Monthly Archives: March 2013

Not A Good MRI

The spot the doctors have been watching has gotten larger, enough so that Dr. Nabors is concerned and wants to do a biopsy.  This morning he had the neurosurgeons and tumor board at UAB review Gorman’s MRIs and they agreed.  All signs point to it being just scar tissue because Gorman has no symptoms of a recurrence, plus the MRI does not indicate blood flow to this area (tumors need a supply of oxygen) but they want to be sure.  When you are talking about the brain, a needle biopsy is difficult but it is possible to drill a hole through the scull (is your head aching yet?) and insert the needle.  But this morning we met with Dr. James Markert, Director of Neurosurgery, and because of all the arteries in this area, he will reopen the old incision to do the biopsy and thus, it becomes major brain surgery, again.  So surgery is scheduled at UAB for next Tuesday, April 2.  We wanted it done today, right now, as soon as possible but that’s not the way the medical world works, of course.

We have just gotten home from Birmingham, exhausted, but happy to be home.  By the way, the MRI also showed terrible blockage in Gorman’s left sinus.  This has been hanging around for months, despite a round of antibiotics but they want this on the road to being healed by next Tuesday so he starts tonight on more antibiotics.

So yesterday we were both walking around like a couple of zombies after the MRI news but we have settled down, prayed, held on to one another and know without a doubt that our Lord is walking with us.  We feel that peace only He can give and we feel all the prayers of you, our dear friends.  We know that all will be well, whatever the outcome, we will be fine.

Another MRI Tomorrow

We have had a very nice week working in the yard, watching all the trees change every day into that lovely and fresh Spring green and I wonder if I will still have Gorman with me when next Spring rolls around and then I make myself stop and pray and resolve to stop thinking about such things. I can really do a head trip on myself.

Spring in Fairhope is so beautiful. The azaleas have mostly finished blooming but still there are lots of flowers. The birds are singing their hearts out. Yesterday it rained and hopefully now all the pollen has been washed away. God’s gifts are all around us.

We are leaving this afternoon for Birmingham. Gorman’s MRI is scheduled for 11:45 tomorrow and then we’ll see Dr. Nabors at 2:00 to learn the results. A few days ago we met with Dr. Sawrie, our radiation oncologist. After examining him, he said Gorman was looking too good to have any recurrence. That one little sentence was balm for our souls.

I usually try not to pray for outcomes but to pray for God’s will and peace and comfort because most of the time I figure God knows better than I do what I need. However I am boldly asking, with a grateful heart, for a clear MRI. Whatever the outcome, I know He will walk with us and lead us but please pray for a clear MRI.

No Surgery For Toosie Mae

On Wednesday we drove an hour to Theodore to see the recommended vet about Toosie’s torn ACL. He took many x-rays then sedated her and manipulated all her limbs and concluded that she does not have a torn ACL and does not need surgery. She does have some arthritis but he thought the main problem was infection/inflammation in some of the pads on two of her little paws so now she’s on three types of antibiotics and, because this is caused by allergies, she is on a strict diet to include an expensive allergen-free dog food. That took three hours plus the one hour drive back to Fairhope but we were happy for the good news of no surgery.

By the way, Gorman is feeling great, for those of you who read this blog to get news of Gorman and not our dog.

Sunset view from our balcony in Seaside

Sunset view from our balcony in Seaside

Gorman in Seaside

Gorman in Seaside

Sunset view from our balcony in Apalachicola

View from our balcony in Apalachicola

Fun To Take Trips; Fun To Be At Home

We had a great time on our little getaway.  Apalachicola is so charming and we enjoyed riding around, looking at all the pretty old homes.  In 1946, my mother (many years deceased) spent a summer with her sister and new husband in Apalachicola.  I still have the letters Momma wrote to my grandmother that summer so I had the address of their house and we found it.  It’s a quaint and cute old cottage about a block from the water.  My mother told me she never wanted to get married until that summer when she saw how joyous marriage could be and one year later she married my dad.  Isn’t that a dear story?

But back to our trip.  We worshiped at Trinity Episcopal Church and heard Rev. Martha Harris give a wonderful sermon on the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-9)  in which she said God is that gardener who keeps working with us and pursuing us and He never ever gives up on us “because that’s the way God is”.  That last phrase has stuck with me and I think so often about the miracle of His love for me and I find myself saying to myself, “because that’s the way God is”.

Well, the weather was cold and sunny in Apalachicola so we hope to go back later this spring so Gorman can do some fishing.  And yes, he did eat some oysters!

In Seaside we rode bikes one day when it was fairly warm, then it turned cold but still sunny and we did indeed have a fire in that fireplace every night.  We ate and drank wine, walked on the beach and shopped and read and I got a lot of needlepoint done; all in all a great trip.

After toying with idea of staying gone another few days, we decided against it and came home last Thursday night and it’s good to be home.  We do love these nice ordinary blessed days at home.  We do almost everything together, including grocery shopping and even that’s fun.

Our little Shih Tzu, Toosie Mae, has been limping, off and on, for a while.  The vet thought she had arthritis and had her on Rymadil but it had gotten to the point where she pretty much just walked on three legs and it turns out that she has a torn ACL.  How on earth she did that we have no idea.  And yes, she does have to have surgery.  We are taking her to the recommended vet surgeon in Mobile tomorrow.  I really should have been a nurse.

Our next trip to UAB is March 25 when Gorman will have another MRI.  As that date draws closer, you will hear from me again reminding everyone to pray us through another one.

A Sleepy Week

This latest round of Temodar has really made Gorman a sleepyhead.  One morning he slept until 10:00!  He has napped every afternoon, long naps, which he resists.  I think he considers this laziness but I keep telling him to listen to his body and just sleep if he needs to.  He’s been reading John Grisham’s newest book, The Racketeer, but even that page-turner hasn’t kept him awake through the afternoons.

We are both still coughing and hacking a little but are much better and today his sleepiness has eased.

Tomorrow morning we are leaving for a little getaway to FL.  First we’re going down to Apalachicola for the weekend.  There’s something about that sweet little town that calls to us.  Gorman would so enjoy some of their famous oysters, raw of course, but with his precarious medical situation he’ll have to opt for roasted or fried.  We can manage that.  On Sunday we’ll worship at the very old and historic Trinity Episcopal Church.  When we find ourselves traveling on a Sunday, we love finding the local Episcopal church.  The liturgy and Book of Common Prayer make us feel right at home.

On Monday we’ll drive to Seaside to spend three nights.  They were offering 30% off last minute reservations so we got a great one bedroom condo overlooking the Gulf and it has a fireplace, ta da!  The weather is supposed to be sunny but chilly.  Gorman really feels the cold weather, a side effect of chemo I suppose, but if it’s too cold to walk on the beach, we’ll just build a fire and enjoy looking at the water from inside.  No doubt we’ll eat some good food and drink a little wine.  Oh how we treasure every single day that God gives us.