Friends of Dirk and Kelsey







February 26, 2007

Hello, It has been quite some time since my last update, so I thought it was about time to let everyone know how Dirk is progressing. He is eight months out from his stroke this weekend and five months from his surgery. Our life still seems very surreal and that awful day in June sometimes feels like yesterday for me despite Dirk's progress and his amazing spirit.

Our latest meeting with the neuro oncologist at UCSF went well. The MRI showed no changes, which is a huge relief. Since it is unclear if the benign tumor was fully removed with surgery, the doctors will continue to closely watch him.

Dirk continues to improve daily. It's difficult for us to see the changes, but others who see him once a week/month say that there are improvements. They are definitely not happening fast enough for Dirk as he continues to struggle with his voice, double vision, and decreased balance/coordination. Nonetheless, he is improving and becoming more independent. He has begun to walk outside alone and has taken the local bus to meet his therapists at chosen destinations, like Peet's coffee. Also, he has started taking a class at the College of Marin that works on cognitive skills (brain games) and he is hoping to start a computer class at the end of March.

Recently Dirk has felt like his life is therapy and he is getting pretty tired of it. He knows what it's like to do things over and over being an athlete, but it's challenging to stay motivated. He really misses training with his friends and he desperately misses riding his bike. I try to encourage him to use his sadness and frustration as the fuel to feed his fire to keep forging ahead. He'll get there- I am sure of it.

All in all, we are doing well. We are still figuring out our life because it's dramatically changed and it takes time to feel comfortable in new shoes. Daily we are faced with new challenges, but we talk about them and come up with working solutions. The "firsts" are usually the most difficult and then they aren't firsts anymore, so round two is always easier. We are working hard and will continue to until the inner happiness and outer happiness feel more as one for both us.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Much Love, Kelsey and Dirk

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