Sunday, May 16, 2010

new blog

Hey everybody the Schlappi family has started this blog for the purpose of updating all of you who care so much for Tara and her family.  This will be how we update you on her brain tumor status. There is not a lot of information at this time but when we get more info we will put it on here to inform you how she is doing.

First of all, we want to thank all the people who have been fasting and praying these days for Tara.  Today especially we felt your prayers as we needed them during this tough time.  One of the hardest parts of this is the "not knowing" about what we're dealing with.  Today we found out some of what we are dealing with.  Thank you all so much for your texts and emails. We read every one and we feel your support.  Please understand if we do not respond - sometimes we can talk about it and other times it's just too hard.  We will try to communicate through this blog to help the communication process.  We love you all so much!

We have had some miracles already - I'll list the order of events for you:

February - Tara has headaches that seem to be more severe than we have seen before in our household.

March - we visited Dr. Jerry Shockey because Tara has had severe headaches.  He gave her an anti-inflammatory shot to stop the cycle of medicine she has been taking and try to stop what we all thought were migraines or tension headaches.  He had the presence of mind to tell us to get a CT scan if the headaches persisted.

Becky and Tara then proceeded to get other help - we visit chiropractors and hope for the best and try to get help there first.  Tara feels some relief; but the headaches are not gone and we schedule a CT scan as a pre-cautionary test to just "make sure" we are really only dealing with tension headaches as we all think.  We are tempted to cancel the scan because nothing serious can really be wrong, can it? Tara was feeing somewhat better and actually had a few days where her headaches did not wake her up at 5 in the morning like they had the week before.  We proceeded to have the CT scan just so we indeed know that these are just tension headaches and they will go away because she just took her last final and now she has less on her plate - only a wedding to prepare for and work - right??  Wrong.  The CT scan showed a lump.  We were supposed to leave town for a wedding of Tara's cousin, Lindsey, and we were going to address all her wedding invitations (that we just barely picked up) on the way to CA.  We stop everything and Jerry Shockey, a doctor and personal friend told us we needed an MRI.  I asked him if I should be worried and unfortunately, yes, was the answer.

First little miracle -We were told that there are only 2 MRI machines in the United States that are a "3 ton" machine.  It's fairly new and Tempe EVDI has had one for only a few months and they made room for us in their schedule and we immediately drove to Tempe for the exam.  Apparently this MRI machine takes more clear pictures than others.  By now Scott  joined Tara and I and we did not get a reading of the MRI at this time.  Tara and I had some rough moments in EVDI after the CT scan when we actually looked at the tumor and realized there was indeed a problem.  Scott and a lunch business appointment friend gave Tara a blessing before the MRI.

Jerry Shockey then tells us there is nothing we can do on the weekend and we should go ahead and to to the wedding - it's better than sitting around in a hospital bed eating red jello!  We await phone calls from Jerry and presume we will just have to wait until Monday morning to meet with a surgeon and see what the MRI says.

Second miracle - Thanks to good friends who are also doctors or radiologists, there IS something that can be done on weekends.  Dennis Crandall gets involved also and he knows a surgeon at Barrows Institute.  Jerry Shockey personally takes our disk of the MRI and tries to get it to Pres. Kent Nelson, also a radiologist at Mayo.  Pres. Nelson is out of town; so Mike Norberg somehow gets involved and finds a way to "post" the films online so Pres. Kent Nelson can look at them while he's at a conference out of town.  Kent Nelson receives a text from Jerry and proceeds to take time from his schedule to review the films and ask other colleagues for their input - who happen to be trained in the correct field.  He and the other 5 colleagues who look at the MRI come to a general consensus of the following:  (This is an educated guess - we won't really know what it is or is not until Tara is operated on)

This is a Glioma (glee-O-ma):
A name for brain tumors that begin in the glial cells, or supportive cells, in the brain. "Glia" is the Greek word for glue.

Tumors are of 4 levels - 4 being the kind you can't operate on.  They think - can't guarantee - but their best guess is that this is a Level 1 or 2.  That means we can operate and try to get this "glue" out of Tara's brain.

