Well, this is something I never wanted to have to write. I can still hardly believe I have to, but if I don't do it now, I'll attempt to put it off forever. It's sort of like thinking if you ignore a problem long enough, it will go away.
After a hopeful beginning, Sarah's news from Mayo yesterday was not good. But let me say I want to start by thanking God for my daughter! She is alive, healthy and happy; although saddened and shocked as we all are. I still have her here, can put my arms around her, give her a hug and kiss, and tell her I love her. I am so blessed.
This week, Sarah has seen a neurologist, a neuro-opthalmologist, a low-vision specialist and a neuro-surgeon. They went over every record from every test and doctor she has encountered along this journey. She had a specialized MRI to look more intently on the eyes and optic nerves, as well as many other tests. The results were that Sarah is suffering from chronic papilledema. Papilledema is a swelling of the optic nerve where it meets the eye, caused by increased intracranial pressure. Almost all cases are bilateral, and affect both eyes, as in Sarah's case. Sarah's tumor was the cause of the papilledema. If it had exhibited symptoms and been found and dealt with earlier, permanent damage might have been avoided. Unfortunately, her tumor took over 20 years to manifest itself and rear it's ugly head; all the while slowly robbing Sarah of her precious eyesight.
Yesterday my darling daughter was told there is nothing that can be done for her and she was declared legally blind. Oh how my heart aches to think that, let alone to say it. The doctor told her that the shapes, shadows etc. that she can see are surprising with the amount of damage she has. She was told that from a medical standpoint, there will be no improvement. But, it's like my youngest daughter Allie told me yesterday, "Don't cry Mom! Miracles happen every day!" So, we won't give up.
It is just so sad to think that it is what it is; that Sarah will never again be able to see the colors of a beautiful sunset, the blue of her husband's eyes or the precious face of her child if she decides to have a family one day.
Sarah and Nate now have a lot to think about and discuss. Being declared legally blind automatically qualifies her for Social Security Disability, when her long-term disability through her employer runs out. Another option is some sort of rehabilitation and training for a new profession or occupation. But, that could take years to accomplish and they may decide to start a family and she can be a stay-at-home Mom. Time will tell.
In the meantime, please remember my sweet Sarah in your prayers as she continues to adapt to her new limitations and move ahead with life. This has taken her down a path few, if any of us, can possibly understand. A specialist yesterday told her that most have no idea what a life-changing occurance this is. And because of that, she will be seeing a psychologist next week, to see how she is handling it all emotionally.
And finally, my prayer for all of you is that this causes you to open your eyes, eyes that can see, and look at what is around you. Look at the faces of those you love and who love you, look at your wife, husband, children, grandchildren, parents, friends, pets. Look at the beauty of nature, the ground as you walk putting one foot in front of the other and at written words. And then, look in your heart and make a lasting memory because you never know when the sight of all those things can be taken from you. We take so much for granted, don't we?