It wasn't a seizure...

We saw three neurologists today and they all say that it was highly unlikely that what happened to Pablo last night was a seizure. They think it was a mini-stroke - a TIA (transient ischemic attack). TIA is a change in the blood supply to a particular area of the brain. The most frequent symptoms include temporary loss of vision, difficulty speaking, weakness on one side of the body, and numbness or tingling, usually on one side of the body. The neurologists all said it isn't common for someone Pablo's age to have a TIA after surgery.

Not sure when he's coming home now. An MRI has been scheduled for Monday to maybe find the cause of the TIA.

Pablo is so disappointed.Yesterday, he was his normal self. Today his left eye is droopy, he has no energy, his head is killing him, he is having a hard time talking and he was just really out of it all day. He was sure he was going home today and instead, he felt like he did Tuesday and Wednesday. Yesterday was too good to be true and now a mini-stroke. I was so angry today. Angry that things took a bad turn. Angry that things could still go really wrong. I just want Pablo to get better. I don't want any more shit to happen. We've been dealt enough shit and I can't handle anymore. I'm not sure how much more Pablo can take either.

I don't know what more to say...I'm too pissed off and I just want to cry.

Scary phone call

Pablo called me at 11:15 last night. He was really upset because he was having problems speaking and his right side had gone numb. He was waiting for the nurses to take him for a CT scan. We said goodbye and he called me back at 3am. His speech was back to normal. After I had spoken to him the first time, he ended up having a seizure. One of the neurosurgeons went to see him a little while ago and he told Pablo that if a patient has a seizure 3-5 days after surgery, there is a good chance that that won't be the last seizure.

Pablo's plan yesterday was to come home early this afternoon. He still wants to go ahead with that plan but we'll have to wait and see this morning...


Simon and the chipmunk

In the hopes of trying to get this blog back to the way it used to be before 'the brain tumour', I finally went through some of the photos that I took of the kids last weekend at my parents' place. We've come to realize that Simon loves animals. He's so gentle with our 15 year old cat, loves dogs and now he is a huge fan of my mom's chipmunk...

And here is a photo I took of Simon that I really love:

More of the chipmunk(s) here and here.

GRAPHIC CONTENT! Brain tumour incision!

Here is a shot of Pablo's head right after the tape was peeled off the incision about an hour ago. I'm glad I wasn't there to see it in person. This is 68 hours after surgery. (His nurse cleaned it up a bit after this photo was taken).


Day 2 of recovery

Pain levels were pretty bad today. Pablo is doing really well considering. No black eye yet. The left side of his face and head are still swollen but damn, he looks good for having had brain surgery two days ago.

He is able to sleep a bit better and he ate all his hospital lunch today. That in itself is impressive considering the food quality.

I stayed with him for about 5.5 hours today. He slept half the time but I certainly didn't mind - I rather enjoyed the quiet time.

Isabella is spending the night with my parents so it's just Simon and I tonight. I am pooped.

I'm going to spend a whole bunch of time with the kids tomorrow. They need that and my parents could definitely use a break. My house needs cleaning too and I have to do work work. Yikes, I think I'm going to have yet another busy day tomorrow but I'm used to it.

Nighty night all.

Breakfast this morning with the kids

I made the kids and I pancakes for breakfast this morning. Isabella kept getting distracted and I kept reminding her to eat.

At one point when I told her to eat she replied, "But my pancakes are starving and they want to eat their own selves."

I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.


Day 1 of recovery

The phone rang at home this morning at 6:45am. It was Pablo pleading for me to go to the hospital. My mom was coming at 8am to get the kids and I was going to then head straight to the hospital. Due to the stupid snow that had fallen, it took me almost an hour to get to the hospital when it should only have taken about 20 minutes. Pablo was still in the recovery room when I got there at 9am because they hadn't found him a bed yet. We chatted about yesterday and I was really surprised that he remembered everything that had happened after the surgery.