Good news - we can get help - we have lots of people praying for us and good friends doing all they can to help.  We aren't sure at this moment all the treatment that will be involved - all we know is that is has to come out.  During the operation, a biopsy will be done to determine if this is malignant or not.  Our prayers are that this is BENIGN.  Please pray for that.

Bad news - this is in a bad spot - on the inside of the brain and it's big.  5-6 centimeters.  The CT radiologist said it's the size of a small orange.  Tara said we hope it's the size of those little mandarin oranges!  

We are hoping and praying that Tara gets into the hands of a skilled surgeon who can handle this type of surgery.  It is very rare and there may not be many surgeons who specialize in this kind of surgery; but we are confident that through our friends and the Lord's help we will be able to get to the right surgeon and right facility to take care of this as quickly as possible.

This coming week, our next steps are to get into a surgeon at Barrows Institute ASAP. Dr. Dennis Crandall is helping with this.  We will potentially get a second opinion, possibly from someone out of state.

We will let you know more when we know more.  Thanks again so much for everything!

We appreciate the flowers, texts, emails, love and prayers.  Tara broke down today when Ashley Clark in only the voice a sweet 8 year old can say, "Tara, I fasted for you ALL DAY and prayed too!"  We all have our moments - Tara, Scott, Josh & myself call them "brave breaks" when we need to take a break from being brave and just cry a little.  Thankfully all of us are not always on those breaks at the same time.

Tara is being so brave and has a positive attitude.  We are all somewhat still in shock; but are coming to the realization of what this potentially means.  She is a trooper and we love her so much!!! She will make it through this!!!

If you have any questions just comment below and we will try and answer them on the next post!
Thanks so much!

The Schlappi Family


Lynette said...

Tara, we are praying for you and want to express our love and concern. Thanks for creating this blog so we can keep updated. We'll pray for a good dr. and that the tumor is benign!

Andie said...

Hi Becky, thank you for posting this. I didn't know about this happening to Tara. She will be in our prayers and if I can help in any way,please let me know. Remember we are here for you!

Val said...

If any family, the Schlappi's can make it through! I love you guys so much and appreciate your strength. My family is thinking of and praying for you constantly! Hang in there and I promise the Lord will bless you. Love youuu!

Aselin said...

Thank you for being kind enough to include everyone in the details via the blog. We care so much for your entire family and are grateful for the opportunity to provide love and support. You are all in our prayers.

Tami Schlappi said...

Tara and family,

The Utah Schlappi's (and Gibbons) are praying for you and thinking of you all day long. We know the Lord is watching out for you - with all the tender mercies so far. You are in His hands and He will give you the strength you need during this time. We love you so very much and will be with you all the way!

All our love,
Mike, Tami and kids

christy said...

Tara and Family....We just want you to know that we LOVE YOU and are PRAYING for you...thank you for letting us stay in tune with your sweet family...Like many others...we will keep praying for more of those tender mercies...they are so real and have been shown to your dear family already...HUGS, The Cluff Family

Julia Ryan said...

Thank you for keeping us in the loop. We love you all so much and are praying for you. Tara is a very special young woman. We know that the little miracles that are already happening will grow into big miracles. The Lord is guiding this process and you are in good hands.
Please let us know what we can do to help.
Patrick and Julia Ryan

Darcy said...

Tara we are with you in our thoughts, prayers, and good deeds. You are a seet heart with a strong heart. I love you.

Cyn said...

Believe me, I know somewhat of what you're going through. Our son, Brantley, is friends with Rachel. In September 2008 he was diagnosed with a "Cavernous Angioma" at the base of his brainstem in the pons area that was hemorrhaging. He had surgery the next day at Barrows by Dr. Spetzler who is the worlds best surgeon for this type of surgery that B needed. B has not fully recovered yet, but we still have faith that he will. He's serving a full time mission in SLC and is doing well.
I know Heavenly Father is mindful of you all and will bless you with what you need. Keep watching for the miracles. They will continue happening and you will be carried through this by angels on earth and in Heaven.
I'll be happy to visit with you about our experience if you'd like. My email is
Our love and prayers will be going your way.
Cynthia Partridge

Cyn said...

Sorry, that's

Dave and Julie said...

