Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stereotactic year later!

Yesterday Scott and I met with my new Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Shriev at Huntsman Cancer Center. He told us our different options for treatment and we agreed that the best course of action is for me to receive additional radiation to the tumor bed, or tumor cavity.

The radiation therapy will be the same amount of radiation, or possibly a slightly higher dose, as I received back in Dec of 2008. When the pathologist looked at my tumor after surgery he found a good amount of viable cancer cells so its important that I have this radiation treatment. In CA it was called Gamma Knife. Here they call it Stereotactic Radiosurgery. It's the same type of treatment, but with a different brand machine and a slightly different process.

Tuesday I was fitted for a head and face mask that I'll wear during my treatment. I also had a CT scan. Today I have an MRI and my doctors will take all these different tests and they will calculate the right treatment plan/dosage for me. My radiation therapy will be a one time treatment on November 9th. I will lose my hair again in the treatment area, but I'm hoping that this time the section will be much smaller and hopefully it'll fall out ONCE and not in little bits over a 5 month period! So I'mtrying to be optimistic!

Considering some of the other possible treatment options, Scott and I feel like this is a great option for me and hopefully will be successful. My radiation oncologist and brain surgeon recommend it so we feel good about it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Anniversary Present

Two weeks ago we celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. This is the gift Scott gave me! We had an extra headboard in a queen size and our bed is a King. Scott was looking at it one day and figured there had to be a way to turn it into a King sized headboard. I had wanted a headboard for years!! We've never had one!! We were too cheap to buy the one that matches our bedroom furniture that we got 7 years ago!!
So above is the before photo and then below is the after photo! Scott cut the headboard, added 2 fence posts to the middle and then painted it! He's amazing and I was so surprised! How fun!! =) Thanks for the great gift!!
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Star Wars in Concert

Last night Scott and Cameron went on a Father and Son outing to Star Wars in Concert!! It came through Salt Lake City on its tour and so since I have a few Star Wars crazed family members we couldn't pass up this opportunity!! The actor that played C3-PO narrated while a live orchestra played through songs from both the new and old Star Wars movies. Scenes from the movies projected on a gigantic screen while flashing lasers and fireballs added to the scene.

Here is Cameron with Wedge Antilles and C3-PO in the background.

Here is Cameron with Wicket and another Eewok. There were lots of displays to look at before the show so Scott and Cameron went early to get some photos...however, the lines were still really long so they opted for taking more photos of the costume displays rather than waiting in lines.
Darth Vader, a storm trooper and an Imperial Guard happened to walk by so Scott got a photo of them even though they didn't wait in line for a personal one.
One photo Cameron really wanted to get was with a Jawa so he waited for this one. Isn't it cute? Scott said the Jawa actually should have been shorter than Cameron...but he's still pretty small! The guys had a great time and its something Cameron will always remember.
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More Star Wars Photos

Here is Scott with cool!

And then Cameron with a bunch of neat characters....he was loving it..and he wore the appropriate shirt too!

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

GoodBye Steroids....and hopefully goodbye restless nights!

Well I have officially said farewell to my least favorite drug of all time...Decadron...aka..STEROIDS!! I'm so glad to have this horrible drug behind me and hopefully this time will be for good! I've been on an elevated dose post-surgery as that is standard procedure for Craniotomy patients, so I've been dealing with the side effects. I took my very last pill the other day so I'm looking forward to getting my old self back. It takes about one month for the steroids to get out of my system completely so I've still got a little while to go yet but I'm so happy to not be taking them everyday!! Happy day...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Road....

Well, yesterday I went to get my stitches out and it pretty much took all the energy I had yesterday as well as today. I can not believe how tired and fatigued I am all the time. Everytime I think I can do something I start feeling nauseated, dizzy or I get a headache. I can see I'm going to be given another trial and that is realizing my limitations. Since I usually am an energizer bunny the fact that I hardly have energy to get out of bed is really hard.....hopefully in a few days I'll have better news...=(

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Catching Up....

Just catching up on some photos from while I've been on is Kyler enjoying my pre-surgery dots...luckily they were much less painful than the pins I had to have on (in) my head for my radiation brain surgery!!
Kyler is so proud that he learned how to ride his big boy bike!! His legs are long enough to reach the pedals now and he wants to ride his bike all the time! Too bad the snow and rain will be here before too long!!
Cameron's New Friend..
Cameron is always finding bugs and animal friends in our yard....
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First Snow!!

A day or two before surgery Kyler and I caught this view of SNOW coming down in our yard for a few minutes. Since I'm a California girl I had to grab my camera and take a quick photo of the phenomenon. I'm sure in a few more months this will be old news, but for now it's all very exciting!
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Soccer Player!

