The Whole Story

Posted by in blog, family

Here I will tell the whole story of what’s going on in my family’s life right now. Specifically, Sarah’s health issues. You may continue to follow this blog for future updates as they are available.

tl;dr – Sarah has a brain tumor and will need surgery very soon.

It all started Christmas Eve of 2015. Sarah had her first migraine while celebrating Christmas with our family. It was rough, but it was a singular event, and we didn’t think too much of it. I won’t go into every little detail, but I will give much of the story.

Fast forward to last summer, about 6 months later.
Sarah had an increasingly growing sensitivity to various foods, so we began treatment with a specialist (the same person treating me for Lyme) in hopes we could reduce or eliminate her fairly extreme (but not anaphylactic) reactions to many foods. Some of you may remember that we sold our house during this time and kept bouncing from home to home until we found the place we currently live. Some good friends opened their home for laundry purposes, since the place where we were staying did not have laundry facilities. The boys were playing outside with Sarah and our friend, while Sarah went inside to check the laundry and rest because she wasn’t feeling well. Eventually, our friend went in to check on Sarah and found her passed out on the ground. We now begin to more aggressively address the allergy issues because this and further episodes seemed directly tied to certain foods.

On Easter Sunday, 2017 while trying to sing for church, Sarah again was not feeling well. Instead of returning to the platform to sing the final songs, we decided to rest. Again, she was found by someone, this time passed out on the bathroom floor of the church. Thankfully, her father was visiting for Easter and he was able to take the boys home while I took Sarah to Hillcrest Hospital’s Emergency Room. They treated her for the pain and the allergies, got her stable, and released her, choosing not to do a CT scan at this time.

We went back to the allergy doctor a few weeks ago, and he was very concerned at the increasing frequency that she was having these episodes and told us to see a neurologist for further investigation. We began that process, but her appointment was not until August.

July 4, 2017
We had traveled to the north Chicago suburbs to celebrate Independence Day with my aunt, uncle, grandma, and family. Again, Sarah was not feeling well and chose to remain in bed all day while we celebrated outside. Her memory was very flaky at this point, especially short term memory, but we continued to put this off as either consumption or exposure to one of her allergies. However, it was becoming clear that her body was becoming more and more sensitive to these various things.

July 5, 2017
Down to Wrigley Field to watch the Cubs play the Rays. This whole day was crazy, so I’ll skip to the important parts. While returning to his seat, Sarah’s dad missed a step and fell very hard, badly scraping up his arm and landing on his knee. After the game was over, it was clear he could not walk (we needed to take the train 20 minutes south back to our hotel), so I told Sarah to ride in an ambulance with him to the ER and I would return downtown with the boys to the hotel.

Sometime after they arrived in the ER and her father was being examined, Sarah again passed out, but this time also went into a full seizure. Fortunately, she was in a hospital, not on a train. They took her to another room and began running tests. The CT scan revealed a large tumor over her left frontal lobe and they admitted her to the hospital. My aunt and uncle traveled the hour drive back downtown to stay with my now sleeping boys so I could go back to the hospital to be with Sarah. I finally arrived around 1am (July 6th). I found her in ICU and was able to speak to the nurse about her condition. The doctor in the ER had called me earlier and told me she would need surgery and would be in the hospital for about a week. There wasn’t much I could do at this point, and I needed sleep, so I took my first Uber ride at 2:30am back to the hotel.

The next day, my dad drove the 2 hours back to the city to pick up my boys and Sarah’s injured dad, while I returned to the hospital. We spoke to the neurosurgeon who better explained the situation and also gave us the option of returning home to Cleveland for surgery. However, this would still depend on the results from the MRIs scheduled for later that day.

Friday morning, the doctor returned to give us all the results. In a nutshell, he said that it is a good-sized tumor, but as far as brain tumors go, this is the least scary. Once physical therapy cleared Sarah to leave, we began the journey home. We spend Friday night at my parent’s house in Indiana. Saturday, we said goodbye to our kids, leaving them with their grandparents while Sarah is treated.

I was making many phone calls on Friday to get Sarah set up with a neurosurgeon on Monday, July 10th, but have nothing confirmed yet. We have spoken to doctors at both UH and Cleveland Clinic, and hopefully Monday morning, we will hear back from one or both hospitals with an appointment.

When we know more, I will attempt to just continue updates via my blog here. That way, I don’t have to tell the whole story 100 times.

Please pray:

  1. We would get a quick appointment and surgery scheduled here in Cleveland
  2. Fast recovery after the surgery
  3. Our boys as they are away from us during this time (and my parents!)
  4. That the removal of this tumor would drastically improve Sarah’s quality of life.

Thanks friends! We love you all, and we know we are loved as well.