Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Update from Sarah!

Hey everyone! Thought I would stop by and give Pat a break from the blog updates! Just be prepared for a little less creativity and a less fluent way of putting thoughts into writing! He's a tough act to follow, but I figured everyone was ready to hear from the patient herself!

So to answer the question I'm asked most...How are you feeling? That's a complex answer and I looked really hard on Google to show you a picture, but it's not really a search friendly explanation. In a nutshell...I feel like a sausage that someone packed too tightly into the casing! Funny but so true! Steroids are my newfound enemy (even though I know they are helping me get better day by day)! If the steroids have a side effect, I got it (all 20 of them). But the good news is that they are slowly fading me off of them and there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

It’s crazy, but I rarely think about the actual incision until Owen (at 2 years old) asks me to put a hat on. He does this every hour or so! He also makes comments about the choo-choo train tracks on my head! I love the kid's honesty! I got my staples out today, so we will see if he still thinks they look like choo-choo tracks!

So, the incision isn't that bad. It goes from the top of my right ear lobe right, behind my hairline, to an inch past the midline of my head. I'm not really taking any pain meds anymore. I get a slight headache on rare occasions when I over-do it a bit, but that's it. Awesome, and praise the Lord for that!

So what I can and can't do? I still have kept a pretty laid back schedule. I fatigue pretty quickly. I'm still not supposed to lift the kids or anything over 5 lbs (challenging!). I haven't driven since the diagnosis (Jan. 31st) due to the pressure the tumor was putting on my optic nerve. I haven't had the visual disturbances since the surgery (Praise the Lord) so I probably could drive, but I'm not sure my "sausage link-like reflexes" are quite up to speed with the other drivers! I mean when your neck is a similar size to your shoulders and cheeks, it's hard to turn your head in a split second! I know you are all thinking, "Sarah, you are being so hard on yourself." I know because everyone has said that, but trust me...it is pretty close and if you know me well you know I have to find humor in everything! It's my best coping mechanism!

I know people are also wondering if I lost any skills when they removed some of my brain tissue, good and bad. Well, so far, no. At least no one is telling me! I know some of the functions of the frontal lobe from school, so; of course I've been testing myself on some of those skills. They typically include high executive functioning skills like organization, memory, behavior, personality, and problem solving to name a few (we are in the clear because these haven't been strengths of mine for quite some time now!). So, am I normal? Probably not, because I don't think God ever intended me to be "normal”. Am I still quirky Sarah who laughs at everything? YES! Also, a plus is that the tumor on my right hemisphere which is likely most people's non-dominant side of the brain.

Emotionally? I'm doing pretty well. Do I have my bad days where I just beg and cry to God? Yes, not very often, but they do come around. Emotions have been very interesting during this journey. For the most part, I haven't dwelled on the situation (which is another coping strategy of mine). I just ignore it until I can actually take a step to fix it. We have been keeping life as normal as possible around here, which has been beneficial for me in this area. I think I've been pretty strong, but I'm still reminded of my weakness, too. Overall, I'm hanging in there just fine and KNOWING the Lord is going to do great things through this. I was telling the Lord today that I'm not sure how he's going to use me through this, what I'm supposed to be learning, or even if I'm ready, but every ounce of this pain is so worth it to know that just one person could benefit from my story and possibly grow closer to Him or even better yet know who HE truly is for the first time. So. Worth. It.

I would also like to sincerely THANK every single one of you. I cannot tell you how awesome it is to feel all the encouragement and support from so many people. A day still does not go by that we do not get a card in the mail, facebook/twitter/blog message, flowers, dinner, money, gift cards, fruit baskets, text message, voicemail, etc. encouraging us in our journey and letting us know we are being prayed for. I want you to know that we have read and cherished every single one of them. We are so humbled by everyone's responses and concern. It truly takes our breath away and has helped us fight this battle even stronger. Thank you doesn't seem like enough words to say, but from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU!

I'm ending my novel with this: I am truly a blessed woman to be surrounded by an amazing family. Most of you know how great they are without me even going into details, but they have surrounded me and not let me fall even one inch. Parents and siblings, you all know what ALL you have done for us, and again forever thank you. Now to Pat...you have all gotten to see an amazing side to my "beyond perfect in my eyes husband" through his blog posts. And yes, he is that amazing. It is breath-taking to me that God could and would create such a perfect person for me and then make sure I found him! I did. I found him and tricked him into marrying me, and I'm so glad I did. You have been a rock babe, and thank you for carrying me through with you. We are going to make this great!

Love to all and we are still praying for a great pathology report from Houston. Our next appointment is March 25th. It's going to be good!


  1. That's my girl, a chip off the "OLD" block.

  2. You are such an amazing woman! I LOVE your sense of humor! Still praying for a good report!

  3. You seem like an amazingly strong woman & I will continue to pray for good progress for you!
    What a beautiful post!

