Much has changed in the past few days! On Tuesday morning, after being admitted to Centennial hospital, we spent most of the day running tests and doing scans and then waiting for the results of those tests and scans. Wednesday bought the first glimmer of hope, as Cynthia was more alert, more like herself than she has been in weeks after being on a boosted dose of steroids for the night. The results of the MRI came in and showed no new growth in the existing lesions in her brain, which is fantastic news! What that told the doctors is that the decline we have seen in her since the end of her radiation is not being caused by the cancer continuing to spread, but rather by other factors. The MRI also showed severe swelling in her brain, which is now being controlled by increasing her steroids. The increased steroids have caused increased blood sugar, which means she is also taking insulin injections with every meal. They are treating this as a sort of temporary diabetes, and we have been assured that her blood sugar will return to normal after she is tapered off of the steroids.
The turnaround in her cognition, mood, and physical strength has been varied, but overall positive since Monday. We were blessed this past week that many of her caretakers happened to have personal connections to our family that were both surprising and so, so welcome. She was well taken care of by a staff with a true heart for service. This afternoon, we were transferred to TriStar Southern Hills Rehab Facility (and greeted so warmly by the staff here as well) to begin the process of returning her to herself – independent and capable. It will still be a few more weeks before we can know the effect that the radiation has had on the tumors, but for now we are counting this as progress.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and also 3 years since Cynthia first noticed a lump on her throat, which led to the path we have been on since. We are struggling with the cumulation of these years, and where we are now, but looking forward each day. Tonight as we were being admitted, one of the questions asked was “What is your goal?” Her response was that she knows that she may not be able to return to things exactly as they were before, but she just wants to get back to herself. (Which is all that any of us can ask for, I think.)
Starting on Monday, visitors will be welcome in the afternoons and early evening, but please check with me before stopping by to make sure that she has finished her therapy for the day and has had an ample amount of time to rest. (They discourage visitors during therapy time, as they need to be focused completely on her.) She will be working hard to make progress and get home as soon as possible, so her days will be filled with activities to that end.
In the meantime, does anyone know of any yummy diabetic-friendly cake recipes? I know a lady who deserves something delicious with a candle on top for her birthday in 2 weeks…