For those who don’t know, the family is in a bit of a crisis.
About 2 weeks ago Mom started having balance trouble, headaches, and sometimes confusion. Considering her past history, our primary care doctor was pretty sure it was related to her continuing problems with sinus, ear, and allergy issues, and so put her on several things to knock down any infection that might be there and stuff to encourage any blockage to drain.
Only, that wasn’t the problem. She continued to go downhill. On the evening of Wednesday, April 3rd we took her to the emergency room. They sent her for an emergency CT scan. And that’s when they found a massive tumor in the right frontal lobe of the brain. The ER doctor couldn’t believe she hadn’t had really massive side-effects from it. It was so big that it pushed the brain dividing line far to the left, and on the other side bulged out to the skull on the right. Our primary care doctor was shocked. Nothing in her symptoms signaled this (until the day of the emergency room visit).
The next day she was transferred to the Barrows Neuroscience Institute in the St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. She continued to go downhill. An MRI showed a 7+ centimeter tumor. By Friday afternoon she was in surgery.
Mom has been in good spirits. She was relieved to know what has been causing the issues. To illustrate, Mom-the-artist told the Neurosurgeon: “I’m a painter and I have more paintings to do, so don’t touch the creativity. Put it back, please. But, if you find that internal critic, cut that sucker out!” The surgeon and nurse thought that was hilarious.
The surgery went far faster than expected. In fact, so fast that I was really worried when we were called into the conference room to talk to the head surgeon, thinking something went wrong right at the start (estimate on the operation was 4-5 to 9-10 hours, and we were called in at barely the 1 1/2 hour mark). It ended up that the tumor had very well-defined edges than they thought. There was a clear border between it and her normal brain tissue.
She bounced back fast. Started moving around pretty fast. Clearer head. Regained her balance. Everyone was surprised, including the ICU nurses and all of the doctors who came in to check in on her.
The bad news?
Despite the good operation where they estimate they took out 98% and how fast she bounced back and the good post-op MRI, she’s now facing chemotherapy and radiation. Right now she’s doing well, but this is a highly aggressive cancer that loves to grow back. Considering about 2% of it remains in her head near the deep middle brain controlling balance, muscle control, and other things, it will grow back if left alone.
The other big Problem?
No money and no insurance. We’ve been barely making it for some time, which is why the extra money coming from my books has been such a savior. Only, the books can’t help with the money amounts this is going to cost (and has cost already).
The treatment for this is pretty much worthless without radiation. The Oncology department has been trying to get us as much help as possible, and managed to get the chemo for free (Yay!). Radiation is something else, though. Basically, can’t pay? Then you don’t get it, even if it means certain death. (The initial estimate came in at around 30k.)
Obviously this has us upset. We’ve been trying to find all sorts of state and federal help, but we keep falling between the cracks (1 year and 1 month later and she would have been on Medicare. Sigh). We’re continuing to look and search, as is the Oncology department. Hoping for a miracle here. There are a few more options we are looking into next week.
Mom is known as “Mother Hen” all over the world because of her tendency to ‘mother’ pretty much anyone she comes in contact with. We aren’t giving up, and neither is she. Right now she’s healthy and getting around all on her own, talking clearly, and is healing well from the brain surgery.
If anyone wants to help, consider a donation that will go directly towards her treatment at Go Fund Me.
I’m also doing my best to help out financially, and any other way. So, right now, all sales of my books are helping with the treatments, as well. You can find a full listing at the Star Catcher Publishing webpage, or the Bibliography here on this site.
At the same time, we need to be honest with all of this. Nothing is certain with this type of thing. We’ll fight, but sometimes the cancer wins.
I’m shifting gears with my writing. No new words right now, and not just because parts of my mental space have shut down. Last summer before my autumn life-roll, I wrote the first drafts of the remaining 5 books of the String Weavers series. Mom loves the first two books to pieces and desperately wants to know how it all ends.
So, that’s what I’m doing. Revising like mad so that she can read them, just in case things go from bad to worse. Before Dean gets on me (heh), I’m one that powers through first drafts in a very short period of time (5 90K+ books written in about 8 weeks) and makes notes on the side of what I need to go back and fix. I do one big revision to fix those things and then it goes to the beta readers.
That is what the “Mother Hen “String Weavers” Project is all about. I’m doing a blog blitz as I work on the revision. I may post once a day on how it is going and what issues I’m finding. Or maybe several times a day. Expect no posts on the days of doctor appointments.
If anyone else is currently revising, by all means join in with me. Post in the comments and let everyone know how you are doing. I would love to hear about it. It’s something else positive for me to focus on.
So, onward with the revision!
Disappearing food. Music no one else hears. An alien dropped off by a giant flaming bird…
Abducted from Earth, Kelsey Hale finds herself in the middle of a deadly conflict among alien worlds and parallel universes. She must not only survive, but also rescue her father from a dangerous group of unknown intent. In the process discovering a family secret that will change her life forever.
And connecting it all are the mysterious Weavers.
A young adult science fiction novel for all ages.
** Book One in “The String Weavers” series **