Those words were spoken to us this morning by Stephanie’s doctor. Hard words to hear.
So Tuesday Stephanie received another (fifth, maybe?) brain surgery. They removed her EVD and her ommaya reservoir, and replaced that with a new ommaya reservoir and a shunt. Her surgery lasted a couple hours Tuesday late afternoon, and all-in-all it went well. She was moved from the special care unit she had been in with the EVD to a “normal” room. She was still in pain, but tried to rest. That night was a rough night, and yesterday wasn’t great either. She’s very tired and had many moments of staring off. She also had trouble answering basic questions, similar to before we went in last week.
Today she has done better. I feel it took some time for the shunt to work, but her alertness and cognitive capabilities have been better today. Her pain is still high but not extreme. She’s gone on several walks around the floor and has been able to eat again. She’s been more interactive, but is still easily tired and taking many naps. This morning we even got a little family movie time.
Unfortunately all is not on the positive side. Her neuro oncologist spoke with us today and showed us her most recent MRI. The tumor had previously spread to a couple bumps on her neck and spine near the end of June. It has now continued to spread and has coated a lot of her spine. This is most likely what’s causing her increased back pain. It’s also clogged where her spinal fluid would normally seep out, making it like a clogged sink drain increasing her spinal fluid pressure (and hence the need for the shunt).
Based on this evidence, her doctor suggested that we make her comfort the top (and really only) priority. Stephanie and I decided that we want to push forward with a couple other treatment options. The Dr agreed, but caveated saying we can “hope for a miracle but don’t plan on it, being practical”. The treatments so far haven’t slowed or reversed it, and the new ones we’re trying are similar, so he didn’t express much chance of success.
I’m sorry to send this via a blog, as I know it’s hard to hear. I’m still praying for a miracle and know God can deliver if it’s His plan, but whether His plan is to have her join Him in a week month year or decades from now, please pray that I have the faith to accept His plan even if I won’t ever understand it.