This is Becky.
Tara is slowly regaining her strength. She actually looked somewhat normal Sunday and had energy for 40 whole minutes during choir practice; but then faded pretty fast near the end of rehearsal. We are 3 weeks into the 6 weeks of antibiotics; and so far Tara is hanging in there ok. It's not fun; but she's making it. Her stomach continues to take turns hurting with her head; but we can see improvements. She is gaining some weight back; but is still quite turned off by the smell of my fridge or food cooking! (which makes things a little difficult at times!!) She made it to all of her church meetings on the weekend which was great also. We have yet to take a walk outside; but she is going up and down the stairs several times a day; so I guess that counts! Shapiro says the reason her head is still hurting is because the infection was in the "dermis" layer and it's still recovering and therein lies the source of the pain.
I have only one other brain surgery comparison to compare this to; and last time Tara lived up to what Dr. Berger said she would and was 80% within 2 weeks; but not so this time. But Dr. Shapiro thinks Tara is strong enough to start chemo again Thursday..... I really hope and pray that she will make it through okay this next week; I'm not sure she's ready; but they don't want her to get any more behind on her schedule. I guess this means we may finish Temodar in September instead of August.
We've had some good times here at the home front while Josh & Tara are staying with us. We are enjoying having both of them around. While I lie in bed at night; I hear happy noises coming from the basement again like I used to when the rest of the kids were home. Tara, Josh & Nate are up talking, lifting weights, or whatever and it's fun to hear them. Nate really enjoys having company around; he's been lonely since Rachel left home and it's good for him to share the basement and stop being an only child around here! I enjoy Tara's company also; although much of the time she doesn't like light or noise; which can present a problem; BUT, slowly she is getting better about light and noise. She went with me to quilt group Monday; and made it in the common area for an hour; but then had to leave the room because we had a few conversations going at once and she just couldn't take the noise. I keep telling myself we are taking steps forward, even though she's not exactly "normal" yet (but then again, WHEN was she EVER normal??). The important thing is she's moving in the right direction and I have to keep remembering that. Patience was never one of my strong suits! I'm learning way too much of that trait during this whole process.
I heard a great thought today from Laura Bayles' missionary letter - do you know the hymn "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me?" Think of it like this. The waves He is piloting are the trials that are saving us from harder things - the ROCKS. This is in Laura's words, "They are a protection against the rocks that are under the surface. I had never thought about that before... that God may give us trials to protect us from some form of even greater destruction. How lucky we are to have trials that can stretch us and make us grow." I'm trying to remember we are lucky; and I know we are blessed and Tara has the greatest attitude. I have to make sure I learn and grow closer to my Savior throughout this process instead of feeling sorry for myself. Saturday Pres. Bawden and another priesthood leader came to our home; and Tara once again said she was thankful for this trial and what she has learned from it. I stand in awe of my daughter. Her spirit shines bright. Tonight a friend of mine came with a gift for Tara and for some odd reason Tara bust into tears - I think it's the fact that so many people are praying for her, including this sweet Spanish friend who barely know her or know her not at all; but they are praying and praying and hold her in their hearts. That is what she said - Tara is in her heart and her prayers even though she claims she "can't speak English." One of the thoughts on the notepad that was brought said that "angels surround you." I know Tara is in all of your hearts and that means so very much to all of us. We wouldn't be this far in this good of shape without all of your prayers that are REBUKING this cancer. You are our angels. Thank you!! Now just pray she has no lasting effects from this medication she's on..... always a worry.