Dr. C, Lisa's neurosurgeon, reported back just after her biopsy: she had no hemorrhaging and doing fine. It looked like the very initial pathology suggested the tumor is not malignant, and there are neurosurgeons who may consider at least part of it operable. Her neurologist's bedside checkup was all normal. And she is all smiles. We'll find out more from the formal pathology report on Monday.
Some of the facts: She has a golf ball sized tumor in her right temporal lobe. Her fall Friday was most likely caused by a seizure brought on by inflammation in the right side of her brain. That seems under control with anti-seizure and anti-inflammatory medication.
She can not drive for at least six months. And of course we're going to limit what we do to lessen injuries if she has another seizure. She will most likely need anti-seizure meds for the rest of her life.
Today we woke up to birds singing, the neighbor dog barking, and the almost overpowering aroma of flowers. We've had about 14 hours of sleep, and breakfast on the screen-porch where she said: "Everything is different now. I don't know how to describe it.... The air smells fresher, birds sound better, and I feel so much love and happiness. More love and happiness than I've ever felt."
Email written by Eric while Lisa was in surgery, sent at home Friday:
As some of you may know, Lisa had a fall sometime Friday night. After taking her to the ER at Cottage Hospital on Monday for a severe persistent headache, a CT scan revealed abnormal swelling in the right side of her brain. She had two minor seizures Monday, but with anti-swelling and seizure medications her headache went away and seizures stopped but she spent the night in the ICU due to the risk.
An MRI Tuesday morning revealed a roughly golf ball size tumor in her right temporal lobe. The neurosurgeon's opinion was that it is non-operable due to the size and location.
The next step, which we're taking as I write this, is a biopsy to determine just what it is, how aggressive it is, etc.
So you know, Lisa and I are fine. Of course we would like this to work out in a positive way. But on the other hand, we know it may not. The most important thing is that we are positive and happy - actually have never been happier. That may seem odd, but we do have a choice in how we think and we would both prefer to be happy and positive with any time we have here together or otherwise.
We have in fact both cried, but I think for the most part, it has been due to being overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness from everyone from loved ones to total strangers.
Of course, pray for her if that helps you, but whatever you do, keep her in your thoughts. In general, keep others in your thoughts - what you give is generally returned many fold.
I'll update more when I can, [please see www.girlbert.com for updates etc.] Love, Eric & Lisa
Girlbert is out sick for a bit. After working late on Friday, she fell and hit her head. She's had quite the headache so we went into the hospital for some tests. We don't know much right now but we'll keep you posted. We're both scared but smiling. Never forget the power of positive thought.
Warning: This is a stream of conciousness with periods and the occasional line-break. Good luck...
I just hate it when I lie awake for so long, ideas fluttering around in my head, that I forget what to write down. I know, I know, - keep a notebook by your bed, Girlbert. I do, but there are only so many times you can turn on the light and scribble something down before a) your partner wants to kill you, or b) you should just get your ass out of bed and do it justice. And I'm too lazy to deal with the repurcussions of either of those options.
So I have a problem - too many ideas, not enough time to write it all down. I should be grateful - at least I'm not all tapped out. Part of it is the surrounding landscape, so rich and filled with inspiration. I'm having serious attention deficit issues as the weather warms and nature reawakens from her winter slumber. Hundreds of little orange butterflies swooped and flitted around our neighborhood yesterday, seeming to put on a show just for me. And the woodpeckers are the court jesters of the forest, they were in full entertainment mode - practicing their acrobatics and heckling one another all day long. The local turkeys are in full-on mating season the toms march by the house in full display several times a day, the hens nonchalantly following along. The surrounding forest has become a genuine Garden of Eden - luring me from my money-making pursuits and responsibilities behind my computer. I am highly distractable.
I'm also reading again. I haven't read much but manuals on HTML and CSS, online tutorials on content management systems lately. I was terribly excited when I acquired Transcending CSS: The Fine Art of Web Design. Really? What happened to the animal-loving, mystic who sought out nothing but feel-good, self-help books, metaphysical manuscripts, and celebrity autobiographies? When did I learn to absorb information in textbooks? I certainly could have used that skill in high school. But I'm back on Memoirs-of-the-Rich-and-Famous-Train, and it's bringing me full circle on why I left Colorado in the pursuit of my happiness in California.
