Let me say right up front how encouraging your comments have been. I read them to Toni and these are a source of great comfort and courage to her - thank you so much!
A wee detail - one of the children's Sunday School classes sent hand drawn get well notes to Toni and we only just discovered these today; they were brilliant! My thanks to all the youngsters who penned and crayoned such delightful and colorful get well wishes.
Ok, on to the day. It was a very topsy turvy kind of affair.
First, Toni had a really bad night and thankfully her sister Kim was there to help. She had a vein collapse where the IV was inserted and this rather messed up the scheduled delivery of her meds, not to mention being really painful. A treatment started at 7 and meant to run 2 hours ended at 3 am.
This left her completely exhausted but of course she had to have a CT Scan today (with iodine), so no food or coffee (torture!) until afterward. The scan results simply confirmed the absence of any cancer in the rest of her body. Great news, and not surprising at this point.
She was however suffering considerable pain in her arm, lack of mobility in her hand, had difficulty walking, and could speak only with difficulty. She slept from 10 to 3, and then we went for a 'walk' to the 3rd floor courtyard and enjoyed the fresh air for awhile. She rested there too and I read to her the cards that arrived by mail yesterday.
Next comes the weird part: at first the docs decided to reverse course and NOT do a second round of the five day IV regimen of antibodies, and suggested she should go home as there really wasn't anything further they could do for her. Lets just say I was a little stunned and, OK, 'disquieted' and my 'countenance was changed'. After some further consideration of the fact that all of the symptoms from the chin up are NOT related to the spinal inflammations but to an as yet undiagnosed brain issue, this 'go home' strategy was thankfully put on hold. In fact, it looks like we MAY see her go to Southwestern in Dallas for more tests on that aspect of her afflictions. To that end, more tests will be conducted over the next two to three days (I hope no more spinal taps!), and she may go either as a transfer to Dallas or as an outpatient, having been discharged from Seton, perhaps on Monday. We shall see how it goes.
The spinal issues appear to be transverse mylitis, as mentioned previously. While this will leave some potentially painful residual effects, recurrence is rare, and Toni will recover to a certain degree over the next 3-4 months, as God wills. Basically, some people fully recover and some people partially recover, but typically where a person is at 3-4 months is usually where they stay. Yes, lets pray for the full recovery option. Toni is trusting God whatever the outcome and asking for him to be glorified in whatever occurs.
As for the brain issues, its possible that we may never know what has hit her; it is possible we may know and then discover no treatment is possible at this time. Nevertheless, we have to at least search to see if a cause and cure can be found. These are temporary symptoms, coming, as Toni says, 'in waves'. Often preceded by nausea and head/neck pain, she finds her thoughts a bit cloudy, words difficult to come by, speech slurred, and dizzy. An extreme form occurred a week ago Monday when she totally blacked out, except for hearing. Yes, frightening. I want to know what caused that and how we can keep it from happening again, if indeed we can.
Pray: for our very fine doctors and nurses and all who labor for Christ in the care of the broken and hurting; for Toni's full recovery from transverse mylitis; for wisdom as to when we go to Southwestern and for all those there who will treat her; for Anna, Sean, and Claire as they also share in their mom's pain; for our usefulness to Christ in all of these afflictions.
Thank you again dear friends!