Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hi from Heidi

Well, its been two weeks since my surgery and I am just getting onto my computer for the first time. This recovery has been going slower than the last one..which was also I am just now feeling up to getting on my computer. As it is I've tried for several days and my head has hurt too much so I'm not sure how often I'll be on, but at least I'm going to try to connect with the world again.

Yesterday I ventured out to the Dr. to get my 50 staples removed from my head. That was not pleasant, and I'm still quite sore, but it is nice to know that the staples are out and my head can continue to heal. I'm very weak and am still not walking much at all. Scott has taken me walking downstairs 3 times but I can not walk without help. I'm very uneasy on my feet and I've had issues with muscle tone and control so I'm not safe to walk alone. Today I did a few laps around the island in my kitchen and until I got woozy I was feeling felt good to walk.

I knew this recovery would be harder than last time. They prepared me for that. I knew that just the sheer fact that this was the SECOND time my body was going to go through this was going to be a challenge. Add to that the fact that the surgery was more invasive and it just seals the deal. Although I'm frustrated by my lack of improvement I'm trying to remind myself that eventually I will be back to my normal self..its just going to take a long time. I hope to wean off pain meds this week which will help me feel less tired and foggy. Right now I'm still on a lot of meds, another thing that is slowing down my recovery this time.

Anyhow, I don't think I can sit up any longer so I'll end this post now before my head starts screaming too much. Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers and I'll try to keep in touch in the coming days. I've enjoyed reading your comments!
Love, Heidi

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heidi's Home

Heidi came home from the hospital on Tuesday evening. That meant she was in the hospital for 5 days post surgery. It was a day longer than last time and a day longer than we would have liked. Though she has made some good progress in some areas, she has continued to struggle with nausea and dizziness as her equilibrium is still fairly out of balance. She remains fairly heavily medicated which keeps her fairly sedated and resting often. Each day though gets a little better and we are still hopeful she will be back to herself in the coming weeks.

We also spoke with her surgeon today regarding the results of the pathology tests done on the removed tissue. Two tests were done, one on the tumor and one on the brain tissue margin that was removed around the tumor. The bad news is that the pathology test on the tumor confirmed that there was living and growing cancer cells in the tumor. The good news is that there was no detectable signs of cancer in the margin tissue that was removed. The doctor thus believes he was able to get all the cancer removed and at this time is not recommending any additional treatments.

Thanks again for all the help, support and thoughts and prayers.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Heidi Post Surgery Day 2

Heidi continues to recover on schedule. She is in significant pain in her head from the procedure and the trauma/swelling it has caused. However, she has been able to tolerate it thus far with less pain medication than she had recovering from her previous craniotomy. She is very coherent and all signs so far indicate there will not be any long term side effects to her vision or anything else. We hope to have her up and moving about a little by the end of the day and she is preparing for a scrabbled egg and bagel breakfast this morning. All good signs and we look forward to continued improvements.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Heidi's 2nd Brian Surgery

This morning Heidi went to the University of Utah Medical Center/Huntsman cancer Center for her second round of brain surgery. We continue to be very grateful for all the thoughts, prayers and acts of service being provided by so many of our family and friends. We feel truly blessed and loved. Heidi's surgery took a little over 3 hours, much less than the 4 to 5 hours scheduled, and her Dr. felt the surgery went very well. He was able to easily remove the tumor and felt comfortable removing a significant amount of additional brain tissue to provide a good margin. He said there were no issues or problems and feels very hopeful she should have no long term side effects from the operation. As part of the procedure he did line the tumor cavity with chemotherapy wafers that will slowly release drugs over the next 2 months designed to hopefully kill any remaining cancer cells in the area. We are very grateful for the advances in medicine that give Heidi a fighting chance and for those, like Dr. Jensen, who dedicate so much of their life to pursing such a worthwhile career and cause. Heidi will now start the slow and long recovery process and we hope she will be home form the hospital by Monday and back to her full strength by the end of August. Thank you for your continued support,

The Wrights

4:30 AM thoughts on Surgery Day

Well I woke up at 4:30 am and couldn't I decided to come in and update my blog with a presurgery post. So today I go in for surgery...again...its hard to is starting to feel more real, now that I had all my pre-op stuff yesterday, but its still crazy. I don't know how you go about preparing for a surgery like this....emotionally I mean....

But today is here..the time is now..and here I go!! My surgery is at 7:30 am and they have 4 hours slotted for the surgery. Last time is at 3 1/2 hours so we'll see what happens this time. We have to be at the hospital at 6 am since I have a 7:30 surgery time so being up bright and early isn't so horrible since I have to be up anyhow!