Today was a really rough day for him. The pain is quite bad and got much worse as the day progressed. The left side of his face started swelling too and there is a chance that he might end up with a swollen black eye. The big incision from where they went in to get at the tumour required 30 staples and then he has 3 staples in his forehead and in two other locations at the back of his head from the pins that were utilized to put his head in a vice to prevent his head from moving during surgery. He is itchy like crazy and keeps trying to scratch his head only to touch areas with staples followed by a bit of swearing.

The surgeon who assisted in the surgery came by to see how he was doing and he repeated alot of what I was told by the head surgeon yesterday. He added that they were surprised to find that Pablo's tumour was a soft one. Turns out soft tumours are good and hard tumours are a pain in the ass. Because his turned out to be a soft tumour, it was that much easier to remove it. We have to wait another 6 days for the pathology results but the impression I got from this surgeon and the surgeon yesterday is that they'd be surprised if it was cancerous.

Pablo is going to stay at the hospital for a few more days I think. He has to get his pain under control and then they have to verify that he can 'do his business' properly, walk up a flight of stairs, eat, etc. We haven't tried the stairs but we went for a walk and he did really well. I went to the cafeteria to get myself a sandwich and Pablo requested a tuna sandwich which he gobbled up but chewing is rough. One thing the surgeon mentioned this morning is that in order to get to the tumour, they had to cut the muscle which allows you to chew so it'll be 2 to 3 months before the muscle is at 100% again. So no chewing steak for awhile...

When I was having a look at the incision, I noticed some letters in marker on the side of his neck and on his forehead - 'MFS'. We came to the conclusion that it was the assisting surgeon's initials and Pablo explained they do that because 1 in 5000 patients in Canada get opened up on the wrong side. Scary thought.

I'm hoping he'll be able to come home by Friday. It would be awesome to have him home for the weekend.

Time for some much needed sleep...sitting in a chair next to Pablo's bed for 9.5 hours was exhausting but I wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else...


Already back to his old self

After the surgeon finished speaking with my sister and I, I was able to go visit Pablo in recovery at 6:35. I cried when I walked in there out of pure joy and I walked over to his bed and I got a 'Hey baby' from him. Made me cry even more and he asked the nurse to get me a kleenex. She thought that was the cutest thing.

He complained that his head hurt alot - understandably so - and then like the old Pablo I know, he asked me to get in bed with him. A whole bunch of nurses overheard this and they were all cracking up. I told him that I only had a couple minutes so that wasn't going to be possible. I kissed him and told him I would let him get some sleep and he begged me not to go which made all the nurses go 'awwww' and then I tried to sneak out when his eyes were closed only to get around the corner and have him yell for me to get back over to his bed. I let him be since he badly needed some sleep and to let the drugs kick in. He looked damn good for having just come out of brain surgery and obviously his speech wasn't affected because he certainly had no problem talking.

I can't even begin to tell you how elated I was.

My sister and I left the hospital and I went to pick up the kids at my younger sister's house. I was only there a minute when my cell phone rang. It was Pablo calling from the hospital. He sounded pretty drugged up but quite coherent. I told him that he could probably come home tomorrow and he didn't believe me. I told him again and again he said I was lying. I then passed the phone to Isabella and he said goodnight to her and she told him she loved him. He then asked to speak to my mom and my sister and then I said goodnight and we hung up.

10 minutes later, my phone rings. I answer and Pablo asked me to do him a favour. He asked me to find out the scores of the hockey play-off games that were on tonight. I told him the scores, said goodnight and we hung up. And that's my Pablo.

Thank you everybody. I really do love you all and thank you for being there for me and for my family.

(Dianne, the necklace worked some pretty good magic. Thank you.)

Off to bed I go...I'm exhausted.



The surgeon actually walked in with a smile on her face and I broke down (at 6pm). She told my sister and I that she managed to get the whole tumour out without a problem. I asked if she thought anything was affected, ie. speech, memory and she didn't seem to think so. We'll have to wait for Pablo to wake up to know for sure. She's still not sure as to the exact type of tumour so now we have to wait for the pathology reports to come back. She smiled the whole time she was talking to us so I think she was pretty damn pleased about how the surgery went. I love her and am forever grateful to her for taking care of my Pablo. She said I can see him around 6:30 or 7pm and she said if he can walk, talk and eat tomorrow then he can go home!!!! TOMORROW!!!

