Hello to our wonderful family and friends!
I have had an overwhelming amount of phone calls, texts and emails-people wanting to know how Vicki is doing, what the diagnosis was, how the surgery went, and how she is doing now. So that I can spend more time taking care of my mom, we’ve decided that it will be easier to post updates here on her website blog instead of sending individual texts to everyone We are so grateful for the love and support we feel from an amazingly HUGE amount of people. My mom feels so loved and taken care of. I will give details on what has happened up to this point, and then write updates on her progress as we get them.
I know that many of you want to come see her and make sure, with your own eyes, that she is okay. At this point I am not sure how long she will be in the hospital, and her main goal and purpose while she is there is to heal, rest and recover. I’m asking you to use your own judgement about coming to visit her. You all know Vicki, I tell her people want to come see her and she says, tell them to come!!! haha so I know she will appreciate any and all visits that she gets. Knowing how selfless she is, I just want to make sure she gets well after a traumatic event :).
Vicki is doing well in Intensive Care. Last night the nurse told me that she is recovering quickly (knowing mom, I can’t say I’m surprised haha) and could possibly be out of ICU and into a normal recovery by this afternoon. I stayed with her in the hospital last night and she had a little bit of a hard night. Her body doesn’t love the medications and is not used to them, and she doesn’t love putting them in her body, but right now the less pain that she can feel, the quicker she will heal and be able to completely stop using them. She is sleeping well and a lot. She just returned from a Cat Scan with the Neurosurgeon, Dr. Maughan. Her right eye is bothering her and the doctor said it is probably just because the nerve was stretched from the tumor so once swelling and the nerves have a chance to relax, her eye should feel better. One of us is with her at all times, so if you have any questions you can still text me if you’d like. I will be in classes all day today but I will post here again this evening with updates from today. Below, I will post background information for people who haven’t heard what has been going on.
We are so grateful to everyone for your prayers, positive thoughts, and support during this time. We really feel your love and support.
Lots of Love, Noelle
Here is an update on what has been happening: on Friday, December 2, we found out that mom has been fighting a brain tumor. This started about 2 years ago with ringing in her ears and then mild vertigo earlier this year, but didn’t get serious until mid-September of this year. Mom was still healthy and active until a few weeks ago. She’s had horrible side affects including vertigo, numbness on the right side of her face, serious migraines, ringing and pain in her ears, problems with her eyesight, etc. She’s not able to work, drive, or even walk without assistance.
The past few months we’ve been going to several specialists to solve the side effects but we’ve had no luck. Last Monday (November 28) we went to a hearing and balance specialist and after some tests he informed us that she either needed to go to the Emergency Room right away or to a neurologist. Luckily we were able to get in with the recommended neurologist the next morning (Tuesday, November 29). After that appointment, the neurologist ordered an MRI. We went to the MRI appointment on Wednesday (November 30) and they told us that they would call us in the next day or two if they found anything serious in the scans, so Friday morning (December 2) we got a call from the neurologist informing us that mom has a benign brain tumor in the stem of her brain. The neurologist wants mom to have brain surgery as soon as possible because the surgery should alleviate all the symptoms she has been experiencing.
We had a consultation with the neurosurgeon, Dr. Peter Maughan, Monday afternoon (December 5). The technical name for the tumor is Schwannoma or Acoustic Neuroma. The tumor is bigger than the size of a golfball, and is taking up about half of the space in moms brain. The doctor thinks that it could have been there for years, possibly since she was a child but has grown recently to a size that her brain can no longer “deal with”.
Because of its size, it was pushing against nerves that control her breathing, eyesight, balance, hearing, appetite, etc. which is creating all the horrible effects that she is experiencing. The doctor was very concerned about mom and wanted to get her into surgery as soon as possible. He didn’t have a spot until January 2012 but we are so grateful that he made it possible for an earlier date due to the severity of her case.
We went into the hospital yesterday morning (December 7) at 5:30am. The doctor informed us that the surgery is very risky not only because it is in the brain, but also because of the location of the tumor in the brain.
The Surgery was completed earlier than we expected. After several tests, a lot of prep and another MRI, she went in for surgery at 11:00am yesterday and the surgeon was finished by 2:30pm. It was successful. He was able to remove most of the tumor. He informed us before the surgery that there was a little bit that couldn’t be removed because of how close it was to the facial nerves, giving too much risk of paralyzing mom. However, he believes that the surgery and removal was successful while allowing her to keep her functions. Mom was moved to ICU after the surgery and is currently recovering beautifully (as I mentioned above at the beginning of this post) I will continue to fill in any missing pieces of information as I get them. For now she is stable and on the recovery road…
xoxo’s from Vicki and her family