Monday, August 27, 2018


As many of you know, Tyler was diagnosed with an Acoustic Neuroma and needed surgery immediately to remove the tumor from his brain. I wrote my first blog post about it earlier this month, and we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and prayer since. 

The L E M O N A D E is ready, and its really sweet! Here is VOLUME II

This past Friday, Tyler was scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 5am for surgery. The night before both of our parents arrived in town and after spending a little time with them we got him prepped and ready for surgery. He slept great the night before (lucky him) meanwhile I was so anxious I couldn't sleep a wink. When we arrived for surgery on Friday morning they took him back and started prepping him- we were able to meet with the doctors and staff beforehand and both of our families were allowed back to come say a prayer with us before surgery. 

Tyler was taken back for his surgery at 7am. The removal of his tumor consisted of a three part surgery- and we expected it would take six to eight hours. The surgery is very delicate because it involves the ENT moving all nerves leading into the brain, and then a neurosurgeon removing the tumor from the brain. With the surgery, Tyler's ability to ever hear out of his left ear was taken- they had to completely remove the hearing nerve and also the balance nerve on his left side. One of the largest risks of the surgery is the facial nerves are also in the same location, and sometimes they can be compromised leaving facial palsy. 

The doctors and staff worked diligently and after ELEVEN hours of surgery, I am so happy to report Tyler's surgery was a success! The surgery took much longer than expected, but they were able to  completely remove the tumor and carefully keep the facial nerves in tact. Before surgery I told the doctor he couldn't mess up the baby face, and he really got a kick out of it! Since Tyler is so young, I kept reminding him this was very important! The nurses in the OR were calling me every other hour with updates, and they kept going on and on about how good he was doing. 

We know we could not have made it through this surgery without everyones prayers. We truly felt the comfort and peace knowing others were lifting us up and God was going to take care of us. I was shocked at how calm I was able to remain on the day of surgery, something I know the Lord made possible. I really did well staying calm and at peace, until about 3:30-4pm and then I was just R E A D Y to see my husband! 
We also are blessed with the best family around who surrounded us on surgery day, beyond family we had some amazing friends who drove all the way to Dallas to be with us. Shoutout to Cavanaugh Church for supporting us with a visit from Fort Smith - and also Tyler's new co-workers stopped by! We truly felt so loved//I spent hours updating Tyler on everyones texts, calls and prayers! 

There was so much unknown with the surgery that we were just praying for a miracle and for things to go well. And thankfully the really did! We were called back for consultation with the doctor around 6pm on Friday and he explained the surgery went well but Tyler was really going to have a long road to recovery as far as his balance and and dizziness were concerned. On Friday evening, almost twelve hours after seeing him last, I was able to meet Tyler up in ICU and stay the night with him. It was without a doubt the hardest and most difficult twelve hours of my life. From 4pm on Friday to 4am Saturday morning I kept wondering if we were going to make it. It was such an emotionally draining day, an exhausting day and just really hard! He was in so much pain and was so incredibly sick from all of the anesthesia. It was heartbreaking to see him in so much pain, but we survived, and knew a new day was on the horizon.
Early Saturday morning Tyler had a CT scan that came back clear from bleeding on the brain. At this point, it was a pain management conversation. Since his vitals looked great and he was stable, he was able to move from ICU to a regular room Saturday morning and I had a chance to go home and shower :) His parents were able to spend time with him and he started to make progress quickly. 

Tyler was determined to make it home by Monday the entire weekend, something everyone just smiled at... But he did everything in his power to get home. He quickly moved off of morphine and once his nausea was under control pushed as many foods and liquids as possible. He was so set on coming home, he fought through sleepless nights with a smile on his face knowing what was to come. I have been so impressed with his drive and happy spirit. 

One of the biggest obstacles in front of him is the ability to regain his strength and find balance again. He was unable to walk post surgery, but started working with a PT team on Saturday afternoon. He wanted to dive right in, so they started working with him and he started walking with a walker and lots of support. He went from not walking, to using the walker, to blowing down the halls over this weekend... Seriously! When he couldn't sleep, we would walk. AKA we were in the halls at 4am just getting our steps in! (PS we were really a sight for the nursing staff.. we about caused riots! I am seven months pregnant and hubby just had brain surgery and couldn't walk... but we managed to walk together and everyone would just follow us around to make sure we didn't topple over) The entire staff was so blown away by his progress and I am happy to report he is doing great. We have lots of exercises and things we are working on to find our new normal, but things are going well. 

This is Tyler working so hard to regain his strength, only ONE day after surgery

This morning we met with the doctors and teams and they were able to remove Tyler's huge head bandage from surgery. Once that was gone, and he was able to shower he started to REALLY feel like himself again! I am so thankful I have been able to be there with him through all of this, we have really been leaning on each other and I think we are better for it already. 

Tyler worked so hard at getting stronger and ready to come home, that he was released today from the hospital! We were given discharge papers this afternoon and have made our way back home to the cavapups and our little corner of Dallas. Right now we are working on his balance, and managing the pain he is in. Most importantly he (we) both need sleep! Praying for some good rest and maybe he can relax a little now that we are home!  At this point, we are in the clear for most major disasters, but are monitoring him for brain fluid leaks. We go back for a post-op appointment in a few weeks and will just monitor his recovery until then.
This afternoon I think we both smiled bigger than we ever have! 
As for me, I am doing really good! The first night in the ICU I was offered a job, lol of course they were kidding.. I think! This is really funny for anyone who knows me. Taking care of him was the only thing I knew how to do, and although a needle normally makes me pass out I was able to help get him through the night on Friday. Since his parents were in town on Saturday evening, I took time off from the hospital and came home to sleep for the first time... and boy did I.  Little Ella Jane of course made things very exciting during all of this- she behaved herself on Friday but decided she needed a little attention over the weekend :) I started having Braxton Hicks contractions and they DID NOT STOP! Welcome to the third trimester right? I did use this as a small reminder of how thankful I am that the doctors were able to schedule us for surgery when they did. We are 11 weeks away from her due date, and this was maybe one of the last few weeks we could have gotten this surgery done with enough time for recovery and the ability to take care of each other! 

I was obviously very occupied with things happening this weekend, and taking care of Tyler so I don't have many pictures at all. But wanted to show a few progress pictures on this post- it is so amazing how far he has come in such a short amount of time. PS- Selfies at 5am are not easy! Our last picture before the tumor came out :) 
Every day is a new challenge, but every day our God has shown up bigger and better than ever. We are so THANKFUL for where we are. This has truly been a remarkable journey, and although it is not over I am grateful for how far we have come.

 I am so blown away by the miracle I have gotten to witness, and to me, the baby face has NEVER looked better! 

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