Cody is back home now in Salinas after his surgery. He spent almost three weeks in the hospital and in rehab. He is very divided about his condition after surgery. I want to respect his privacy since he is an adult. My feelings about his condition? ecstatic! without the tumor Cody is who he should be. He has some issues with his eye that is keeping him driving so he is bored to tears. He has a scar running straight up the back of his head, to me its not really remarkable, it’s war paint. However I don’t have to wear it. He is walking with a cane. My view point is that these issues will improve with time and are an excellent trade off to a slow and ugly decline and….the grim reaper!
My life has change incredibly over the last ten years. My children have grown up, Im in a different place, new friends, skills, thoughts and ideas. August 22 2001 Cody was ten. He didnt want to get an MRI, I fought with him, told him that most likely the paralysis in his face with a virus picked up in Australia. Isnt that what you expect with a medical test on your kids? Get it over with, let them tell you it’s Ok and get on with your life. during the MRI I noticed some activity in the other room, they came in, put in a IV and ordered up some dye. They finished and we left. No biggy. Not for long. Cody’s Pediatrician was on the phone in five minutes, it was a brain tumor. The next week was crazy, trips to Stanford. answering questions on the phone, insurance, work, school, internet searches, there was no good news. In the middle of all this some yahoos flew some planes into the world trade center. Over the next couple months Cody went thru six weeks of radiation, I joined support groups only to stop when other peoples children died. Cody’s prognosis did not improve, he began to fail. I sat with him at lunch at school to make sure he would not choke. One day after Christmas the doctors told Cody he would not survive, Cody’s 8 year old sister was in the room. I had two children crying, laughing hysterically, running around, hitting walls. I was not ready for hospice or thinking about a funeral, neither was Cody, He said he wanted to go back to Australia and be with his Dad. So I took him there. In about 48 hours Cody started to improve, as time went byhe grew taller, although not as tall as he would have been, he had trouble with math because of the radiation. He graduated from high school in Salinas and started college. He studies criminology at Hartnell and we are rooting for a law degree, he wants to fight crime and punish the bad guys. He put off the routine MRI’s until this winter, then he got the bad news, the tumor had grown. I was devastated, was this the beginning of the end? What would my life be like if my now adult child would be slowly die-ing as they attempted to treat an treatable disease? I went to meet the surgeon. I gotta say Dr. Edwards is a pretty cool cat. For the first time in ten years somebody was saying they could successfully treat Cody. Cody was in surgery for 8 hours on Wednesday, it took a little longer than planned because it was hard to position Cody face down on the table, he’s a big dude. He has an incision straight up the back of is head, it’s not freaky or weird. He looks really good, His face is pretty much out of service, he can talk, he is weak and in some pain, they are giving him some heavy duty drugs. He may leave intensive care today if they think it’s a good idea and if they have room, he was eating jello and stuff and may get some real food soon. Cody donated the tumor to science, it is a pilocytic astrocytoma, which is what they thought it was ten year ago. A juvenile tumor on the brain stem. This is a primary tumor that is slow growing, not one that came from a nasty tumor somewhere else. These tumors don’t go else where in the body. They are hard to treat because of location and because of the blood brain barrier. I don’t know how long it will take for Cody to recover, and you cant undo what radiation does. Im hoping for a smile! Thanks, If you have questions let me know. Brooke