Monday, March 19, 2012

last week with the creep

pic 1) this is NOT me, i repeat...NOT ME! i found this on the internet when looking up what it will look like to be put together with titanium and screws after a laminectomy. this is the best photo i found. pic 2) now this is me. all glowing white is tumor. and front and center is the creeper. this is a birds eye view looking straight down at my neck. you can see creeper pushing inside the spinal canal and out through the vertebrea measuring at 2.79 cm or 1.1 inches in length. pic 3) this is what a laminectomy is. see how the spinal cord is fully revealed? i will have three laminae removed so they can get to the tumor. pic 4) hatin it up while we wait to see the specialist when we were in SanFran last week. pic 5) i have a lot of free time on my hands since i have been out of work for 4 weeks. that day, i was going stir crazy at home so a friend took me to get some bacon and cheese. cuz bacon and cheese is the begining of happiness.
For about 7 weeks i have had extreme pain in my neck and symptoms that have been worsening. symptoms so significant my doctor has ordered me out of work for the past 4 weeks until an answer is found. i have seen numerous doctors including specialists down in SanFran and the verdict is in. the creeper is guilty, and must be removed promptly. surgeon was booked out until summer but they got me on for march 26th.
in order to get to this tumor, they will have to perform a triple laminectomy (removal of 3 bones in spine). then (hopefully) after a successful removal, they will use titanium and screws to replace the bone and then fuse it closed. with a lot of serious risks with this surgery, the least of my worries will be losing 15% of my neck movement.
i am eager to get this tumor removed, i am happy that they have found the reason to my symptoms. all the while i cant help but be terrified of the risks. i keep having these moments where i see myself waking up paralyzed. waking up to my mom crying over me. not waking up at all. i have this sickening feeling that something bad is going to happen. i know i know i know, that i have some of thee absolute best surgeons ever working on me. but i also know that i am not invincible. this tumor is a plexiform, plexiforms suck. they are very difficult to remove. they wrap and they tangle themselves within the nerve that it grows on. needless to say, this nerve will be severed and therefore sacrificed. the fusing of my neck will cause that 15% loss of neck mobility, but there really is no certainty of how much nerve damage will happen.
i am scared out of my mind. i am closing off. i am building enormous walls around my heart. and i am having an extremely difficult time being positive. all i know, is that i am in Gods hands, and nothing will happen to me without His approval. and ya know, i guess that is good enough for me. but i am still teary eyed as i write that, knowing i have no control.
this is the first surgery that i HAVE to get done. this is the first time its not just because of pain. the tumors in my neck are already pushing my neck forward (which they call 'neck droop') and if left alone my neck would eventually be stuck with me looking down. the creeper is 1.1 inches long and extends inside the spinal canal and out through the vertebrae. when i am laying flat, the creeper presses against my spinal cord cutting it in nearly in half. when i move my neck around especially when i look down the spinal cord is compressed even more, thus causing all the more problems.
today i am pushing against what is easy and fighting for hope. when i close my eyes and remember where i've been, i have hope for where i will be. He has never forsaken me, He never will.
this is all i have time to choose to focus on.
again, thank you all for your prayers. you are such an incredible source of support for me.


  1. You are going to wake up from your surgery, demand your laptop and you'll peck out on the keyboard a very type-o'd message (I mean you will be on lots of pain meds) that we'll all somehow decipher and you'll tell us how you (well the doctors cause you'll be sleeping) took that tumor by the balls and made it your ....ahem.....!

    You are such a great beacon of hope and you have a legion of followers who are pulling for you and praying. You will be just fine.

  2. "If GOD is for us, who can be against us?"(Rom 8:31) This is just part of your journey in this life and you know that GOD will bring you through as that is what HE does. You are in our prayers. Love you.

  3. Kel you are so strong, maybe not every moment but the father has something big for you. I know you are a life toucher especially you love to touch children's lives. I feel like when we are put in impossible situations is when God uses us the most and who knows maybe one day you will write a book or make a movie about this journey, think of the lives you will touch children and adults:) You are an inspiration keep on walking in grace ! That should have been your name Kelli Grace:)