February’s Glioblastoma Update – & a Grand Mal Seizure

This blog has become a great way to keep everyone updated, but I haven’t had the energy to actually sit down and blog since the weekend.  Its hard to put complex emotions into simple words. Its hard to know which details to share, and which to hold back. I will do my best.  This is the third time I’ve sat down to blog.  The times before this I just stared at the blinking cursor feeling lost.

We had a really busy weekend planned last weekend.  I’ve gotten back to working when I can and business has been great.  I had 5 photo sessions lined up for the weekend, and three of them were on Saturday.  I always notify clients of Mike’s situation just in case something comes up and I always tell them that I’m pretty sure nothing will come up because he’s doing well.  This time I was so glad that I had mentioned it in previous communication, because I did have to reschedule one session for later in the week.  After I got through the sessions on Saturday, we started to settle down for the evening.  I asked Mike about something simple, and with that conversation we both realized he was confused.  He wanted to go to bed though, he didn’t want to go to the ER because he felt like it would just be a hassle and annoyance to him. He thought sleep would be fine and he’d be brand new in the morning.  As a little bit of time went by I didn’t give him a choice.  At one point he couldn’t tell me his name, so I grabbed his shoes and headed to the ER.  On the way he progressively got worse and became verbally unresponsive.  He was alert and was able to walk into the ER as I held his hand and led him in, but not responding to anything anyone said to him. I’d ask him to squeeze my hand, and he would look at me confused. He couldn’t understand or process what was being said, where he was, or what was going on.  After he was hooked up to some heart monitoring machines, his vitals and history were taken by the nurse, and she left us alone to wait for the doctor and that is when Mike had a grand mal seizure.  It all happened so fast.  He started to go into the seizure, I called for help – then the nurse stepped in and called for more help, and this is when the doctors came in.  The next couple of hours were obviously dramatic, and emotional for me, but Mike has no recollection of the events.  I’m thankful for his friend James that showed up in the ER while Mike was still unconscious from the seizure.  James came in to pray for Mike, and that is the best thing a friend can ever offer. Moments after Mike was prayed for he woke up. This really surprised me.  He had his sense of humor back right away, but not his speech.  He wasn’t able to form words, but at least the look on his face and his chuckle showed us that he knew his words weren’t coming out right.  At that moment, I felt relief that Mike recognized us and was conscious.  The speech made me nervous…but I didn’t go there emotionally, I assumed the speech would come back, and by the next day it did.  He spent a couple days in ICU, but all of the tests (CT scan, MRI, EEG) came back showing nothing new.  By Monday evening he was really feisty and ready to go home.  That’s a story in itself. But he got discharged Monday evening and Tuesday morning he resumed his Avastin treatment as scheduled with the local oncologist.  Duke has been notified and I sent them disks of his MRI and CT Scan and ordered a summary of his stay and EEG for them to look over.  We are still set to have our next visit at Duke March 25th.  He is recovering from the seizure.  His body is sore and his short term memory is a little off, but he is doing very well and we are very blessed.

Wednesday was probably the hardest day for me.  I hadn’t had a chance to sleep much, and then Tuesday and Wednesday there were more appointments, and lots of paperwork.  I was really feeling the pressure of knowing I had done 4 sessions and I had hours of work to do on them. I knew the clients were understanding the situation but I put the pressure on myself to get my work done.   I was feeling overwhelmed, and the lack of sleep finally caught up with me.  Wednesday was just hard. Not because of anything specific, but it was the day I finally had a moment. It wasn’t a convenient time for me to do it because we were headed to an appointment and trying to coordinate some things with his work, but you know, I’m human.  I pulled myself together and we had lunch with his friend as planned.

I’m thankful for everyone that prayed, and I’m thankful for Capt Flint for being so helpful on the work side.  We also have a lady named Mary that is helping us navigate trying to figure out what resources are available, and of course, Karen has been there for me every step of the way as someone who has been through this as a spouse.  I posted about it on facebook and its always wonderful to know that so many people are praying right there with us in the moment.

His next round of Avastin and Chemo are scheduled for about two weeks from now.

2 responses to “February’s Glioblastoma Update – & a Grand Mal Seizure

  • Symyra

    As always, Shauna….Know that Thomas and Symyra Holloway are always lifting you, Mike and your entire family up in prayer!! I certainly know that God is STILL in the healing business and He keeps His arms around His own!! BE BLESSED and stay in the fight!!
    Symyra and Tom

  • Joyce Hicks

    thanks shauna for the update and the details of the event for all out here to be informed it is so good of you to do this… and yes your only human are are allowed to have a breakdown sometimes we all must and then get back up and continue on this Jouney…I’m so glad he picked you to be his wife and the mother of his children… I counldn’t ask for more for him….love you very much and more every day it seems . GOD be with you as you get his next stage of life on track and he leaves his work… and you become the one who does that too.. You’ll have it all….. like I have always done… But you can do it… If I can help please let me know … I’m willing and ready to helpl in any way I can… I love you all

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