posted by Mary Lello, Monday, October 19, 2009, 6:07 AM
Others who have survived cancer have told me it can feel like 3 steps forward and 5 steps back at times. Well, I feel we've taken those backward steps lately. All the jubilation of the bike ride and a necrotic tumor are fast fading. Jim's speech is declining. His words are very muddy now and very difficult to understand. He can not retrieve enough words to complete a simple sentence. He breaks down in tears of frustration and fear very easily. I break down in tears of frustration and fear with him. Life is good?
We went for our biweekly Avastin infusion last Friday (10/16) and saw Dr. Weisburg. She is very excited at how well Jim is doing. When I mentioned his speech she said, and I paraphrase here, that we are coming up on the 1 year mark which is beating all the odds for a glio victim (yup, little reality check there for me!) and she's so happy for Jim. Since he is "surviving" all this we may now be seeing the effects that radiation had on Jim's brain. Radiation kills the healthy cells as well as the cancerous cells. What we are witnessing in Jim may be the effects of killed brain cells in the area of speech and comprehension.
OK, this feels more like 20 steps back!
I know the brain can heal. I know the brain is elastic and capable of re-routing and re-growing and doing amazing things. I know that stroke victims have recovered fully from brain trauma that occurred in the language and speech areas of their brains. I also know "they" say it can take a long time. And this is where I lose it a bit. I can NOT focus on how long this may take. I can NOT look down that road at all. I'm willing to only buy into 'magic' and stake my heart to miracles and believing it will all happen faster than 'they' say.
Sometimes I miss Jim so much my entire being just aches.
But this morning the light is golden and reflecting off white hulled boats and every single sparkling, dew laden leaf. This morning I only need to make sure Jim looks out the window at this gorgeous morning when he gets out of bed. This morning I will help him take all the steps needed to make it through another day regardless which direction he goes.
Loving you all back,