Monday, June 16, 2008

Kelsey update: a letter from her mom

Dan forwarded this letter to me from school today. I thought you might like an update on Kelsey's condition. The Mr. Z referred to in the letter is Dan so big thanks to everyone who is sending postcards and please keep it up!

"Below is an update about Kelsey's heath. Kelsey freely talks her experience with her tumor ( she told her "story" in a few of her classes), so feel free to print this and post in the staff room for any other teachers who may be interested in the details."

Today (June 12th) we went to see the Neurosurgeon find out the results of the MRI Kelsey had on Monday. He started off by saying the tumor was smaller,,,,, which is what I would hope we would see/hear, since she just had surgery to debulk it 3 months ago, and in such a short period we would hope the tumor was not regrowing. The tumor looked about the same size across (ear to ear) but it did look smaller front to back.
He thought the tumor was showing up brighter on this MRI (with contrast dye "bad" cells can be seen easily, normal cells stay dark).This could mean the cells are becoming more aggressive or it could be nothing. The plan now is watchful waiting, she will go for another MRI in 6 months, or if new symptoms develop she will go for an MRI right away. He could not predict what the tumor would do in the future or what types of treatments they will or will not use. The tumor may have taken all Kelsey's life to grow to the size of a golf ball, or may have only taken a few years. This weeks MRI is the bench mark we will be watching and comparing future MRI's against, to get a better idea of what the future will hold.
Since the surgery Kelsey has an impaired sense of hunger and has recently started to have sleep issues, either waking in the middle of the night for the day, or not being able to wake up at all, even after 10 hours sleep. The surgeon thinks this is part of her body still recovering, but it is concerning none the less.
Kelsey is being followed by the Acquired Brain Injury Program at Wascana Rehab ( a concussion would be mild brain injury, brain surgery is a moderate brain injury and traumatic car accidents or shaken baby could be severe brain injuries). She will be going to Occupational Therapy once a week over the summer, and already learned a few new "tricks" at her first appointment that will help her use her hand better. The OT suggested exercise such as swimming to build up strength on her right side,,, so that very night Kelsey decided try out a swim practice with "masters". She knew the coach from when she swam competitively a few years ago so even though most of the swimmers where at least twice as old as was, she still enjoyed it and is thinking about joining when we come back from holidays.
Thank you again to all the staff at Martin for the concern and support you have shown Kelsey these past 5 months ( a bit longer for Mr Banerjee who was the first to realize something was wrong). Thank you to Ms Stoner for bringing Kelsey back a gift from Italy, since Kelsey was unable to go on the trip. Also thank you to Mr Z, whose friends have been sending Kelsey post cards, Kelsey had been receiving post cards from all over the world, since her surgery, but they had started to slow down , but now she is getting at least one a day again!
Kelsey should be at school for the last day, she has been off sick with a throat infection the last two days, that hit her very hard, the antibiotics did not start working as soon as I would have liked, and she pretty much slept for two days.
Have a great summer!
Donna Rice
(Kelsey Kilbach's mom)

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