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.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 2 Saturday, December 11th

Elizabeth is continuing to slowly be better. She is still pretty groggy. Yesterday afternoon/night was a little rough with nausea and a painful stiff neck from the surgery as they put her in a device that hold her head and neck in an awkward position during the surgery. Not able to open her eyes too much as it makes her dizzy. Not able to eat at this point until this afternoon was able to each small bites of soft food. She asked for chocolate malted crunch ice cream ... her favorite :) but unfortunately there's not a rite aid for about 300 miles... She's asking about Jack and says she missing him sooooo much. He is doing pretty good but is giong thru moments of saying Mama, Mama, Mama as he's starting to miss her... and we say "she's with the doctor now, we'll see her soon...
She's extremely tired and tries to sleep but they have to wake her up every hour to do stuff.  She is talking better and more today although her speech is slurred as well as she has a little weakness on the left side of her body and face. Doctor had said is not unexpected as the malformation was on the right side deep. Her brain is obviously has trauma and is swollen which is normal. It needs time. Like Patti G said in her recent comment on this blog, "rest rest rest!!!" Patti would know as she's someone who has been through this. We hope these deficits will continue to fade. Her tongue is a bit swollen which is maybe from the breathing tube and jaw is really sore as they had to cut the jaw muscle which also makes it hard to talk and eat. They took her off all the computers, wires, tubes and cords and the nurses are doing physical monitoring and they are also getting ready to remove her from the ICU which is a good sign that we're moving in the right direction.

As you can imagine, it is really hard from me to see Elizabeth like this.... it just shakes me to my core. I've been thru some rough times before in my life but this place I’ve never been...  but my love for her keeps me digging deeper to be strong ... and I am and always will for her and Jack.

Thanks again and again for all the nice comments on this blog and texts. I’m reading them all as well as to Elizabeth... They really help so much!!!

I will try to update later tonight...

write soon.....J~


  1. John thank god She is doing well and I am so happy that she has you in her life. This shell to pass. Tell elizabeth I love her please!!!O and we will get her a bucket of that ice cream justget well:)


  2. I am so happy to hear that she is doing well - I'm sure as the swelling goes down she'll feel much better! I have never met any of you, aside from Elizabeth on the forums, but I'm so proud of her for going forth with the brave decision of surgery. Please tell her I send my well wishes and many are thinking of her!!

  3. Hi John, Rebecca and I are very fortunate and happy that we are here to help and provide any assistance that we can to make things a little easier for Elizabeth, Jack, Elizabeth's family and yourself. Having the opportunity to see Elizabeth today I think see is doing fabulous. She is in great hands and is very very blessed to have the loving support of you, her family and everyone else involved. I would like to extend our help to anyone that may be reading this and in need, especially the Angioma Alliance family who may be coming to St. Joseph’s, as I know that they have been a tremendous help and resource to Elizabeth and you. I am a native Arizona a was born at St. Joseph's Hospital where Barrow Neurological Institute is located. I certainly can provide any logistical details and can be a local resource for anything else that may be needed on the non medical side of things. Please !!! don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can help you or provide you with. Tom and Rebecca

  4. We are so glad to hear things are going well. You've all been in our thoughts & prayers. We look forward to seeing you back on Summer Grove! Enjoying the updates. What a great idea! Thank you. God bless, the Zeccardi's (your neighbors)

  5. Sending Elizabeth WELL wishes (always!) so she can get back home soon to be with her beautiful family and have some chocolate malted crunch ice cream! :)
    So glad to hear she'll be leaving ICU (that's a GOOD sign.)
    Thanks again John for the updates. You & Jack take care too.

  6. I only know Elizabeth from the Angioma Alliance, but her condition, her experience with doctors, and her feelings going in to surgery all parallel my experiences and sentiments. So, I feel like family! I am having my surgery with Dr. Spetzler on Dec 17th, so we have shared both our fears and our support as well. I am so glad to hear that she is getting stronger and returning to normal. I know that can't happen fast enough!

    Please give her a hug from me and tell her she remains to be in my prayers, as do you, John, and your beautiful son. Hang in there--good change is coming!


  7. Thank goodness she did well and is improving. She is absolutely in the best place with the best doctors and nurses. Blessings to your whole family.

  8. Won't that be the sweetest ice cream you three will ever share when you get back home. :)

  9. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer, suplication and thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God will guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

  10. We're all so happy to hear all the positive news. We all wish you a speedy recovery and it sounds as though you're in the best possible hands. Continued blessings to your whole family!
    Love, The Castellano Family

  11. Thinking about you guys all day.Continued prayers for all of you!
    Liz, Michael, Sydney and Danielle

  12. Sounds like she is doing well! It is a slow recovery and Patti is right, REST and ICE will be her two best friends for awhile!!! Keeping you guys in my thoughts and prayers!!

    Please let me know if I can bring you guys anything down to the hospital and if she is up for an angioma friend visitor!



  13. This is Libby. I have been so impressed with Elizabeth. She was worried (who wouldn't be) but she did what she felt was best for her family and herself. Sounds like it went great.
    Everything with brain healing is slow. Don't give up even though it is so hard to be patient. You are tougher then even you thought. Now rest and heal.

  14. Hi Elizabeth and John,
    it's Linda from AA. So glad to hear Elizabeth is well. The post surgical things like sore neck, nausea, pain chewing and speech seem normal. When I read your post John it took me back almost 6 months ago. They said my speech would be off for a couple weeks too. They were right, but then things improved very quickly as I'm sure they will for you. Hey, any chance you were in room 4N35 (that was mine)?
    I know that not seeing Jack is one of the hardest parts about this, but you will home before you know it and things will be just as they were, except...you will have this surgery behind you, family around you and Christmas to enjoy. I'm so happy for you two.
    Thanks for the update and keep them coming please.
    Your friend in Canada!

  15. I;m so happy to hear of Elizabeth's recovery. My son had his surgery with Dr Spetzler on October 22nd. Here it is almost 2 months later and he is doing amazing. Training for a triathalon in the summer! The brain is an amazing organ and I know she will heal quickly. Enjoy your holidays and that ice cream.

  16. Elizabeth,
    Melina has been sharing John's blog and we have been following your progress at Tarzana. We only want your wonderful progress to continue. I know how hard this has been on all of you, but you only inspire others with your strength and courage. I know from my own surgery, that some days are better than others. It will get better!! Please know that your friends at Tarzana Hospital are praying everyday for you, John and Jack.
    Love to you all, Kathy Bold