See what all the positive thoughts and prayers did !?!?!?!?!?!   YEEHAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I FREAKING LOVE ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's time

At 11:25am, a nurse came into Pablo's room and told us it was time for him to go to surgery. At 11:35am, I told him I'd see him after the surgery and he was wheeled away.

I love you Pablo.

UPDATE: I saw Pablo's surgeon. She came into the waiting room to speak to the family of her 8am surgery. I stopped her on her way out and she explained very quickly that she wasn't operating on Pablo just yet because it took them what appears to be around 2 hours to put him under...

They've gone and done it again!

Pablo isn't having surgery first thing this morning. An emergency came up and his surgeon had to perform another surgery first thing this morning. We're hoping it still is happening today. AGAIN, waiting to hear.



I love Pablo so very much and I know he's going to get through this surgery tomorrow. He is so damn strong and has been through this whole thing - all 11 days of it.

Not only is Pablo dealing with having a brain tumour but he is helping other patients around him deal with their illnesses (brain tumours, etc.). When Pablo is home on a day pass and he goes back to the hospital at night, the other patients tell him how happy they are to see him back and they truly miss him. And the nurses all love him and his positive spirit and sense of humour.

I have a wonderful husband who has so many people praying for him and I thank each and every one of you who care, are concerned and will be thinking of us tomorrow.

Pablo, I love you. When you wake up tomorrow after the surgery - I'll be waiting.


2 more days of 'normal'

I don't even know what normal is anymore...

Normal is my husband having day passes to come home and him spending his nights at the hospital.

Normal is Isabella freaking out every time Pablo has to head back to the hospital (and yesterday she was in hysterics).

Normal is Simon not having a clue what is going on.

Pablo's surgeon came by to see him last night to explain what will happen Monday. The surgery will take around 6 hours. It is that long because once the tumour has been removed, they have to wait for the swelling to go down before they can put things back together and stitch him up (I won't write about the details - it isn't pretty). He'll be kept under for at least another 3 hours after surgery. Chemotherapy and radiation will be started about one month after the surgery so that his body has some time to recuperate.

Monday is definitely going to be the longest day of my life.

This morning, Pablo is going golfing. He figures this might be his only opportunity this summer to do it since he might not have the energy to do it once chemo and radiation start. Obviously he loves his golf.

I'm hoping to take more family photos at some point this weekend - maybe outside since it is going to be somewhat warm.


Today's update

Not sure if Pablo can come home today. His urologist was planning on doing a small procedure while he was under, right before the tumour surgery Monday but now they think there won't be enough time. This procedure will have to be done today but the urologist just went into surgery...so who knows when he'll have time to do it. If it ends up getting done later today then there is no point of Pablo coming home for a couple hours...so again, more waiting...

Simon wants to cuddle this morning which is very rare...I love it!

UPDATE: the doorbell just rang (at noon) and I went to answer it and it was Pablo. Talk about a surprise! (His urologist is going to do what he has to do right before the surgery.)


One week ago today...

My husband called me at work to tell me he had a brain tumor. And our lives will never be the same.

HUGE thank you to everybody for all the support - family, friends, co-workers, strangers who read this blog...everybody. We can't thank you all enough.

Monday it is

Pablo just got confirmation from the surgeon that his surgery will be Monday morning. He had heard a rumor late last night that it might have had to wait a month due to scheduling issues. I'm glad that is not the case. He needs this thing removed from his brain ASAP (in my opinion of course).

He might be able to come home tomorrow and possibly spend the night and then back in for Saturday night. I'd like a night with him home. And the kids, especially Isabella, would like that too.

UPDATE: scrap the overnight. It's a day pass (noon - 8pm) for Friday, Saturday and I think Sunday too.


They are starving my husband...

The surgeons/doctors/THOSE WITH ALL THE POWER never confirmed with Pablo's nurses that he isn't having surgery today. Because of this, he's been fasting since midnight last night and it is now 5:30 6pm. He's feeling nauseous and I figure IT'S BECAUSE THEY ARE STARVING MY HUSBAND!!!!!!!!!!!!

