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):
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