Last night I enjoyed sleeping on my back and on my'll be a long time till I can do that again....there are so many 'little' things I've been enjoying the past few days. I'm going to enjoy a shower shortly...thats something I don't enjoy post surgery as the water hurts my head for a good month afterwards. Scott had to help me shower for a good week after surgery last time...I didn't have the strength to stand up in the shower by myself and I worried about falling. Oh man...memories...can I just say that I ENJOY being independent!! This is hard for me!! It really is, I don't like being helpless and needy....grr!!

Well, Scott will update you all on how I'm doing as I continue on this journey. Thanks for all the love and prayers and support. I FEEL IT and I appreciate each one of you!! Here's to a GREAT surgery and to getting ALL the cancer cells out!!!

Love and Hugs,

A Getaway...

When we found out that I had to have surgery again Scott and I decided to try to plan as much as we could into this last week!! Phew...its been exhausting too!! But its been a little slice of heaven too to be able to spend so much time together as a family.

We headed up to spend some time camping, one of our favorite past times, and so here's some snippets from our 'happy time' as a family.

Look at the amazing views where we were...SO gorgeous!
The kids had a blast playing in their secret hideouts, riding bikes, playing games, exploring, etc!
What camping trip would be complete without roasting marshmallows???
We were pretty close to Provo after going to the waterfall so we decided to meet up with Amy and Austin and family to enjoy a sisters Birthday dinner together! It was great to be together a bit!
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Bridal Veil Falls

We took the kids down to Bridal Veil falls and let the older kids hike up to the midway point. They thought that was great. Here's our family photo....
The boys waiting while the older kids hiked up...
Playing in the was cold!
You can't see it in this photo but Scott, Kaylie and Cameron are tiny specks right underneath the waterfall!! =)
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Family Time

We had a great time on our getaway to Timpanooke Campground. We enjoyed two relaxing days together as a family. Heres the gang enjoying lunch together.
Scott and Kaylie playing outdoor games together...
Cam and Kyler enjoying the bean bag toss...
Kyler was waiting for a chipmunk to come out from under this rock..he fed him some bread and I think he scared the begeebers out of the chipmunk because he didn't come out for a long time. Kyler was so cute feeding him bread though!! There were lots of chipmunks around our campground so that was fun for the kids.
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Heidi's Birthday Gifts

So this year my birthday gifts were creatively focused around what things the kids can do to enjoy time with Mom when she's recovering from surgery! Kaylie gave me some scrapbooking stickers and a coupon to spend time crafting with Mom from the bed as I'm recovering.
Dallyn gave me Skip Bo and a coupon to play games with Mom during my recovery.
Kyler gave me a scrapbooking magazine and a coupon to read books with him when I'm recovering.
Cameron gave me popcorn and a coupon watch movies with me while I'm recovering. The kids were so cute about their gifts and were excited that they had some plans of things to do with Mom while she's getting better. Scott bought me frozen cheesecake to enjoy post-surgery too. It was fun being together camping on my birthday and the time spent with my family was priceless!! I love you all so much! Thanks for a great birthday!
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Birthday Morning

Here's some photos of Dallyn's Birthday Morning when he turned six this past week. Here he is with his gifts from Grandma and Grandpa Black.
Kyler gave him Mater Legos...a big hit!
Cam gave hime Star Wars Trouble....that seems like trouble to me! =)
Dallyn with his sister....
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Friday, July 9, 2010

Enjoying His Toys

Here's Dallyn enjoying his new toys....he's trying to knock down his Lego guys with his new Toy Story Pull Back N Go Car

Here he is with his new Cars Duplos Legos from Grandma and Grandpa Wright and his FireTruck from Mom and Dad. What can I say? We are a Lego family through and through!! =)
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We had planned to take our family to BoonDocks in August as part of our summer fun. However, since I'm not going to be up to adventures in August, I decided to take the kids yesterday on Dallyn's Birthday. Kyler was sick so he stayed home while Scott worked and we ran to BoonDocks for 2 hours in the morning.

Here are some photos of some of Dallyn's favorite things from our trip!! He loved the Race Cars!! He wanted to ride with Mom so we rode the large track. He held on to my leg the whole time..he seemed a bit timid...but at the end he said it was so fun!
Here's some photos of us in action.....I haven't driven cars like this in probably 10 years!! we go...Mom is driving crazy!!
Kaylie and Cameron opted to do the smaller track where they could drive their own car. They thought that was just the best thing ever! It was the first time either of them had ever driven on a car track so that was really exciting for them!
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Here's Dallyn enjoying Kiddie Kove which was a big climbing area with slides and places to jump and run and play!
Bumper Boats...I had to take the photos before we started so my camera wouldn't get here's some before photos..we had a great time on these!!