Due to the lack of energy FROM BEING STARVED TO DEATH, he has spent most of the day sleeping.


The surgeon just spoke with Pablo and she'll let him know tomorrow morning if she thinks the surgery will be on Monday. Monday could change depending on what emergencies and surgeries happen on the weekend. I hope the hospital saved him some dinner. He can't go home today like we thought but the surgeon might see about getting him a couple of day passes for the weekend. Oh, and the reason the surgery didn't happen today was because there were more severe surgeries than his. I'll take the surgeon's word for it although I'd really like to know what could possibly more serious than my husband's rare brain tumor...............

No surgery today

The next date given was Monday...any bets on how long till that changes?!?!?!?!?!

Deep breaths....


He shoots, he scores!!!

Pablo is very excited...he got the okay from his doctor to go to a hockey game tonight - game 4 of the playoffs - Ottawa vs Pittsburgh. He couldn't turn down seats by the glass. The only condition is that he has to back for 11pm to have his IV put in.

Why am I not surprised...

Now I'm REALLY pissed...

Pablo just called. The surgeon went in to see him and they might do the surgery MONDAY. As in 6 days from now. HOLY SHIT. Can't swear in front of the kids so I'm choosing to do it here for fuck sakes.

They'll let him come home till Monday. How nice of them. And if they say DAY PASS I'm going to really fucking lose it.

This has all yet to be confirmed AS USUAL.

And as my very Italian Nonna would say (grandmother - she passed away a few yrs ago):
FACKINSANAMABEECH !!!!!   (my Nonna was awesome as you can tell)


That's my Pablo...

This morning, a man walked into Pablo's room and went over to his bed and asked Pablo if he remembered who he was. Pablo asked him if they had met before and the man replied, "Yeah, last night at 2:30 am".

The man then explained to Pablo that when Pablo was coming back from the bathroom down the hall, he had walked into his wife's room, walked over to her bed, patted her feet and said, "You can stay in my bed if you'd like but scoot over." The man then walked Pablo out of the room and back into his proper room which was right next door.

And that's my Pablo!  (he was on some good drugs last night obviously...)

I'm hanging out at the hospital right now with Pablo. This morning Pablo was told that the surgery would be at 8:30am tomorrow. Not anymore. One of the doctors just came in and told us that it looks like the surgery will POSSIBLY be moved to Wednesday. The cancellation that they thought they were going to have tomorrow which is why Pablo was getting squeezed in is not looking like a cancellation anymore. AND there is a machine that they want to use that they don't think will be available on Tuesday.They still don't want Pablo to eat past midnight tonight JUST IN CASE.

Family Photos

Here are some photos that my sister Kim took of us at my parents' place yesterday. Thanks Kim.

Pablo decided to cut his hair right down in preparation for the surgery. This made Isabella cry and she got real mad at him for cutting his hair. When we were driving to the hospital to pick Pablo up yesterday, she asked me if I thought his hair would have grown back already.

I'll be heading over to the hospital around lunchtime today. Today is going to be a day full of info and decisions. I'm bringing a notebook and a pen. I want to write everything down. I'm dreading today but at least I get to spend it with my wonderful, strong and loving husband.

Tonight I'll blog about what will be happening tomorrow...


The boo, the boy and their dad

This first set of photos is Isabella and Pablo:

And now here are Simon and Pablo:

The three of them:


Boy did today ever fly by. Isabella and I picked up Pablo after his MRI this morning at 11. We went straight home and hung out there for a few hours and then went to my parents for Pablo's favourite - my mom's lasagna. Chocolate cake for dessert. Pablo had to be back at the hospital for 6pm for more tests so we had an early dinner. My sister Kim took a bunch of photos of Pablo and I and the kids and I really hope that some will turn out (always hard to take good photos with kids who won't sit still).

The four of us came home and Pablo said his goodbyes to the kids. Apart from getting the phone call about the discovery of  the tumor, that had to have been the hardest 10 minutes of my life. Isabella begged Pablo not to leave because she wanted him to watch Spongebob with her. Simon gave Pablo some eskimo kisses and I fucking lost it. My stomach is so sick I want to throw up.

