My wife suffered a "minor" stroke on 04/30 or 05/01. It wasn't obvious at first, because the only symptom was stuttering (no slurred speech or paralysis). I took her to the ER on 05/02, and she was immediately taken to have a CT scan.Melissa is only 45, and their two living girls are 11 and 9; their third daughter passed away 15 years ago last Monday through post-surgery complications.
The scan showed a spot on the brain. Multiple subsequent scans failed to detect anything other than a small pool of blood.
After a couple of days in Intensive Care, and a couple of days in a regular room, she was discharged and transferred to a local Rehabilitation clinic to start therapy. It went well for a couple of days, and then took a very bad turn. Her condition deteriorated overnight, and we were taken back to the hospital for another scan.
The size of the bleed had increased by about 15 percent (meaning that she had suffered a second stroke), and the area now showed swelling. She was immediately readmitted to Neurology Intensive Care.
After 3 more days of different kinds of scans, a neurosurgeon diagnosed a tumor on 05/11. She had surgery on 05/13, and it was successful (the surgeon was able to remove the entire mass cleanly).
Unfortunately, we now know that it was malignant, but we don't know much else. Even though this is a very large hospital with a lot of expertise dealing with cancer, the type of cancer she had isn't familiar to them. They have forwarded information and tissue samples to Mayo Clinic for further analysis.
For now, she is recovering well. But -- we won't know what lies ahead as far as treatment until the official report comes back. We have no idea how long that will take at this point. On top of whatever cancer treatment she will need, she has a long road of physical and speech therapy ahead of her.
As of today (05/20), she is back at the Rehabilitation Center, her pain is now well controlled and diminishing, and she is looking forward to resuming therapy tomorrow. She has only a small amount of muscle control on her right side, and very little strength. Doctors and therapists still believe that she has a good chance of recovering fully given enough time, which is very encouraging. We don't expect to know about the exact nature of the tumor for at least a week.
Let's join in praying for Melissa, and for the Elliott family.
UPDATE: there is a way you can keep tabs on Melissa's progress, and pass messages of encouragement to her. Make a free account at CarePages. Melissa's nickname is "Germ_Lady," because she teaches microbiology.