Thayer's Recovery from Brain Surgery
Organized by: Katie and Caroline used to be Rutledge
Goodnight, My Angel
March 27, 2017
She just had brain surgery. But it started long before that. Do you know her story? You've heard her name, you know that she is a fighter. The story began when she was eleven - a sixth grader with long, glossy black hair. She had some bruises that wouldn't go away. Things just weren't right. She had leukemia they said. Cancer. She fought, she did chemotherapy and radiation treatments, she lost her glossy hair. But she beat it, went into remission. She was a normal kid again, a cheerleader with a boyfriend and curly hair. It was Christmas time and mom and three daughters were going Christmas shopping, but they had to stop for Thayer's check up in the oncology ward at the hospital. She screamed when she heard she had relapsed. She clutched the edges of the exam table and cried to mom. It wasn't fair. It was a transplant this time. Intense radiation killed off her immune system. She was isolated. It was a terrifying battle. But she beat it. She beat the cancer again. The thing is, although she left cancer behind, the vestiges of the battle followed her through life. Pneumonia here, osteopenia there. Pulminary hypertension. Countless, endless issues and problems that she faced head on and dealt with. What else could she do. But when she started feeling dizzy, when she couldn't control the right side of her body, she knew something was wrong. It was a whirlwind. She had the MRI on a wednesday night and it seems like no time passed before she was calling and saying "brain tumor" and "brain surgery." It was a meningioma, it's size changing with each visit to the doctor. Surgery was scheduled, tests upon tests completed. And it was time. We thought it would be routine, light surgery. In the membrane between her skull and her brain. Six weeks, tops. That's what she and Craig planned, what they had been told. But the tumor went much deeper than they expected, over 8 hours. When it was done, and she had made it, we first closed our eyes and thanked God. But then this road to recovery began. It is going to be long and hard for her to get back to being herself. The tumor was the size of a raquet ball. That's big. When she woke up from surgery, the words we could see she was searching for weren't coming out. Her entire right side had no mobility. She has occupational therapists, speech therapists and physical therapists working to get her back to normal Thayer Bear status. She will make a full recovery, the doctors even said so - I have never heard a doctor say that before. But it is taking a lot longer than Thayer or Craig or any of us anticipated. She won't be able to work for a long time and they will need help getting by until she is full strength and back to making a living. So many of you have been by her side, by our side, throughout her journey. We're hoping that we can make these next few months less stressful on Thayer and Craig so her energy can be focused on her recovery. Thank you for anything. Thank you for everything. I wish we could start a crowdrise health-raiser where people could donate a normal, healthy life for Thayer Bear. But this is the best we can do for her. Let's do something for her. *Craig and Thayer would like you to know that anything they don't need to pay bills and get by during this period of recovery will be donated to charity. They haven't decided which one, but you know it will be a great one that is close to their hearts.