The next few days are going to be the longest fucking days of my life.

I don't want to lose him.

A little funny

I thought it was about time to lighten the mood around here a bit...

Pablo, the kids and I were stopped at a gas station on the way to my parents' house.

Isabella said, "Let's go to the drycleaners too."

"Sure thing!" I replied. Where the heck did she get 'the drycleaners' from?

About 30 seconds later Isabella says "OHHHHHHH! I meant the car wash!"

But of course!

My girl

When Isabella woke up this morning, she looked over at me and asked, "Mom, do you think daddy is feeling better today?"

I told her I'm sure he was feeling a bit better but I had to look away when I answered...


A long day

The kids and I picked Pablo up at the hospital at 8 am this morning and took him home. Then his phone started ringing and by 1 pm, our house was packed with people. All friends of Pablo. It was insanity. I found it hard to deal with because I just wanted quiet. Pablo on the other hand, loved having the distraction and was in such a great mood. It was really nice of everyone to come by, but I was really overwhelmed. Some of his friends took him back to the hospital and I'll pick him up in the morning after the MRI on his abdomen. Just what we need - the possibility of more bad news.

I am so drained, tired and exhausted and the kids are too.

Off to bed and I hope that family day tomorrow is much more quiet.

Again I want to say thank you to everyone who has been leaving comments. Your kind words have been touching - to me and to Pablo (who also read them).

I'll post again tomorrow night. Goodnight all.

A little message...

To the neurologist who saw Pablo a few months ago WHO DID NOTHING:


There. Now maybe I can get back to sleep...although I doubt it.


More answers

My husband has a large brain tumor.

I'm still in shock and after today's news, I'd really like to just wake up from this hellish nightmare.

It's bad.

I slept like shit last night and got up this morning and left for the hospital once my sister Jen came over to watch the kids. They finally got Pablo into a make-shift room at around 1 am (the hospital is supposedly full to capacity). I got to his room around 10 am and we hung out till they came to get him for another MRI. After that we hung out in his room waiting for the MRI results. A doctor who works with Pablo's neurosurgeon came into the room a few hours later and explained to Pablo that it looks like they'll perform the surgery on Tuesday and he explained the details of what sounded like a pretty routine, most likely benign, brain tumor removal surgery. He said that due to the location of the tumor, the surgery could affect his memory and/or speech. He left and we actually felt quite confident.

Since the surgery wasn't going to happen till Tuesday, Pablo asked if her could go home till then and the doctor said that he could get him a day pass so that he could spend his days at home but he would have to return to the hospital at night to sleep there. If he were to come home and sleep at home, he would have to be re-admitted for the surgery and that involves a whole lot of paperwork, bloodwork and other crap so a day pass just makes things easier (for the hospital).

My parents and aunt and uncle had come to visit around dinnertime and I left with them to go home and be with the kids for a bit before bed.

Then Pablo called.

'The' neurosurgeon had a talk with Pablo a couple hours ago. She said that upon her analysis of the MRI, the tumor had actually spread into the brain and was most likely malignant. The surgery is definitely going to have to be performed by Tuesday the latest and it is going to be a very difficult surgery. The surgery is going to have to be followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

Our hearts sunk and now I am really at a loss for words.

The kids and I are going to pick him up tomorrow morning and we're going to come home and have a wonderful day - together as a family.

Pablo, I love you. More than words can say.


Some answers...

My husband has a 'large' brain tumor.

We found out late this morning (from the MRI he had done a few days ago) and we had to go straight to the hospital where he was admitted and is spending the night. I am home to be with the kids tonight and to try to get some sleep. Back to the hospital in the morning and hopefully we'll have more details on the operation to remove the tumor.

Prayers please everyone. As many as you've got.

Sharing kids' rooms - part 5


Sharing kids' rooms - part 1, part 2 and part 3 and part 4


My sister's awesome quick bathroom fix

My sister Kim temporarily fixed up her bathroom. Ideally she'd like to gut it, but for now she redid the space with very little money. I can't believe how good it looks now! Go check out her blog for more photos.

Here's the BEFORE shot:


Random photo


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