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Before Michael was diagnosed, the doctors were convinced that the “mass” in his brain was a virus. Why? Because all of the right side of his brain and half of his left side was covered in this “mass.” Not only are brain tumors of that magnitude almost unheard of, but who walks around with them? Most people would be in seizure or at least be having regular headaches with a pea sized brain tumor (even small benign tumors usually show some symptoms).

There was no reason to have an MRI or ultrasound of his brain. He was acting a bit wacky the few months before the seizure but no doctor would have ordered and no insurance would have paid for an MRI based on what we were seeing.

There was no way to know. The only way to have known was if he had had a full body scan and why would he when he was in terrific health sans a silent killer growing in his head? And brain tumors are of unknown origin…there are no known behaviors or habits or predetermining factors to suggest someone will get a brain tumor.

Michael’s tumors are too far along for any kind of treatment such as surgery. And so his time has been chopped to a few months instead of the years we would have enjoyed had we known sooner.

Wired Magazine ran a cover story a couple of months ago that said prevention is the key to curing cancer. But how can prevention cure cancer when the tests are so spotty. If you’re a woman over 40 you get a mammogram. A man over 50 you get a prostrate. But no insurance is going to pay for a man of 56 years old to have a scan of his head. None.

When President Obama said, a little while ago, that his health care plan includes seeking a cure for cancer and he mentioned prevention, tears sprung to my eyes. I hope it’s not more of the same spot prevention but rather full scans for all people. I know it’s expensive but it will save so many lives and be less expensive in the long run. Michael is using a lot of insurance money right now and will be using SSDI in the next few months.

Full body scans and more proactive screening for all cancers need to be included in any preventative package. I’m sorry to get political on here but I have felt so helpless the past few months because there was no way to know this killer was loose in his brain.

And like President Obama said, we MUST find a way to stop cancer in all its form. Prevention is key but not “let’s test for this on this age group” and not test for other things. Brain cancer affects people of every age and race and circumstance. They don’t fall neatly into one group and other deadly cancers are the same.

We must work to keep cancer from affecting our loved ones and we must expand the scope of prevention and find ways to look for cancers that have no clear age or gender group and that are not easily detected until it’s too late.

Soapbox off.

The kids report to me (I’m away on business) that Michael’s uphill climb continues. I have to admit I’ve had fantasy moments of “maybe he’s cured” in my head. Whatever it is, I can’t wait to go home and see him.

Michael has been doing well this week. He’s gotten more and more verbal and is feeding himself. He’s been in good spirits and even joking around.

Last weekend I felt so dejected that he wouldn’t respond to me and didn’t really talk to me. Two weeks ago we increased the Decadron and he’s been much more aware and alert. He’s still not capable of walking on his own but he’s awake and alert. I’ve joked a bit with him about the kids. We had these inside jokes about the kids and it was fun for me to hear him laugh when I made a few comments.

I miss him so very much that these small glimpses of our relationship just make my heart swell. I love it.

We’ve even done some joke bickering which we always did. We have never had a long, knock down drag out fight and i can name the arguments we had that went more than 20 minutes on one hand…but we would tease and do joking bickering. And I miss that so much. And we actually did some of that last night and this morning.

This window is really nice. And I like it. And I’m just glad I’m having him again even for a little while.

Mattingly

Mattingly

I do not have pictures of Keira yet but here is the latest addition to the family. My son Nick and wife Kristen’s new puppy.

He’s part boxer and part lab and his name is Mattingly. 🙂

Happy news.

We have a new grandbaby. Keira Grace.

Dad reports to me she looks just like mom Theresa who looks just like Michael (click HERE see pix of her beautiful big sister Samantha in the pix above).

Mom and baby are doing well and I hope to get to see them in a few weeks (they are in the midwest). Michael smiled when I told him.

I know that many of you have written to ask how I am doing. In short, I am holding my own.

I went out to eat with a friend a week ago. We normally say we are going for an hour or two and then we close the restaurant. And in NYC the restaurants close LATE! So as is typical with us, we said let’s meet around 7 and I have to be home by 11 the latest. And as is also typical we met at 7:30 and closed the restaurant at 2 am. And if the restaurant was not throwing us out on our booties, we would have stayed longer. We once went to visit a friend in New Jersey and stayed so late we missed all the trains going back to Manhattan and had to take the MORNING COMMUTE train back at 5 am. (yes it was a WORK night!) So we can talk.

But it was the first time I had seen her in months and she had a major loss in November (on the very weekend we were supposed to meet). We typically get together for our birthdays (again, both in November) but we didn’t this year due to the grief and grim we were both going through.
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