  4. Sarah, we love you love you love you. So good to hear from you.

  5. So glad to hear from you! I am keeping you in my prayers and look forward to more positive updates from you in the near future. God is so good!

  6. You're right Sarah, we did want to hear from you!! Your attitude and faith are such an inspiration. We're still praying and looking forward to seeing you soon.

  7. Sarah... I have never commented on a blog before but I felt the need to just share our experience. Our good friends Zach and Kara were to come over to our house the day after Christmas and about 2pm I called their house and there was no answer. At 5pm I get a call from Kara and I was being goofy and singing a christmas carol.. and I asked where they were.. she asked me to sit down... my first thought she was pregnant.. she said that they were at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and that Zach was in Intensive care... that he had a brain tumor .. an astrocytoma that was in the right hemisphere directly behind the eye .... the size of a plum. They had awakened and Zach said he needed to use the restroom.. the next sounds were horrific and terrifying. He had 4 grand mal seizures in the next 45 minutes. He is now receiving radiation treatments 7 days a week. I feel so helpless and offer to do anything I can.. I pray for you everyday and I check for Updates. He also has two young children under the age of 3. I don't know how I came to your blog.. I just kept hitting the next blog button... and saw the word astrocytoma... and that is not a common word... God bless you and keep you safe. I wish you all the best!! Debbie from Pennsylvania

  8. So good to hear from you Sarah! You are so "real" and that is what I love about you! I look forward to hearing from you more!

    And thank you SO much for commenting on Lindsey's blog. I just posted an update about her surgery today. Thanks for reaching out to her. You're the best!


  9. So good to read this update! You are such an amazing and strong woman! Continuing to lift you up!!

  10. Sarah-- So good to hear from you!! Would love to come visit if you are up for the company -- I will call you next week!!
    Look foward to seeing you soon

  11. You two are a great blogging team. I can't wait to read the book. : )

  12. Hi Sarah,
    It is truly an exciting evening reading your post. Many prayers have been sent up on your behalf and also for Pat, the Children and the the Grandparents, as well. One part of your post really jumped out to me. It read,"I was telling the Lord today that I'm not sure how he's going to use me through this, what I'm supposed to be learning, or even if I'm ready, but every ounce of this pain is so worth it to know that just one person could benefit from my story and possibly grow closer to Him or even better yet know who HE truly is for the first time. So. Worth. It."---- Now, that statement is real evidence of a Child of God. I attended a funeral of a client this week. No mention was made recognizing God as his Savior, nothing -- nothing------- nothing. I wept as I drove home, alone in my auto. But, the tears were not of mourning but of rejoicing that I "KNOW" that God "HAS MY BACK". What would we do without Him. (That incident made me realize just how much I really take him for granted; Him having my back). Relative to indicating of you not knowing how God will use you through this experience? -- He already is. You having experienced this trauma is preparing you for a "first hand" education in helping others deal with similar issues. My hat is off to you. Godspeed. (Sorry for my lengthy novel, as well !)
    Ron McLaughlin

  13. Sarah, so good to hear from you on your blog!! And to know that you are still YOU! You are a treasure. Thanks for filling us all in =)
    No doubts whatsoever from our end that God would "Do It" for you...He will use you in this; I believe He already has.
    We love you guys and we're still praying for you.
    Travis & Desty (and the kids)

  14. Praying for you, my sweet secret santa!

  15. Sarah, I am Cari's friend that just had the pituitary tumor removed. Thank you so much for the sweet words of encouragement you posted on my blog. I love your words "hold tight to Jesus!" Girl, He has held tight to me, for sure. I felt such peace and confidence throughout the whole thing. He is surely too good to us, and I know He will work it all out to His glory!!
    I am praying for you as you go through this time in your life. I don't know a lot of details of he back story - I couldn't really see/read much until surgery, so I know that Cari said you were sick, but haven't gotten a chance to read all your blog posts. Anyway, you sound like you have wonderful friend and family to walk alongside you. Know that you have strangers to walk alongside you as well! Prayers for you, sister in Christ, and Glory to God!!
    Lindsey Watson

  16. Just wanted to let you know I am praying for you both this morning! Mary

  17. Sarah,I have been following your progress and lifting you up in prayer personally and through my church too. Yes, your sweet husband is such an amazing man and a tower of strength, but so are you! You have already been such an inspiration and blessing to so many of us. When Isabella stayed with me the other day, she said she missed Lynlee and Owen:) She said it without any prompting from me! Please know that we are continuing to hope and pray for a good report and for God's comfort and peace throughout the coming days. We love you.
    Jan and Hal

  18. Praying for you Sarah.

    Stephanie Lynch

  19. Praying for you and your family! You guys are amazing and I trust that God has great plans for all of you.