Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How Matthew helped find his brain tumor


This post was written by Rhonda's sister
and the events mentioned were told to me
by Rhonda.
For a look at what the rest of
Rhonda's family
was doing when everything
unfolded
go here


"How did they find Matthew's brain tumor?"
It is the first question every mother who has a child with a brain wants to know.

For many months Matthew had complained of headaches.
But if you have met Matt you know that he is not a big complainer.
The headaches didn't seem to be impairing him in any way.
He also seemed to be getting the flu a lot or at least what Rhonda thought was the flu.
He would have a headache, throw up, take a nap and feel better.
It was a short flu, but still the flu in her mind.

On Wednesday December 30th Matthew had one of his headaches, but it was different.
He was crying and begging.... BEGGING to go to the Doctor.
He wanted help
any help
Even if that meant going to the doctor.
Rhonda made the appointment.
a late appointment and Matthew asked all day when he could go see the Doctor.
Rhonda was working that day so she made a list of Matt's symptoms for Chad to take to the Doctor.

The list mentioned the episodes of Headaches, vomiting, and the over the counter medications used to manage the pain.

The list did NOT mention the falling.

Matthew has a history of falling and falling a lot. He has had numerous injuries to his head from falling. In fact it was a joke in the family. It was so common that no one thought anything of it. It didn't slow Matt down and it was something we came to expect of him.

Matthew's Doctor ordered a CT scan for the very next morning, something he swears was done by inspiration only since without the knowledge of the falling he really only suspected migraines was his problem.

Matthew's Dad asked their home teachers to give Matt a blessing the morning of the scan. Rhonda admits that Chad must have been more in tune cause she saw little need for the blessing or the CT scan.

The scan was completed around noon on the 31st. The tech let Matt look at his brain never relaying any hint that anything was abnormal in anyway. Lunch was next in their plans for the day and then some shopping.

Rhonda received a phone call on her cell while they were out from a number she didn't know and therefore ignored it, but they were consistent and so she answered the second time this unknown number came up.

Rhonda?

Yes?

This is Matthew's Doctor. You need to take Matthew to Phoenix Children's Hospital now.

And that is when Rhonda's world changed.
That is when we felt so blessed that Matt asked for help
That is when we felt blessed for a Doctor who is ready to be inspired
That is when we felt blessed for home teachers who Chad felt comfortable asking to give Matthew a blessing.

Things have fallen into place as if someone was conducting everything.
Neurosurgeon on call
An empty surgery schedule with a full surgical staff ready and available
Everything covered by insurance
Family on break and ready to help.

You could say it is coincidence, but we never would.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

At Home

Matthew arrived home late last night!

Apparently Charley really missed him because there were lots of hugs for Matthew and laying her head on his shoulder. Unfortunately, she wasn't as excited to see her mom, but we are sure with time she will warm up to her mother once again.

Matthew would really like to run, ride his scooter, play sports and with his friends, however he was told to do none of these things for the time being. He also will not be returning to school or church until his doctors give further notice.

He has many doctor appointments in his future and we are still waiting to find out if physical therapy will be a regular part of his routine.

But he is home!

Monday, January 11, 2010

MATTHEW IS COMING HOME!!!

MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME!MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME! MATTHEW IS COMING HOME!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday RHONDA!

Rhonda,
For your birthday you get:
to stay the night in the most expensive room in all of Phoenix
you also get to share that room with your son and another patient
You get to eat cafeteria food
you get to shower in a communal bathroom
And your son with have his best day yet.
He will stink you out of the room with his manly toots and do physical therapy with out crying!
He will also make you a sponge bob square pants out of a bed pan!
Happy 29th birthday!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Moving on to smaller and less accommodating places

Matthew is out of ICU!

Matt is in a regular hospital room now and is currently outside the hospital chasing and trying to run over his brother, Jacob, with his wheel chair.
Did you see the seat belt?

He still has some physical therapy to finish up and then, fingers crossed, will get to come home in a couple of days!

Although Rhonda has appreciated everything Phoenix children's hospital has done, she is ready to move out of there and get back home to her other babies.
{There is his smile!}

As always, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your prayers and well wishes. We feel as though we have witnessed so many miracles through all of this.

Did we mention THANK YOU?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Matthew in new pajamas

After nearly a week without a bath (every boys dream!) Matthew did get to change pajamas yesterday!

Matt is still improving he is stronger every day.


The doctors determined that he will not need a shunt as his body is handling the brain fluid. They took the drain out of his head this evening, unfortunately the removal created significant pain to Matt.


He still has a way to go and while we are not making plans for his home coming we are hoping to get an estimated release date as soon as Matt proves he can do with out the drain.

{Matthew doing physical therapy}

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The good with the bad

Matthew is making strides unfortunately it comes at the cost of pain.
He is trying hard to be brave and do what the Doctors, nurses and his mom are asking him to do, but that is a lot of people telling you what to do.

Some highlights from yesterday are:
He got to leave his room for a little adventure by way of a wheel chair (twice).
2 therapy dogs visited him.
He got to chat with his brother via skype and that put a big smile on his face.

Last night they clamped the drain (kind of a trial run to see if he will need a shunt) and they said that the pressure in his head was good. (we are happy about that)

He had another MRI this morning and we are hoping to learn what the next step is today.