First came Goldie Hawn's book, A Lotus Grows in the Mud. A fascinating journey, her life is, and who could have anything against someone named Goldie? Of course I was open to it, as I am with most everything, particularly in the realm of alternative medicine and spiritual journeys. I used to have a friend who would roll his eyes at my fascination with celebrities endorsing metaphysics and holistic lifestyles. "If Shirley says it, it must be true," he would sneer, mockingly. It's always been so funny to me what threatens people. I mean, what's so threatening about just believing there is an easy, beautiful, happy way to live? It's true, I know I believe a lot of what those in the spotlight have to say about such matters because I look at them as choices that the people with the most money in the world can afford. And then I think, or do they have all that money because of the metaphysical choices they've made? Or is it both? The chicken or the egg?
But no matter, the point is that when the rich and famous have health issues or get cancer, most of them turn to alternative therapies. They can afford the best western medicine and traditional doctors in the world, but they choose energy therapy, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, instead. And they travel around the world to learn about such therapies, other cultures and other religions. So as much as hanging on the every word of a celebrity touting another alternative therapy makes me look like a whore to celebrity culture, it's what makes sense to me. And as I'm now reading in Shirley's latest book (which I intend to write more about upon finishing), information that resonates with you in some way is your reality, and you should take it very seriously.
So here I am again, absorbing Shirley's wise words regarding syncronicity, spirituality, holistic medicine, and reincarnation, and thinking, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. This is why I'm here. On this planet. In this lifetime.
If you know me, you know this has been a rough year for me. But this week was about eight thousand times harder. Work without pay - wait, when did I start training horses again? So last night, after another 12-hour workday, I looked at my honey, and he said, "Let's just stop for tonight - please?" With tears in my eyes, I sighed, "Okay." It was all I could do to stop, I was so overwhelmed by everything we had to do. "Let's make some dinner, have a glass of wine, and watch a movie or play a game or something. We just need a break." A game? That sounded remotely FUN. And nothing sounded FUN at that moment, so that was a pretty good idea. "What game?" "Well let's see what we have in here..." He opened the cabinet, "How about Jenga?" I pictured myself throwing wooden rectangles at his face. Not a good plan. "What else?" "Therapy - what's that about?" "I LOVE Therapy." "Therapy it is."
Therapy: The Game Fascinating fun with a psychological twist. Explore your imagination. Discover surprising facts about human behavior. Find out how others see you.
Let it be known that I ended up in "psychosis" five times, boyfriend, once. That's about the right ratio. So after some dinner and much alcohol consumption, Therapy turned out to be just what we needed. The directions call for 3-6 players, but we just figured instead of group therapy, we were undergoing couples therapy. I haven't had that much fun in such a long time. A sampling of our Therapy sessions:
"So tell me, Lisa, which player do you think would be quickest to admit to making a mistake?" That'd be a resounding NOT ME.
"So tell me, Lisa, on a rating scale of 1 to 10, how stubborn are you?" Uh, 10.
"So tell me, Lisa, what percentage of your worries do you eventually reveal to other people - 5%, 50%, or 95%?" 50%.
As my therapist, Boyfriend was to try to guess what my answers were, and he NEVER GOT ONE WRONG.
On the other hand: "So tell me, Boyfriend, what period of history were you really made for - the Roman Empire, the 'South' of Gone with the Wind, or Modern Times?" Boyfriend: Modern Times. Me: Oh, I said the Roman Empire. Boyfriend: Really? Why? Me: Hmmm, I guess 'cause you're all chivalrous and believe in battling things out via warfare, if necessary. Boyfriend: Huh.
"So tell me, Darling, which player would be most likely to make the headlines in the paper?" Boyfriend: You. Me: For what? I could hardly get through reading this one: "So tell me, Baby, which player do you think would be most likely to become addicted to 'General Hospital'!?!? Phbpbplt!"
He won the the game. But I won the fight with myself.