Saturday, October 2, 2010

The final segment...Husband and Wife

To start from the beginning of our love story...go here

     In the days that followed I learned what it meant to be a wife. Trevor couldn't walk, he couldn't sit up, he couldn't go to the bathroom alone. I was his constant aid, waiting on him, and I loved every second of it. I learned he needed a relentless encourager. When he sat up for the first time by himself in a chair, I cried.      When he brushed his teeth for the first time I rejoiced with him. When he took his first steps away from the bed, I thought I was going to have a heart attack but I told him how proud I was and how amazing he was doing.
     At 42 weeks pregnant I slept in a chair beside his bed for a week. I read scripture to him out loud whenever he needed, and I was silent and didn't speak when he needed that too. It was hard not to hug him for an entire week when he was right there in front of you. All I wanted him to do was sweep me up his arms like he used to and swirl me around. But those days were gone for a while.
     I decided that I was going to have this baby by C-section so that he could be there. We didn't want to risk me going into labor on my own, because that would cause too much stress on Trevor and not be good for his blood pressure. So 6 days after Trevor had brain surgery, he sat with me in the room as our son was born and he was the first one to hold him.

     The surgery had many affects on him. One was his eyesight. Everything below the middle point of his vision was double. This made walking very difficult, as you can imagine. He also had nausea. They had to remove part of his balance, coordination and nausea center to get to the tumor, so they told him he could very well have nausea problems the rest of his life. I remember how different Trevor was after surgery. He got frustrated really easily and got mad at little things. No matter how hard I tried sometimes I just couldn't get him to smile. I was scared. The "normal" Trevor always, always had a smile ready. It was going to take some time getting used to this new Trevor.
     Trevor was amazing through it all. Re-learning everything and nausea and his first son being born, he fought hard to do things right and learn them quickly. He recovered at an amazing rate and had the doctors and nurses completely stunned at his progress. He was in Martial Arts before this and the parts of the brain they cut out were healing fast because he had trained them so well. God takes care of His own in amazing ways...
Brushing his teeth by himself for the first time

My bed for a week and a half at 42 weeks pregnant

The night before we had Jeremiah

The day we were sent home together

     I won't go into detail about the days after we were sent home. They are some of my darkest and I will save them for another time...maybe I will write about them in my other blog, "Let it grow..."

     2 weeks after surgery we found out that they type of tumor Trevor had was Pylocytic Astrocytoma. Basically, there are 4 levels of brain tumors, and his was the very 1st level, which is the best to have, if you have one. It's slow growing, non-cancerous. We rejoiced greatly. That meant no radiation, no chemo-therapy!! The doctor also said he was completely positive he got all of the tumor, and that Trevor was 100% CURED. He actually said this 2 weeks after surgery.
     Trevor's nausea has completely vanished. His balance and coordination are not what they were before surgery, but they are at the level of a normal 20 year old male now. We've had a few scares over the past year, but today, Trevor is completely healed. We've had 2 MRI's since surgery and both have been clear of any signs of tumors growing back. They are most likely to grow back the first 2 years, so we're not completely out of the woods, but the possibility gets smaller and smaller as each day goes by.
     It's incredible, writing all this out and thinking back on it. I'm reminded of God's incredible grace and mercy, and His awesome power to save. I can honestly say though, that the night before surgery, I came to a point of total spiritual exhaustion, total numbness and grief. I was so afraid. But finally, after hours of weeping and laying at the feet of Jesus, I did come to the point of giving it to God and being okay with whatever happened the next day. He was still going to be God. And that's how I feel now. If the tumor comes back, God is still the same God He was when things were going well. It won't be easy, but I know God will be there, my Rock and my Fortress.

The day the sutchers were taken out

Thanks for reading our story. If you have any questions, please email me
To start from the beginning of our love story...go here

Forever Changed...October 2nd, 2009

To read from the beginning, click here...