In all the madness of our life I haven't taken any photos of Dallyn playing soccer this fall! Scott stepped in at the game this week and got some photos of Dallyn in are just a few of our adorable athlete!!

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A view of the Staples....

So I know these are just lovely photos but for those of you that wonder what 20 staples look like on someone that has just had a Crainiotomy, here you go!! I washed my hair several times after surgery before taking these photos so they don't look as scary as they did! I think I'm just getting into the Halloween spirit a little early this year.
The staples run about 5 1/2 inches along the back of my head. They feel really bumpy and weird, so we'll have to see how my head feels once they are removed tomorrow. Scott said that my head looks so, so much better than it did a week ago, so he feels like my incision has improved a lot,which is good.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Hello From Heidi

Hello everyone! I'm back up online finally...and trying to get connected into real life again. I'm one week post surgery and I'm getting my strength back little by little. It is a slower process than I expected...not sure what I was really expected after brain surgery, but its been slower this week than I was hoping for.

I can't complain though, at least things went smoothly and I'm recovering and mentally and visually intact..I'm so grateful for those blessings. This weekend we'll take some gruelling photos of my amazing stitches as they are coming out Monday and I'm sure I'll want to have photos to look back on someday. It feels very strange having such a bumpy head!

Thanks so much for all the support and love from everyone, I am so grateful for your friendship! A huge thank you to my sister Amy for all her work on keeping everyone updated while I was down! Love you Amy!

I'll update with photos this weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Heidi talked to her doctor, and as he thought, there were live cancer cells in the tumor they removed. There is a team of doctors meeting together about Heidi's tumor, and they would like to meet with Heidi and Scott to determine what treatment she will have. The doctor suggested more radiation, but no decisions will be made until Heidi and Scott meet with the team of doctors. As far recovery from surgery, Heidi is still very tired and in pain, but most of all grateful for how well things have gone.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No pathology news

I talked to Heidi this evening, and she had not heard from the doctor today about her pathology report. She has a message in for him to call her, and is hoping to talk to him tomorrow. I will post info once we hear what is going on.

Monday, October 5, 2009

She's home and recovering

I was able to see Heidi last night which was so nice. She is very tired and her head hurts alot, but she is very grateful to be home and that the surgery went well. She said that it feels like someone drilled through her head (which they did). So the pain is still strong, but she is doing great for just a few days out of surgery. She really appreciates everyone's love, prayers, and concern for her.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Coming Home Today

I talked to Scott a few hours ago, and the doctor was planning on sending Heidi home today around noon- so she should be on her way.

Her post-op MRI came back with great results. The pathology report on her tumor will hopefully be back on Wednesday. They will use that to determine which treatment plan is best for her. More details to come...

Friday, October 2, 2009

At Huntsman

Heidi was moved to the Huntsman hospital yesterday and will be in the same room the rest of her recovery. It is anticipated that she will be there until tomorrow night or Sunday some time.

Huntsman Cancer Hospital

Room 5508

2000 Circle of Hope Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Telephone: (801) 587-7000
Toll-free: (800) 824-2073

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heidi's awake and well

When I talked to Scott again he told me that Heidi had woken up from anesthesia and was doing well (relatively speaking of course). One of the doctors checked her vision, and didn't find any vision loss. The doctor said she is recovering really well. She is in pain as expected, but the doctor is very pleased with her recovery so far.

Good News!

Good news- Heidi's surgery is over and she is doing fine. They were able to remove the tumor, and everything went well. They have sent the tumor to pathology, and think there may be live cancer cells in it, which would mean more treatments in the future, but that is all unknown right now. For now we are relieved to know that the surgery is over and she is ok. She is still under anesthesia, so Scott hasn't seen her yet. But she should wake up in the next few hours and then he will get to be with her. It is anticipated that she will be in the special ICU for about 24 hours and then a few more days in the hospital after that. The doctor said he anticipates that her recovery will go well, with no long term effects.

Heidi really appreciated all the emails and phone calls she received recently from everyone expressing their love and concern for her. She wasn't able to reply to the emails, but told me how much each of them meant to her. She really appreciated them! On behalf of Heidi and Scott's family and their families, thank you all so much for your love, support, fasting and prayers!

I'll keep posting as we know more.


Humorous Photo

Just a humorous pre-surgery photo. So tonight when I had my MRI they had to put these lovely dots all over my face. They will assist in the surgery as the placement of these dots coordinates with the the 3-D MRI I had. So when they hook me all up they'll be able to get a 3-D image showing them exactly where the tumor is and what everything looks like in my brain.
Kyler kept asking me if he could eat the dots as they looked like lifesavers. =) What cute kids I have! Well, time for surgery!
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