Kelly here, reporting from the front lines. All is reasonably calm and things have been largely uneventful. Nonetheless, I wanted to post a quick update to keep you all interested. Jeff really thrives on all of your comments and it gives him encouragement when he sees how many of you read these posts and respond (hint hint!). So, here's the latest . . .
Jeff continues to work very hard in therapy. He is strengthening his left arm and continues to work on his left leg, but the leg is still largely uncooperative and progress has been slow. Apparently, no one remembered to tell this to Jeff because despite having virtually NO use of his left leg, he has been going up and down full flights of stairs in the hospital stairwell; he has been taking long walks around the rehabilitation gym; he has practiced balancing on his knees while simultaneously playing balloon-volleyball with a fairly competitive 8 year-old daughter; he has even made attempts to walk without a cane! I keep thinking he might notice that his left leg is not functional; that one of his therapists might have tipped him off, ("Uh, yeah. Um, Jeff. About your left leg--it doesn't work), but it's like the Chinese proverb states: "He who says it can't be done should not interrupt the person doing it." So, he's forging ahead and doing well despite his leg's current unresponsiveness. Besides, Jeff's therapists and doctors all believe the leg WILL recover--the questions are "how much use will he regain?" and "how long will it take?" Apparently, Jeff has decided he will regain full use now--the leg merely needs to get with the program and catch up. Jeff is motivated by the prospect of coming home and is trying to emphasize exercises that build strength and endurance so that the transition home is smooth.
The good news is that Jeff is reasonably close to being discharged and his therapists expect he will eventually walk without a cane. He got to come home for four hours on Saturday afternoon on a "Day Pass." The therapists encouraged him to try to maneuver around home to see where he might need to make special accommodations. He didn't use his wheelchair at all. He walked up the driveway and down two stairs into the kitchen with just his cane. He then walked into his office and sat at his desk for a while (I'll be annoyed if I find out he cranked-out a couple of articles while he was sitting there, but I wouldn't be surprised). He also sat in the kitchen for a while and even held Finny-pie. Then we had a big BBQ outside on the back porch where he sat at the patio table before walking back to the car and returning to the hospital. Based upon the successful Day Pass and upon his continued progress in physical therapy this week, his therapists hinted that he might be able to come home as early as this Friday! Woohoo!
The only downside to being discharged from the hospital, is that Dr. Legha wants to see him in Houston ASAP--as soon as he is discharged and before he starts Whole Brain Radiation. Dr. Legha wants to check Jeff's other tumors before deciding whether to put him on a chemotherapy drug during the Whole Brain Radiation. So, Jeff will not be able to relax and enjoy home much before jetting off to Houston for a couple of days.
In the meantime, we spent Regan's 8th birthday at the hospital last night with Jeff, Jeff's mom, Jeff's brother and sister-in-law and our family-friends, Tony and Cee and their sweet baby girls. We ate at the hospital cafeteria and brought a big chocolate chip cookie-cake. Regan opened her presents and the kids all played and visited with Jeff. Jeff even held Finn for a while--it's clear he's gaining more strength in his left arm every day.
And I have imposed one more little demand upon Jeff: he MUST dance with me a his brother's wedding in October. So, that's his deadline to get that leg working, or if it's not working, to figure out how to dance without it. (And, if he can't meet that deadline, I'll just move it back a little bit and a little bit more--I'm fickle like that. But he's not getting out of it). And although you probably assume I'm talking about a romantic slow dance, you're wrong. I'm talking full-on Running Man (M.C. Hammer style). (Tee hee!)
And one final note: Jeff played darts yesterday in recreational therapy. (I just thought it was funny that they let brain-injured people throw darts). Tomorrow is blind-folded skeet shooting while bungee jumping off the flight-for-life landing pad. I'll let you know how it goes.