Welcome to our blog! I originally started this blog in November 2010 just prior to having a major brain surgery to remove a large bleeding cavernous angioma from a deep part of my brain. You can best understand the gravity of our experience by reading the first several entries.(Nov 2010-Dec 2010) I wrote the first one and my sweet, adoring husband, John, wrote the next several (while I was too sick to do much of anything) that documented surgery, immediate recovery, and our reaction to the surgery complication (stroke)that was revealed 2 days after surgery. This recovery process has been difficult but we are making it. We appreciate all the kind words of encouragement we have received and we would like to thank everyone that has participated in helping us along this difficult journey. Also, if you have any questions about my personal experience, please leave them as a comment or contact me directly at thankfulforeveryday@yahoo.com and I will respond although I am not a doctor and this is not a replacement for medical care or advise. Please ask a real professional, or probably several. :) I hope to be able to help at least one person along the challenging road of brain surgery and recovery.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Big Day!

Hello to everyone who is following this blog about my wife's surgery. Most of you I know and some from the angioma alliance I do not... but I feel like I do. I would like to thank everyone from the alliance for all your help and support! It is  a truly awesome organization in the way that people really go out of there way to help and support. Maybe this blog in some way can do that for someone else in the angioma alliance. As Elizabeth had mentioned in another post, she will definitely be giving back with her time to help others.
We arrived in Pheonix Wednesday night and the road trip was good. Jack was really good in the car as he is a great little traveler lucky for us :) We have ajoining rooms with Elizabeths Mom Michelle which is working out really well with helping with Jack. Michelle has been and will be huge help as she will be with us for 5 days here in Phoenix. We could'nt do this with out her! Thanks Michelle ... we love you!
I thought it was kind of funny when I put the do not disturb sign on the hotel room door and the card said "We're Relaxing - do not disturb"  I thought to myself - far from it! ;)
I will be updating this blog as often as I can through out the day tomorrow and the days, weeks and months to come. We start at he hospital at 7am in the morning (Friday) and the surgery will take most of the day.
As I sit here and type in bed at 2 am because I cant sleep, I find myself with feelings of disbelief of what we are about to embark on but at the same time encouraged that we are in great hands with Dr. Spetzler. In the future on this blog I will include a poem from a card I gave Elizabeth tonight. It implies people can be like a tree with strong roots. Life when it is tough is like a strong wind.... but the tree with strong roots will keep standing. She has strong roots and we will come out stronger as a family!
Some that did not receive the email that I sent a few days ago have asked me to put that message here. It will let those of you who didn't read it know where I'm at with this journey we are about to face as a family
I will leave it below.
Thanks again for all your continued kind words and thoughts. look for updates tomorrow. I will try to sleep now.
here's the email -
Hello to all! I hope this email finds everyone well! 

As all of you know, my little family and I are about to embark on the biggest challenge that we have had to face in our lives. The last year and a half has been a roller coaster of emotions for us with the end result of a major brain surgery for my wife. For me, I always felt that I did a pretty good job of trying to appreciate life and all it has to offer; but when my dad passed away 10 years ago, it really made me understand how precious life is and to never take it for granted... Never! Now, even in what some would say would be young in life, we are faced with a challenge that is another reminder to cherish those you love every second of every day because you never know what tomorrow could bring. When I met my wife, I always would tell people she was like an angel for me... the idea that there is somebody just for me really existed. I have know my wife for 6 1/2 years and I always feel blessed to have met her as some of you that know her understand! She has been so amazing through this whole thing from getting more educated on cavernous angiomas than some of the neurologists we've seen, to being ultimately brave through this entire process. Not to mention being an AMAZING mom to Jack. Our little boy (21 months now) has ultimately been the greatest driving force for us to rise to these challenges that life has presented us. Having a baby was something that we both really wanted in life and we thought we knew how great it would be when he arrived, but for Elizabeth and I, now that he is here, we are amazed at the kind of love you feel for a child... it's just different than anything you could experience until you have a child. We are thankful everyday for him! Just looking at him reminds us of how truly amazing the gift of life really is
I just wanted to tell each and every one of you how much my wife and I appreciate all the nice words and gestures that you all have given. It really means more than you may know! We are constantly awed by how nice people are and some of you don't even know Elizabeth. Thank you! I am leaving a link to click on that will take you to a blog that my wife created and that I will be updated during this process. There you can read more about this journey and read informative links about her condition. You can also leave comments for us and read others' comments. Check out "Patti's journey",  a 4 minute video ... it will really give you a good understanding of what we are and will be going through! Feel free to pass this email/blog info on to anyone who might be interested. We are leaving today for Phoenix and will be there for about two weeks. The surgery is Friday (12/10) and I would just ask that all of you think good thoughts for us on that day! 

Again, I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for all your kind words! We are in the best hands in the world when it come to cavernous angiomas with Dr. Spetzler and I am looking forward to the day that we will be celebrating a full recovery for Elizabeth! 



  1. You're in incredible hands. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all today. :) She'll do wonderfully. We just know it.

  2. will be praying for you today! everything will be just fine! call me later if you would like a local visitor! 480-216-2857.
    (beckyinaz from Angioma Alliance)

  3. The 3 of you are in my very best thoughts and wishes!!!
    We all know Elizabeth is in GREAT hands and we'll be cheering her on throughout today, recovery and beyond.
    Thanks for keeping us updated John!

  4. I echo what Becky in AZ wrote: Lots of prayers, good thoughts, and good vibes your way today. And, like Becky, I'd be honored to meet you, if you're up to a local visitor.

    Stay strong!
    Norma Villa (AZ)

  5. My prayers are with you guys right now. I was walking in Elizabeth's shoes three years ago and I have made a full recovery. She will do the same. I wish I could come visit, but I am far away in texas! God is watching over you today and during the recovery. You are in amazing hands!
    -rachel hart

  6. John Elizabeth and Jack:
    We love you guys and are praying for you out here in Michigan! Please know we have faith that Elizabeth is in great hands and we are all going to get through this praying for you as a family.
    Please take care and God bless,

    Your Cousin,