Saturday, November 29, 2008

Positive Thoughts

It's difficult to think positively when up till now, we've pretty much gotten the worst news at each stage. We went from thinking benign tumor to malignant tumor. We thought the tumor had been completely removed, only to find out that it had infiltrated the brain stem. We went from thinking it was a slow growing tumor to finding that there are some fast growing cells as well. At this rate, I don't even want to think about some of the cure and remission rates that we've found, or some of the really bad side effects from the chemotherapy.

But we have had a bunch of positives, including:
  • Isabella was hours away from herniating her brain stem and dying. We were extremely lucky to have gotten Isabella to NYU when we did and have the right people available to work on her.
  • The tumor was massive and completely replaced her left temporal lobe (10cm by 7 cm). The doctors said that they have seen tumors half this size that permanently wiped out a lot of functionality. Amazingly, Isabella's brain rewired itself and made new connections to work around the tumor.
  • Aside from the loss of her right hand and leg, she is the same Isabella! She's just as smart, and fun and goofy and grumpy. With any brain surgery, there is always a chance of altering personalities or permanently losing some physical skills.
  • Her right side continues to improve on a day by day basis. She can move her right arm and stand up and walk with some assistance. When in the "right mood", she'll do things with her right hand, and we expect her to be able to use her right fingers with more therapy.
  • We thought that they would need to cut off all her hair for the surgery, but instead, they only had to shave a small strip for the incision. This is going to allow us to take a formal family picture with most of her hair before she goes to chemotherapy.
  • The support that we've received from family and friends have been nothing short of amazing and uplifting.

It's been such an emotional roller coaster that it's hard to enjoy the positives only to know that a negative can be lurking right around the corner. But we have to hold on to these positives and use them to help us through the negatives.


  1. Your "family" psychologist says studies show positive thought and expectations have tremendous effects on recovery rates and quality of life. I will keep send positive thoughts to all of you remember the statistics are only that and no one but Isabella truly is Isabella.

    Stay strong, I miss all of you every day.

  2. Hi Isabella,

    I am looking forward to racing you again on the baseball field! I still think you are too fast for me but I will go as fast as i can next time!

    We all enjoy having you at the games and can't wait to see you again.

    We are all rooting for you!

    Dave Moriarty

  3. We miss you and wish we were there. Get well, Isabella, and next time we see you, you can play with our doggies!

    There's nothing better than seeing those pictures of your family together, please give everyone hugs and kisses from us.

    We love you!

  4. Hello Isabella,

    I just wanted to wish well and say it was a pleasure to care for you at All Saints Daycare!!!
    Get well soon!!!


Feel free to leave a message for Isabella.