     The night before the surgery I slept 3 hours. His parents got in around 4 am and we met them at Ihop for an early breakfast before we had to be there at 5:30am. I got strawberry banana French toast and maybe took 1 bite. I barely talked, just watched Trevor walk around Ihop on the phone with his brother in Chicago.
     The drive over there was terrible. I wanted to cry so badly, my heart ached to be leaving Trevor so soon. But I had to be strong for him, to show him I was going to be okay. It would make things easier for him. He started singing the song we sing when things are going badly..."Everything little gonna be alright...don't worry..." I smiled at him. He said, "Marybeth, I'm not scared. Either I wake up and see your beautiful eyes, or I wake up and see Jesus. I'm okay with either."
     He had another scan before they prepped him for surgery. When he came out they had shaved little dots into his head and drew circles. I think it was slowly sinking in more and more just what was happening. We went into this tiny little room where they were going to prep him, and I brought his family back 1 by 1 to say there goodbyes. Then all of a sudden it was time for him to go. I didn't realize I wouldn't be going to the next place with him. I didn't even get a chance to talk to him really, or say anything. We walked out to the waiting room, him in his white robe and IV pole, and I hugged him and he whispered, "You or Jesus." And then he walked away. He didn't look back.
     I turned to the waiting room and it hit me with full force that I was alone. It was only Trevor's family there so far. I didn't cry, but oh how I wanted to. I wanted to run down the hall and hug Trevor one more time, and make sure he knew how much I loved him. But I gathered up my things and we all walked to our own private waiting room where we would be the next 6 hours.
     They gave me a beeper so that I would know what was happening. I wish they hadn't. When it went off and the little light started shining next to the words "Procedure started" I almost threw up. All I could picture was them cutting into his head. My love's precious head.
     Dr. Abassi's nurse called me every 2 hours to let me know how progress was going. She said it was taking longer than expected to cut the tumor out, but I was just grateful for her happy, reassuring voice. I knew things were going well if someone who was in the room with him sounded like that. 6 hours actually went by pretty fast. I held myself together and just prayed. I read over Psalm 91 about a billion times and walked the halls by myself. Finally, Dr. Abassi was done and came to talk to us. He said everything went just amazing.
      He said there was a little part of the tumor that was attached to a blood vessel of the brain stem, and he didn't want to cut it for fear of cutting the brain stem. He had to burn that part as best he could. He said there's a possibility there could be microscopic cells left behind, and we may have to go back in and do treatment to kill them. He also said that when I saw Trevor, he might look a little funny because they weren't able to take the breathing tube out just yet. He wasn't awake yet.
     I sat there for two hours after he left, wondering where the nurse was or why my beeped wasn't going off. I finally hunted a nurse down and they were so sorry my beeper hadn't gone off. He was in the ICU ready to be seen. No breathing tube. I praised God silently for sparing me that sight.
     I almost ran to the room. I couldn't get there fast enough. He was alive! He had made it through! I walked into his small ICU room and saw him laying there...he looked like he was sleeping. But the nurse said, "Trevor, someone is here to see you." And he slowly opened his eyes and saw me and kinda half smiled and slurred, "I love you..." and I just ran to him and kissed his face and grabbed his hand and started telling him what a good job he was doing and how amazing he looked. He was so out of it. My heart felt as if it could take no more, and as he slept I stood over him and just wept silently. It hurt so bad. I couldn't do anything for him when he started vomiting or when he got really angry because they wouldn't let him have any fluids yet. I just held onto that hand and prayed and smiled whenever he looked at me. I figured that if he saw I was okay and not having a mental breakdown, that his recovery would go smoother...
     The hardest part was leaving him. For anything. To pee, to eat, to sleep. I almost camped out right there in the ICU room that first night. But I started having contractions and had to be checked out 1 floor up on the women's center floor. I almost had Jeremiah that night but somehow he decided to wait a few more days. I was bound and determined for Trevor to be there.

To be

The day before the surgery

Journal Entry from October 1st, 2009. <typos included from original entry>

     Last night I learned my sweet love has a brain tumor. I almost want to laugh, writing it, because it seems so ludacris, so surreal, to be happening to us. I was completely devastated. I was confused. Scared. Trevor's eyes were scared and big and I cried into his chest. I couldn't stop kissing him and crying and just repeating, "Oh honey, I love you so much."
     We cried into each others arms for hours, telling each other "By His stripes we are healed" and not allowing each other to think the worst.
     I got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep last night and we had an appointment with neaurosurgeon at 9am this morning. Dr. Abassi. Basically what he told us is that tumor is in the middle of his brain, in the cerebellum, next to the brain stem. It's 2cm big. He said it was serious and recommended emergency surgery. For tomorrow. He said with a surgery like this, there are major risks. Death being the obvious one. So we left the office, and half way down the hall I just broke. In the middle of the hallway I sobbed into my darlings arms, when he should have been the one crying. He's so brave.
     I'm 9 months pregnant and could be spending my last day with Trevor. I have all these emotions and fears and I'm sick, literally sick to my stomach with fear of him dying. I cannot believe he has a brain tumor. A brain tumor. And a part of me knows he's going to die, and a bigger part of me believes he'll make it. But our enemy, the enemy of our very souls puts black thoughts inside my head, and I am constantly trying to subject my mind to Christ. How do I do this? How do I have a baby and care for it while my husband is recovering from brain surgery? How do I face people and the world alone without him? It's all I can do from going crazy. I'm so confused at the Lord. Why? Why this? Why now? Why me again? Haven't I suffered enough?
     Then I realize I have no idea what God is going to do with this, only that He has every one of Trevor's days written down in the Book, and I know, I know there is a divine purpose, even if I do not understand any of it.
      I'm so scared. I'm scared of leaving Trevor's eyes alive and coming back later and seeing nothing. I'm scared of being alone, raising Jeremiah w/out a father, a wonderful perfectly good father who loves this baby more than anything else, after Jesus and me.
     A verse just came to mind...
                  "Perfect love casts out fear."
     What do you say to the absolute love of your life, your soul mate, knowing this could be the last 15 hours you have with him? We were planning on 60+ years, not 1 year. We never dreamed or thought it would happen. I always feared it though. I knew, or "thought" I knew something would happen.
     Oh God please help us! Please please please protect my love. Keep him on earth to glorify you and get closer to you and finish the work you have started in his life. Please give me the courage and strength to face tomorrow.
     He's about to go in for another scan. The surgery is tomorrow @ 9:00am and it'll be 6 hours long. If everything goes "perfectly" he'll be out in a week. Then a couple months of either rehab or treatment to get the rest of it gone. Crystal is driving up by herself (Lord protect her) and Trevor's parents are flying into Omaha then driving (Lord keep them safe.) I've talked to so many people on the phone and all, I'm so exhausted. Running on that little of sleep."

To be