For those who follow me on Facebook (http://facebook.com/blaisethebaker) or even Instagram (http://instagram.com/blaisethebaker) you will know that on rare occasion, I will post about something personal going on in my life. I don’t really like bringing attention to my personal life, etc. but so many of you have been good at sending prayers and good vibes to me and my family, I really feel like I owe you a look inside some very personal issues – and updates as to what’s going on.
I’m calling this new journal-type section my “Signature” post…
About 5 months ago, my Grandma Barbra became a very sick person. We thought she was having (or had had) a stroke. Her speech was slurred, there was a weakness on her right side and you could just tell that something wasn’t right. That very morning, her blood pressure was sky high, so we just knew it was a stroke. All of the puzzle pieces, that we had, seemed to lead to one thing… stroke.
My Grandpa JR took her to the nearest Emergency Room… twice. They sent her home both times, telling her to “stop taking your blood pressure so often – you’re fine”. Remember – her speech was slurred and you could see it in her face that something wasn’t right. She was even struggling to walk.
I remember feeling numb and panicked. What was going on? What was happening? Why couldn’t people see what we were seeing? This woman, my Grandma Barbra, just a week before, was attending water aerobics class twice a week, driving, getting her own groceries, cooking, cleaning, and crafting…everything!
Her symptoms worsened, so we decided to take her to another Emergency Room. This time – they could tell, something wasn’t right. Several tests were run and ultimately it was determined that she had had a stroke…but there was another spot on her brain too, that they couldn’t really determine or explain. So they sent her to a bigger Hospital, for more tests.
At the other Hospital, she lay in bed getting worse and worse. I felt that the woman who had always been there for me, the woman who I loved and respected more than a lot of people in my life…was slipping away from me. I wasn’t ready for her to go. I didn’t want her to pass away. I knew she was “ready” though… I’ve never in my life met a person who loved God, had so much Faith and had lived her life according to such high beliefs in my life. The only difference though – was that I was NOT ready for her to go…
A week passed, and her symptoms were getting worse. Different Doctors came in with different options…sometimes three or four Doctors a day, and all with a different diagnosis on what was going on with my Grandma.
My whole family came together, some for the first time in years, and my Grandma knew that. I spent my days and nights’ barely holding myself together… crying on most days, staring into space and wondering what was going on, on other days. It was a living nightmare.
Then, finally, a Doctor came in and explained to us that there were two spots on the brain – one spot was the stroke…the other spot was cancer. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact she had brain cancer AND a stroke!? Really? Why? How? How could this happen to someone with such a good nature, like my Grandma? I was beyond upset, I was mad, and I was confused.
I prayed and prayed and didn’t stop. Then, the ultimate shoe dropped. We got an “official” report saying that my Grandma didn’t have a stroke at all. She had two masses on the brain – one pushing against the brain stem – that was classified as “brain cancer”. The cancer had started in the breast and traveled to the brain. There was no treatment. She had three months to live.
I remember feeling like my body had ripped open and my heart pulled out and stepped on. I cried and cried like I hadn’t since my Grandpa Max passed away – another Godly person in my life that had passed a few years before. I remember holding onto my cousin and us both crying. I remember my Mom holding me and trying to talk to me. Everyone was shocked and devastated.
I told myself this was it. I couldn’t live without her…and I wasn’t expecting to. I couldn’t even imagine going on in life without my Grandma there with me… Then two ministers from the Hospital we were at came over to us, held me, prayed with me and put a blessing on our family.
I went home that evening, after telling my Grandma Barbra I loved her and cried myself to sleep.
That next morning a miracle happened.
My Uncle was over at the Hospital with my Grandpa JR and Grandma Barbra, and another Doctor came in with this “diagnosis”. He said the spots on her brain, he thought, could be treated. He said he had someone, several years older than my Grandma Barbra, with some of the same issues – and today, he was fine! It’s a fairly new procedure called “radio surgery” and he highly recommended it.
When I heard this news, I dropped to my knees and thanked God. There was hope!
A couple days later, the “radio surgery” was performed, and we all waited and prayed it would work. The Doctor really had high hopes for the surgery and was really optimistic about it.
In the meantime, Grandma Barbra was transferred to a “Rehab Facility”.
She had the treatment, and the very next day – the very next day – her eyes were wider and she was talking clearer! We were all amazed! The treatment seemed to work!
Over the course of the next three months, my Grandma Barbra got stronger, talked better, became more alert and became more wide-eyed. We were all amazed and so thankful…
When my Grandma Barbra went back for her follow up appointment, the Doctor said it showed NO SPOTS in her brain. The MRI came back perfect, and things appeared to be normal. She was healed! The only thing she would have to monitor would be the breast cancer – which was still there. They had given her a cancer pill, which had helped keep things at bay. They told her to just keep doing what she had been doing, and that she was doing great!
Grandma went back to the Rehab Facility and what they did for her there, I can’t even put into words. They had given her her life back! The therapy, the encouragement and the support they gave her was above and beyond anything that I had originally expected. We were all impressed – and thankful.
I will never forget the day she left the Rehab Facility to come home. A few months earlier, I didn’t think that that moment was even possible… And now it was happening! I cried, tears of joy and thankfulness, most of the way home…
We were all thrilled that Grandma was home again – but none of us were more excited than my Grandma Barbra herself. I remember as soon as she walked in, she said “Wow! Smells good in here…” and just smiled and smiled.
“Home Therapy Care” started soon after, and she did great with the program. Within a month, she was cooking some in the kitchen, crocheting and knitting again, and reading her Amish Romance books. It was almost like things were back to normal. She had been through so much, it was remarkable to see her like this!
She’s currently attending “Outpatient Therapy” and doing great! She’s had several re-evaluations and several more Doctor appointments, and everything is so far, so good… She will continue the re-evaluations and they will continue to keep a close eye on things.
I’m so proud of her, and I love her so much!
I’m sure there are details I’m forgetting, emotions that I haven’t even began to convey through the written word, but I wanted to give everyone the full story (or at least a recap) of what’s been going on, how Grandma Barbra is doing today, how much she means to me, and how grateful and thankful we all are for your prayers and the sending of positive thoughts and vibes. Please keep them coming for my family, we more than appreciate them.