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A few new things

Dallyn got to try a few new things today at BoonBocks. Laser Tag was one of was just the four of us playing tag so Dallyn and I were a team and Kate and Cam were a team. It was a good introduction to Laser Tag for Dallyn and I was proud of him for trying it out even though he was nervous about it being dark. Here's a familiar friend from the laser tag entrance...
RollerBall was one of Dallyn's favorite new things this time too! It's like a mini bowling alley which was pretty quaint! It's much easier for Dallyn to do since the balls aren't so heavy. Here's Dallyn enjoying RollerBall...he even got a few spares and a strike!!

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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yet Another Brain Surgery...

Well I'm not really sure what all to say in this post. I wish I had better news to share so I apologize in advance for this depressing blog post. If you want you can come back in a few days and read a happier post about something fun like playing at the park or going to the lake.

So the results from my Dr. apts today were not good, in fact they actually blindsided Scott and I and we are having a hard time swallowing everything we learned. It's been a discouraging day but hopefully tomorrow will be sunny...

Scott put together a synopsis of what we learned today, so he's the author of this post today, I don't have the emotional energy anymore. From Scott:

I know many of you have had Heidi in your thoughts and prayers recently. We deeply appreciate your ongoing concern and support. Today we met with some of Heidi doctors and found out the results of some recent tests. The results are not what we had been hoping for. The tumor that was removed from Heidi's brain last fall has begun to re-grow, indicating the that three past surgeries performed on her brain have not been 100% effective. On July 16th, she will have a repeat craniotomy (open brain surgery) to remove the growing tumor as well as some of the surrounding brain tissue. Note that her craniotomy last fall only removed the tumor and the doctor did not take any additional cells at that time. Because the tumor is re-growing, he will take a “margin” of tissue around the tumor this time to try and get all visible and microscopic cancer cells removed. Because of the trauma this will cause to the brain and because of the location of the surgery, the doctor said there is a 50/50 chance Heidi may have a permanent reduction in her field of vision out of her right eye(25% to 30%) but he is not very concerned about other potential side effects. They will also follow-up the surgery with some chemotherapy treatments and radiation treatments in an attempt to kill off any cancer cells that remain after the tumor is removed. Between the surgery and the follow-up treatments Heidi will likely be fairly sick and going through difficult recovery over the next 6 to 8 week period.

We are saddened by this turn of events as we’d hoped for a healthy Heidi to be able to bless our lives for a period of time. However, we have complete trust in the plan of our loving Father in Heaven and will rely on him once more to get through another rough patch in the road of life. Thank you again for all your continued love and support.


Well I think he did a great job of explaining things so I think I'll leave it at that for tonight...I second his gratitude...I appreciate the prayers and concern so much. I still need them...I don't know how I'm going to get through these next few months....but tomorrow will be sunny right?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Celebrating Freedom!

We had a great July 4th weekend and compared to last year, when I spent the whole day in bed, this year was really a great one! I din't even have any headaches!! Friday night we went over to the school and set a blanket down and enjoyed watching the fireworks show as a family. I can't remember the last time we did fireworks as a family, it was really fun. It was Kyler's first time seeing them. He kept calling them "Hot Wheels" was really cute. So that was what we did on Friday night.

Saturday morning Scott started the day by helping at Centerville City's Pancake Breakfast. We brought our family over to enjoy some breakfast with our friends the Williams. We had a fun time eating together and it was great not having to cook breakfast!
Afterwards we were lucky enough to find a good spot to watch the parade together. As it turned out the kids spent the whole parade standing in the street catching candy but I did get a few photos of them from before the excitement started. It was fun to go the parade as a family...we haven't done a July 4th parade in 3 years this was really memorable! Here's Kaylie and Lyndi...
Dallyn and their red and navy clothes!!
Dallyn't FAV from the parade...this cool monster truck with the HUGE tires! My kids are in the street collecting candy that they just threw...we sure ended up with a lot of salt water taffy yesterday!!
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4th of July!

Here's our family on the 4th of the July sporting our patriotic clothing!
Scott changed into a July 4th tee after this photo was taken... =)
I bought steaks for the first time in years...I NEVER buy steaks. Scott was excited to have them at the BBQ last night! They were pretty good I must admit!
Here's the kids enjoying watching the parade!
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