Saturday, August 11, 2007


I just wanted to put another post up to announce that Jeff is simply AMAZING! When I went to see him in the intensive care unit this afternoon, he had just moved out of the recovery room. He was wide awake and completely alert. He was cognizant and sharp. He carried on conversations easily with me and the resident brain surgeon (which required him to quickly change gears mentally from "Duhhh" to "right craniotomy with stealth for tumor resection"--no small feat). Here are some other highlights from the afternoon:

Jeff is already telling people that brain surgery is way easier than back surgery and a lot better than biochemo. He said it doesn't hurt much and he feels pretty good. The resident surgeon also tested the strength in his left arm and noted that although it was considerably weak right before surgery, he now believes it is comparable in strength to his right arm. So, hopefully this means he can hold Finny again soon! It has been so sad the past couple of days to watch him struggle more and more holding Finn and to finally sacrifice holding him for fear of dropping him or falling down with him. I offered to put Finn in a bike helmet and bubble wrap, but this offer was politely rejected.

Jeff felt so good this afternoon he called the kids, his mom, and his dad to talk on the phone. When he was on biochemo he went for DAYS without being able to talk on ths phone, so this was a vast improvement. In fact, Jeff called home tonight from the ICU to ask me to make him some popcorn (!!!) and to find out when his Mom was coming to visit. As I write this, Mary is delivering Jeff's popcorn to him along with printouts of all your blog comments. He will be so happy to get them--I'm sure he can't wait to get back on the computer and update you, himself.

In the meantime, Jeff has displayed a miraculous side-effect: You've heard of people who have brain surgery and emerge with the ability to speak a new language or paint intricate landscapes . . . well, the brain surgery has made Jeff FUNNY! He was doing a one-man show for the neurosurgery resident. The resident was explaining to Jeff that his post-surgery CT scan looked good and that although it shows a little air in his brain, this is normal and expected. He explained that when the brain is compressed and the tumor is removed, it takes a little while for the brain to spring back into shape. In the meantime, the "dent" from the tumor fills with air. Jeff said, "so is this what is known as a Brain Fart?" Ha ha! Two shows nightly folks, no cover charge or drink minimum!

Finally, I was very encouraged to discover something odd that Jeff had packed to take to the hospital along with his clothes and other toiletries: a hair brush. This, to me, is the pinnacle of optimism! Keep it up, honey!

Well, I just wanted to share a few insights into Jeff's recovery and to let you all know that although he is tired and sore, he is doing well. I'll continue to keep you all informed. Until then . . .



katie.elsener said...

Jeff and Kelly,
This is GREAT news. Jeff, your strength is inspiring. We are seeing the power of prayer at work.
Kelly, thanks again for the updates. It must be hard to find a free moment but know it is appreciated.
Keep healing, Jeff.
Sincerely, Mark and Katie

mka said...

It's great to hear that you are doing so good so soon Jeff. It sounds like this is one time in your life someone could call you an airhead and you would have to agree. I am praying that everything keeps going well and that the radiation kills every cancer cell. It might even give you a "healthy glow". You won't need a flashlight when taking the kids Trick or Treating this year. I'm also glad that you are regaining strength on your left side. I believe you will have a complete recovery. And hang in there Kelly and kids. Love, Myrna (Mom)

Kara Smith said...

Jeff and Kelly,
It is Sunday morning and I don't even feel like I need to go to church, as you have filled me with hope, inspiration, and faith in our AWESOME God! Thank you for keeping us all posted. I feel like I hang on your every word just to see what is happening and to feel as if I am right there. Thank you for taking the time out of your ordeal to fill us in. Keep up your strong fight. As someone in another post said, prayers are flooding your way! I loved the thought of that. Hope you can feel them!
Kara Smith

Terri said...

As my boy's would say, "BOOYA BABY!!!" That is just totally awesome!! I am soooo gald to hear that all is going well and to hear how great he is doing, I'm a little jealous and I want brain surgery too. No fair, lucky (say that like Napolian). Anyway, keep up the spirits and know that we are all here for you.
Love Terri

Angie said...

Jeff, I am so glad to hear you are doing well. My prayers are with you. Angie Fehr