Friends of Dirk and Kelsey







October 27, 2006


I feel badly that I have gone over three weeks without being in touch, but life has been a bit crazy and I wanted to provide a thorough update. For the past five months I have given you a blow by blow picture of what's going on in our lives.good and bad. I think it is important to share those moments because hopefully we can all learn to find beauty and joy in every day and not sweat the small stuff.

So, the past twenty-four hours have been a bit daunting. We went to see Dirk's neurosurgeon yesterday. I was so excited and proud to bring Dirk in for his follow-up. He is progressing so well and had no major setbacks after surgery. We found out some tough news yesterday and we're not sure how to absorb it all right now. The pathology report from the area of the brain that Dr. Lawton resected did not come back normal. The biopsy had increased cellularity and there was no vascular element that would be present in a cavernous malformation. It's not all that clear what that means, but there is a strong possibility of it being a tumor called a central neurocytoma. Although, there are other possibilities as well.we just have to wait and see. Here's a little about a central neurocytoma that is off of the Stanford Neurosurgery website. "Central neurocytomas are benign tumors of small neuronal cells. They occur within the fluid spaces of the lateral and third ventricles. Complete excision is the treatment of choice." So, what happens next? Dirk has to go in for another MRI with contrast to see if there are any tumor cells. After that we will either be cleared or have to meet with the tumor team to discuss further treatment options. Fortunately whatever it was has been removed we just have to make sure there are no residual tumor cells.

Holy smokes..after hearing this I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach for the second time this year. I felt like I did when I first found Dirk in the med tent. It was the last thing we were expecting and it led into a really tough night and day today. We have found out more info today and I did receive a copy of the pathology report so it is all starting to make a little more sense. All we can do is collect information and move forward knowing that we are in very good hands. It's impossible to say "don't worry about it" because brains don't work that way.I have never been much a worrier, but stuff like this puts me and Dirk through the ringer.

After telling you about Dirk's meeting yesterday, all the other stuff I could talk about seems small. Dirk received more botox for his eyes, but it has yet to improve his eyesight. We returned his wheel chair- YEAH! He walks to the gym now 4 days a week (20 min each way) and exercises for about an hour. Balance is still an issue, but we're working on it; thinking about trying a yoga or pilates class. Work is going well for me, although it is tough to leave Dirk. I try to keep him very busy with therapies and friends taking him to coffee/lunch/swim/walk.

I hope everyone is enjoying their fall. We have had beautiful weather and the trees- believe it or not in CA- have changed colors. It's my favorite time of year.

Much love from both of us.


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