'm much better at hugs in person. :)

Sending you this prayer that it might bring you and your DH some comfort.....

with much love and concern,
Grace


Let me straighten after pain,
as a tree straightens after the rain,
Shining and lovely again.
God, make me brave for life;
much braver than this.
As the blown grass lifts, let me rise
From sorrow with quiet eyes,
Knowing Thy way is wise.
God, make me brave, life brings
Such blinding things.
Help me to keep my sight;
Help me to see aright
That out of dark comes light.

--- Author Unknown

deborah said...

prayers and good thoughts for you

alphabet soup said...

Dear Fluffy Kate

A big hug from me to you.

Ms Soup

Thistle Cove Farm said...

sigh. When Dave was in hospital, I'd bless those people who would write, call or visit. God knows, outside my family and one of Dave's cousins, there simply weren't that many. I knew there were people praying, lifting us both up in prayer and many blogger friends wrote to say hello or you're in my thoughts and prayers; that helped...it helped SO much. Y'all are in my prayers and thoughts; if need be, the farm is always open to you three for a visit; yes, George is welcome here too. My crew will sniff and snort but accept George because they have big hearts, all.
Strength for the journey, that's my prayer.

TSannie said...

Hugs, my friend, many many hugs.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Kate, I've been out and am so sorry to just now be getting to reading about this.

I'm so sorry for ya'll. I don't know what to say other than I am thinking and praying for both of you.

Jessica said...

I'm extremely behind in all my blog reading and so just read this post today. We have never met in person but I feel kind of like you are this neighbor where we might stop and visit for a minute at the mailbox, drop of a plate of cookies now and then or pull in your trash can if you were out of town. I'm sorry you and your husband are going through this. You and his example of strength and love is inspiring and encouraging. You are all in our prayers and we are hoping for the best.
Much "virtual" love.

Bluebird49 said...

Thank you so much for the picture of the statue! It is beautiful--the great physician. I read the link http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/dome/0312/feature.cfm
about it.

And I SO agree with CBW!!

hugs! Trudy

mrs mediocrity said...

Oh Kate, I am so sorry. And so sorry that I haven't made it over here before now.

Keeping you both in my thoughts, sending love and light and healing wishes.

And take a little extra care of yourself right now, too. I'm sure you need it.

hugs.
xo
kelly

Jill of All Trades said...

Kate, I feel so bad that I have been missing from the blog world somewhat and missed this. You guys are in my thoughts for sure!