I seriously cannot believe we were anxiously awaiting news of Chad’s surgery progress this time last month.
Sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday.
And, at other times, it feels like it was a lifetime ago.
Chad is doing well. He still has a major headache that is not relieved by any over-the-counter or heavy-duty prescription pain relievers.
He’s almost done with this second (and hopefully, final) steroid taper. His headaches seems to increase with intensity when we get to this stage of the taper, so we’re paying close attention to it.
Apparently, the headaches are caused by two issues:
1) the body doesn’t produce steroids of its own when you are taking artificial steroids. When you start to wean off artificial steroids, your body has to work overtime to produce enough of it’s own steroids for your increased needs, which leads to a headache.
2) there is a possibility there is still some irritation, or swelling, in the brain. Each patient recovers from this type of surgery differently, and everyone heals at a different rate.
Chad is still improving. He had a huge improvement when he came off steroids the first time. If you remember, he even wanted to go back into the office. However, since he’s been back on steroids, he’s been a little quieter. He’s been extremely tired and unable to sleep decently. He’s still pretty indifferent. And he is bored.
I took him into the office to pick up some files to work on a couple of weeks ago. Later that same week, he went back on steroids – and he hasn’t felt like doing any work at all. It’s like he is in a fog, and can’t focus on anything for a length of time.
I’m waiting for a huge improvement in the next few days – and I bet Chad is too.
It has to be hard to be in a medically-induced state you cannot control.
We will meet with Dr. Tatter next week, on the 30th, for a post-operative evaluation in Winston-Salem.
And on May 1st, Chad has an MRI at WakeMed. I had hoped to move the MRI to before we meet with Dr. Tatter so he could review it – but they are all booked, and this MRI appointment was scheduled months ago.
Next week, I’m sure we will receive great news about Chad’s progress.
I hope to see the MRI taken shortly after surgery. I need to see that they removed such a large chunk of the tumor.
Of course, the best news about the surgery is that they removed such a large chunk. That, alone, is enough to celebrate. It’s also fantastic that Chad has not had a single seizure since the surgery. This is a huge reason to celebrate, too!
He was having a simple seizure (tingling and shaking of a leg and/or arm) about once every week or two; and a complex seizure (full body involvement with a period of paralysis or extreme weakness for 30-45 minutes post-seizure) about every 3-4 months. I am hopeful that Chad will be able to slowly taper off of Keppra, his seizure medication, until he is at a very low dose — or no dose at all!
Only time will tell.
As always, we are thankful for everyone’s love, support and encouragement. It really means a lot to us to have so many people rooting for us.