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.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 10 Sunday, December 19th

Today, Sunday December 19th, was our fifth day in the rehabilitation center. I arrived at around 10 am on this day as it was on off day for the center. I helped my sister Rebecca get Jack going and then got to the center at around 10ish. By the time I got there she had already gotten dressed, ate breakfast and had worked out in the gym with mild exercise she can do on her own. When I arrived I thought she looked spry. We decided to go for a walk in the long hallway that leads to the facility. It was a nice walk because I was really seeing the improvement she has made in 4 days at the rehab center. Each day I see a nice little jump… now they are starting to add up. On the way back we sat at a group of chairs in this hallway outside the rehab center to take a load off and read comments on the blog on our laptop computer. I told her “this is where I would sit and write on the blog sometimes” she said “this spot doesn’t look to inspiring” as it’s kind of a dark cave looking hallway. I said “you inspire me, what more would I need”. Elizabeth does inspire me… she shows me everyday how you can overcome adversity. She is determent to do her best always! And she is always doing it with humbleness and gratitude. We read a re-read a lot of comments on the bog sitting there this morning. We talked about the comments and cried some too… good tears though…. us realizing how much we’ve been through in a little over a week, and how far we’ve come but also realizing the challenge ahead of us. Love is a very powerful thing…. and ours runs so deep! It’s always empowering us… empowering us as a family. We love that little boy so much! Words just can’t describe it. Jack is only 22 months and won’t remember any of this but he is an intricate part of our strength as well. I think of it as a triangle constantly pushing love and energy around were it is needed. After long days at the hospital, I would come home after one of these heavy days and he would always put me in check. His hugs are more uplifting than ever. I think it’s crazy how a 2 year old can help keep his old man’s head screwed on straight! He has obviously inspired Elizabeth too as I have posted of in the past. It was a nice moment for the two of us sort of away from everything. I think the best part was when she got up to go the bathroom in the hallway. I watched her walk away from me and I thought to myself wow, she really is walking and moving better. It was really exciting for me to see that. On her way back from the bathroom she was walking toward me and I gave her the thumbs up as I told her “you’re really doing good!”

It was lunch time by this point and we when back to the room to see how it looked. Some meals are not too bad and some she just not into. This was one on the not into meals. I then ran down to the cafeteria and got her a lemon chicken thing and some potatoes that she liked…. and chocolate cake which is her favorite. She ate well. Her appetite is definitely back and the jaw is better so that helps with eating too! She then rested for awhile.

Becky from the agioma alliance had contacted Elizabeth to see if she was up to a visitor. Elizabeth said sure and she stopped by this afternoon. Becky, who lives in phoenix, had a cavernous angioma removed 4 years ago. She is an advocate for the alliance and is VERY appreciated. She has mentored many people through this process. She is doing good work! She has helped Elizabeth and me so much. We talked for awhile in Elizabeth’s room and then walked over to the Neuro recovery area where another friend from the angioma alliance was recovering. Her name is Mea and she has surgery this past Friday. She is doing well with no complications. It was nice as they all got to meet in person for the first time and chew the fat about cavernous angiomas. They were all really nice people and Elizabeth thought it was so nice to do that today.

We then walked back to the room and it was dinner time. It was turkey with all the fix’ns. It tasted good to her and she then wanted to rest. I left her so she could sleep and I went back to my sister to get jack ready for his visit to the hospital. Elizabeth was anxious to see him. Jack and I arrived back at the rehab center to Jack saying “Hi” and then “Bye” while waving at everyone as we walked into see Elizabeth. It made the staff laugh and Elizabeth smile. It was another great meeting for them and we did some books and then a walk and then to the gym (Jacks favorite place there). It will be so nice when Elizabeth can hold him again. She is really missing that. It was getting late for Jack and we proceed to have our 20 minute goodbye session. She just doesn’t want to let him leave as we say ‘just one more hug… one more kiss”. It was another really nice visit!

Again, another good day with strides in the right direction!

Thanks again for all your nice comments. We are reading and re-reading them always!

I will post tomorrow night.




  1. it sounds like a great day :) so wonderfull that you ( all ) are gaining back more and more strength every day that goes along

    and how nice to have help from AA and meet people that know what the conditions meens, so you don´t have to explain , they just know.

    it´s soon Christmas so I wish you a warm loving caring moments during the hollidays and I´l keep my fingers crossed that you will soon be together at your own home, rehabs are great but there is no place like home

    hugs Tarja

  2. I am continually awed at yor progress Elizabeth!!! :)
    It's just AWESOME you met with Becky and Mae, kind of like a mini support group meeting, huh??
    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you, John & Jack will be going home SOON!
    Take care and hope the next post will be from home. :)
    Patti & Rick G.

  3. Wonderful, Awsome, Amazing... Becky wrote me yesterday to share about your progress.


  4. I'm so happy to hear that you are making great progress with all of your rehabilitation and that you'll be home for Christmas!!!


  5. It was my pleasure to be able to meet with you and Mae! I loved being able to be there for a couple hours to chat with you and Mae, hope I didn't wear you out!

    I am so excited to see your progress! Cant wait to hear that you have broken out and are driving home!!

    (My friend Nichi from AA that lives in LA posted a comment on here just above, I sent her the link and she is caught up..hopefully you two will be able to get together sometime as well!) :)

    Many hugs!!!

  6. Hi Elizabeth,
    My name is Jen and we met briefly at my Uncle Tom and Rebecca's wedding reception. I thought you were so brave when talking about your Angioma that night! I'm so happy to here that you're making such great progress and that you will be home with your family for the holidays!!
    Jen & Family

  7. How unbelievable, yet believable that you may be HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!!!!I'm so happy for all of you. Yeah! It is so great! Looking forward to seeing you in L.A.! Safe journey...."one little family feeling lucky". Peace and God be with you.

  8. Elizabeth...
    Great progress... Happy to hear you will be home soon and that John, Jack and you can enjoy christmas at home.

    Your doing a great job on the blog and keeping every one up to date.

    Wish I could say more to both you and Elizabeth, but I'm in no way a wizard of words. Your a great friend And I wish forever the best for you and your family. As a nieghbor you always had a cold one for me, as a friend you were always there for me... Making sure I had gas money, food or even a better job.

    Point is John, I know you love Elizabeth and Jack with all your heart and soul. You would go to the ends of the earth for both of them. They are both lucky to have you as a husband a father and a best friend.

    Elizabeth is a great woman, strong, courageous and beautiful. You hit the jackpot with her. I'm glad that she is recovering so well, and that soon you three can begin enjoying a new joyous life together... You two will last a lifetime.

    Have a safe trip home and enjoy the holidays.