Monday, July 26, 2010


Carly was discharged from the hospital yesterday afternoon and we were able to spend last night at home. It’s always a relief to walk out of the hospital and head down Parnassus St. towards our house, but we also knew that Carly had some recovery work ahead of her. The recovery from the last shunt surgery took her over a week and we were hoping that this round would be a bit easier on her.  Last night and this morning were not great and she wasn’t able to rest, but fortunately she started to settle down this afternoon and she finally took a long nap. We’re hopeful that this trend will continue and we will all catch up on some sleep tonight.

Love, Brad

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Perfect Ten

Carly's surgery took three and a half hours, and after a few hours in recovery we are back in our room on the 6th floor. The surgery went well and Dr. Auguste replaced the shunt valve and the catheter that runs into her belly. He said that the old catheter was clearly clogged and once it was replaced the shunt flowed well and relieved the pressure on her brain. The recovery from Carly's last shunt was a bit rocky for her, so now we are just hoping that the next few days are uneventful and if all goes well we will be on our way home tomorrow.

Love, Brad

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Good Times, Bad Times

Over the last week or so Carly has started to show the high pressure signs that we are all too familiar with. We have been fairly certain these signs meant that her shunt was starting to clog again and now another shunt revision surgery in on the way.  The operating room schedule has been very busy this week, with no available times for Carly, so she will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow so that the surgery can be scheduled for Saturday.

There is some good news too. Last week Carly had her quarterly MRI to monitor her ventricle size and ensure that she remains tumor free.  Although the ventricles did look a bit bigger (verifying that the shunt was not functioning properly) the MRI also indicated that Carly remains tumor free. We got another good piece of news regarding the protein content in Carly’s CSF. Over the last few months this level has been very high, nearly 30 times the normal level. Dr. Gupta told us that when this level is so high they typically see a lot of shunt clogging issues as the protein causes buildup in the shunt catheter. When neurosurgery was investigating Carly’s shunt function this week, they tested this level again and it has dropped by ⅔.  It is still 10 times the normal level, but the downward trend hopefully means that soon she will not have to deal with frequently clogging shunts. We are hopeful that shunt number ten will be around for a long time.

Love, Brad

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Having A Good Time!

Carly did better then we could have imagined at the High Sierra Music Festival last Thursday through Monday. She was all smiles within minutes of our arrival and she continued to smile throughout the weekend. The RV that we rented was perfect, allowing Carly to sleep well each night and giving her some escape from the warm days. Getting to spend time with so many of our friends, dancing the days and nights away, was all that Christa and I had hoped it would be. Carly is definitely a music lover and I am sure she is already counting the days until her next festival. I know we are!

Love, Brad

More festival pictures can be found here.