Sunday, May 24, 2009

Seizures & Stress!

Hi all, well here is the latest update with my health!

Last Thursday night I started having tumor symptoms again: lines blurring my right eye, mixing up words I was saying, writing numbers backwards, problems with my depth perception (while reaching to pick up something), right side headaches and numbness in my right hand and arm. Then on Friday I had an episode while driving the car where the numbness started, I felt confused and shaky so I pulled off the freeway and called a friend. On Friday I was on my way to an emergency MRI, which we received the results of on Tues.

The results are as follows: My tumor is actually larger than the last MRI but the neurosurgeon wasn't too concerned. Dr. Zusman calls this pseudo-progression and compares it to a pancake being cooked where it flattens out and takes up more surface area. My tumor is disorganized and she feels its actually shrinking but the size is just larger due to the arrangement of cells.

There is radiation induced swelling,which typically increases a lot 6 months post surgery and I am 5 months out, and this is causing seizure symptoms for me. Seizures come in different forms and my condition is typical of being 6 months out from radiation. The swelling will worsen for the next 4 months till month 9 when the tumor will hopefully be gone. Ordinarily my doctor would put me on steroids to reduce with swelling but since I had severe steroid myopathy (myopathy is where the muscles break down and the effects can be long lasting in some cases), using steroids is a last resort for me.

They will take another MRI in 6-7 weeks.The radiation induced swelling problems usually peak between 6-9 months and since I'm only 5 1/2 months out I was told my symptoms will get worse before they get better. Last Friday my neurosurgeon put me on an epilepsy medication called Keppra. This is supposed to block the seizure signals from getting to my brain. Since being on the Keppra, I have only had small seizure episodes so I can tell the medication is working to block things.

We've moved our move date up due to these complications. It's not wise for me to be alone given the seizure risk.
Thanks for all your prayers on my behalf!!


Katie said...

Heidi, I was worried when I saw the title, "seizures and stress!". I am so sorry that your burden is so heavy right now. I will be praying for you.

Julie said...

Heidi, I am a friend of your mother and father and grandmother and grandfather. You are an amazing spirit. I don't know if Sherrie Johnson contacted you, but she like you are giants among us. Grateful you have a new job. You have so many siblings in Utah, that will be a blessing to you, since you are leaving your mother and dad. Thanks for sharing your journey in your blog. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Julie Ann Larson