Dear Tara and Schlappi's...just know that there are prayers going up for you from Germany....I think it will help to have two sides of the earth covered! You sound like you are handling this in your characteristic "roll up your sleeves and do all you can do" way. If there is any family that can pull together and make things happen through faith and good works, it is the Schlappis. WE love you and so appreciate being in the loop with this. So amazing to see how the wonderful Citrus Heights ward pulls together in times of crisis. There aren't any better people on earth. Hang in there! REmember my favorite quote "worry will not empty tomorrow of it's trouble, but it will empty today of it's strength" You need all your let go of the worry and turn it over to the Lord. Love you...miss you! Julie Colton

Beth Stratton said...

Prayers and love coming your way from the "rainy city" in Washington. In case you choose University of Washington Medical Center for a second opinion, you know you've got a place to stay. We're so sorry you have to go through this but hope you can find some peace and beauty as you look for the miracles and tender mercies.
Beth Stratton

Heidi said...

Thanks so much for the information. I just heard yesterday and was trying to figure out how to best reach you. We will be praying also and sending positive thoughts to you and your beautiful daughter.

StaceyHemeyer said...

I am completely in shock! I know I have only known you a short time so far, but I think you are a wonderful, strong, beautiful young woman and I know you will beat this! You and Josh have so much to look forward to. Keep your spirits up and you will be in my families prayers as well!

Emily Malinka said...

Thanks for taking the time for doing a blog, you are definitely in all of our prayers here! We love you!!

Brady and Brittany said...

I've been praying for Tara and your family since the moment my mom told me what was going on! Thank you for making this blog to keep everyone updated. I love you all!

Brittany Buckhannon Fish

Abby Elizabeth said...

You are all truly incredible, thanks for the blog, we will follow it carefully. Tara, hang in there, we are praying for you and thinking of you and all of you. We know that angels above are watching over you and Heavenly Father is aware of all the details. all our love, Scott, Abby and family

Peter said...

You are in our prayers. Thanks for the updates via the blog. It helps us to know what to pray for and helps keep you all at the front of our thoughts. God bless you all.

Heather said...

Dear Tara and family,

It feels like ages since I've seen you, but I want you to know that you are in my thoughts too. I'm glad to hear you have skilled practitioners fighting for you. Believe in the miricles. Love,

Kathryn said...

Dear Schlappis, Thank you for the opportunity to fast for Tara. Some kinds goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. We will continue to pray and fast for all of your family. Thank you for sharing here. We will exercise our faith and wait on the Lord. David and Kathy Knight

michelle said...

Tara, You really didn't need a "3 ton" MRI machine. You're really not that heavy. LOL. Thanks to you and your family for starting this. It will save you so much time, but still be able to get info out to all of us who are thinking and praying for you daily. I will continue to text some useless babble to you so it will seem just like you are at work. Please keep your spirits up and stay humorous. It really does help. Also, please when you go to have the surgery, DO NOT fall off of the table. (I'm just saying), Be careful ; )
Come see us when you can
Love, Misha

Morgan said...

You will be in our prayers Tara. Stay positive, you have so many wonderful people helping you out.

doodlekat said...

hey tribe-mate :) i have finally come around from the shock your text gave me this morning - i guess those really weren't migraines, then, huh? - just to keep your headaches company i had a helluva mig. today, so while i jabbed myself i remembered that day you pulled a needle out of your pocket in class.... roflmao!! think if we'd been caught.....anyway, i miss you and wish you weren't moving away :( BUT that gives me an excuse to come visit - yay! and let's keep in text, k? hugs and love, bobbie

Kylee Knoles said...

Sweet Tara & Family,

My prayers are with you constantly. Sounds as if you are handling this with extreme faith and strength. What a testament to you and your family. I love you all and am pulling for you! Thanks so much for this informative blog. Keep on keepin on!

christy said...

Tara...I truly loved reading your post're testimony strengthens mine!! When I was going through a very hard time- 14 years ago...the thought kept coming into my mind, "there is strength in numbers". I felt so much strength, as members, friends and family all loved me and kept me in their prayers....I see it happening once again with your trial at this time. Heavenly Father is watching over us always and knows what we need. He loves you Tara...WE LOVE YOU TOO!!!