Saturday, August 30, 2008

more about Kelsey

I received this email today from Kelsey's mom and am posting it here along with my reply:

Hi Mrs Z,

I was surfing the internet this morning, and came across your blog, below is an email I sent to Kelsey's teachers this semester, to let them know how Kelsey was doing, what she could and could not do,,,
Im not a "Blogger" but thank you to those who visit your site and sent Kelsey all the post cards. Kelsey even received a a few pairs of knitted socks. She has the socks on display in a cabinet, because they are "too nice to wear".
Kelsey is feeling pretty good, and looking great, she had gained over 30 lbs in about 6 weeks when on steroids to reduce swelling in her brain, then lost it all and then some after the surgery.


I thought I would send a quick update to all Kelsey's teachers.

For those of you that did not have Kelsey in one of your classes last school year I will give a bit of back ground info,,,

Fall 2007 Kelsey was developing usual symptoms, tremor in her right hand, rigid right hand, weak right leg and drooping on the right side of her face.
She finally had an MRI in Feb 08, and a Tumor was discovered on her brain stem. She had surgery in March, which was only successful in removing a small portion on the tumor ( they could not remove more, due to location). The tumor is low grade, benign in "make up" but malignant in location. For now there are no further plans for treatment. If her symptoms get worse, they will decide what to do then, but most likely Radio-surgery.

Despite missing lots of school in the 2nd semester, with the support and flexibility from the staff at Martin, Kelsey managed to complete 4 courses/credits by June. She will need 5 credits total in Grade 12 to graduate but is currently signed up for 10 classes. We are trying to encourage her to drop one or two, so she can focus on what she really needs to accomplish, but we have not had much luck, she wants to take everything she signed up for so far.

Wascana Children's Program worked closely with Kelsey all summer and she attended appointments with the Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Dietitian and Rehabilitation Nurse. Unfortunately with 2 months of frequent appointments, we are not seeing much improvement on Kelsey's right side. (6 months post surgery). She was right handed "before", but now she does most things with her left hand. Kelsey is encouraged to use her right hand, but doing this is very time consuming, and tires her out, so she most often does not bother to use her right hand.

Also Kelsey's energy level is not great, she has spurts of activity throughout the day, with lots of resting in between as she tires easily. Sleep is a huge issue, with her not being able to fall asleep, and not being able to stay asleep. Waking up at 5:00am in the morning is pretty common these days, after 5-6 hours sleep. This is very frustrating for her and us,,

Over all her summer was good, she went to Yellowknife by herself, on a funded exchange program though Interchange on Canadian Studies, that many Martin Students participated in, and we went on a family trip to Mexico,, but she also had a few bad days, severe headaches that resulted in spending quite a bit of time in Emergency, getting CT scans and seeing her surgeon.

What might you expect from Kelsey in the class room?
- A tired student somedays.
- A student who may have trouble keeping up with written work
- A student who may miss more classes that usual, hopefully only for planned appointments
- A student who may not want to be known as the "girl with the brain tumor"
- A student who may want to do it "all" , when it at times it would be in her best interest to rest.

As suggested by Wascana, Kelsey does have "Dragon", a speech recognition program for her lap top, to aid in longer writing assignments, as her typing is the one handed hunt and peck method. She also has a small voice recorder that she tape "lectures" with, which may be effective if she will review them after taping the lessons.

Feel free to contact me any time at work or home, if you have any questions or concerns about Kelsey.
If Kelsey gets a head ache please call me as she will need to go to the Dr/emergency if the headache continues/progresses or is severe at any point.
If Kelsey faints, becomes lethargic, her right sided weakness suddenly becomes more severe, if she throws up, or has a Seizure she will need to go the hospital ASAP. I can be to the school in less than 5 minutes if at home or work, of if urgent, call an ambulance to take her to the General Hospital.

I do not expect sudden illness to be an issue at school, generally she will wake up with the headache/vomiting, it does not usually develop during the day,

I will drop off her Assessment from Wascana Children's program, to go into her file at school.

Donna Rice
(Kelsey's mom)

Hi Donna,
Thanks so much for sending this! I will post it to my blog today. I have received a number of inquiries about her health over the summer and I know that there are a couple of people in particular anxiously awaiting updates.
Please, please tell Kelsey to wear the socks! Knitters want their handknit socks to be worn and enjoyed! In fact, if you could send some pics of the socks on Kelsey's feet, I will post those to my blog as well!
I'm so glad to hear that Kelsey is able to attend school and some trips! I know that there are still difficult times to weather for her and the rest of the family. There are many people world-wide thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

1 comment:

Aunt Kathy said...

Thank you Susan