Saturday, November 22, 2008

Nothin but net!!

When I was in 7th grade, I was already 5-foot-10. As such, it only stood to reason that I would be an awesome basketball player. Or so the coach told me. I put down my neon nail polish, jelly bracelets and Men Without Hats cassette tape long enough to go try out. (It was the 80's; don't judge me.)

I didn't want to try out, much less play. Trying out and, heaven forbid, actually playing? Well, that meant sweating and ewwwwww, why would I want to do that, for pete's sweet sake? But the coach swore I would rock, so what the heck. I like to be a rock star, so I gave it a shot.

I made the team. They listed me at 6-1 on the roster (to further intimidate the hapless opponents, of course) and put me in at power forward and waited for my natural-born talent to appear.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Height? Yeah, it does not necessarily equal talent.

To say I was wretched on the court is an understatement of epic proportions. I was merely a mix of too-long arms and too-long legs clumsily galloping down the court. Imagine a hog-tied giraffe being rolled down the court, hurtling towards other players like they were bowling pins, and you have a pretty good idea of the artistry in motion that was me on a basketball court.

And give me the ball? Not a good plan. There were girls who could sink that darn ball every single time. Like it had a magnetic attraction to the goal. Oh yeah, baby, nothin' but net every single time they touched the ball. My shots apparently had a magnetic attraction to the air below the hoop. When my shots were "nothing but net," that meant "nothing but the outside of the net." My husband, a former sportswriter, describes me euphemistically as a "foul-prone defensive specialist."

Mandy is no danger of ever being mistaken for a basketball star. She is TINY for her age. Most girls her age are a full head taller than her. The tumor and the NF have caused her to be growth hormone deficient. This after being saddled with genetics from her height-challenged, 5-foot-7 father. She is travel-sized.

But, trust me when I say Mandy just scored a big, huge goal with nothin' but net! A 40-foot 3-pointer! A double-pump, reverse, two-handed slam-dunk!

Girlfriend is a superstar! A rock star! An all star!!! And any other accolade you can come up with to give her.

We drove down to St. Petersburg yesterday to see her Neuro-Oncologist about the whole two- different-sized-pupil thing she had going on two days before. It has gone away. It is believed to just be an idiopathic late response to eye drops used to dilate her eyes a few days before. Good news. No worries there. And no last-minute CT, thank goodness.

While we had her doctor there, I asked how much shrinkage we have gotten since starting treatment on the optic glioma.

Remember, sometimes, the most you can hope for with these tumors is stable. You often don't actually see them shrink.

It has shrunk!!!!!!!!!

By how much, you ask?

Can I get a drumroll, please?

10 percent!!!!!!!!



That's the extent of my math skills, but so not the extent of my exclamation marks!!!!!!! That is huge and we are thrilled!!!! Thank God for answered prayers!

She does think the spot in the left parietal lobe is most likely another glioma, but it will be treated by the chemo we are already doing for the optic glioma. So, that's good that nothing changes on the treatment course.

My baby girl? She may be tiny, but people, she is made of TOUGH!

Love to all~


Tyra said...

Yay, Mandy! We are so happy for you and will continue to pray often for consistent shrinkage.

Sarah Smith Nessel said...

From a fellow tall-but-basketball-challenged gal, I just want to say, that's great news!! Here's hoping there will be many more good reports in the future!

Susan said...

AWESOME!!!! Praise the Lord. Give the little rock star a hug from me.
Susan Burress

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you have ever heard of Jessica Stone or not (I found out about her through my local news who ran a story of the medical journey she has had this year). Here is her webpage she has NF2 and wants to raise awarness for all with NF
Here is her site:
Her Myspace: (local news who followed her journey this past year look under Jessica's Story)

Hope this information can be of some encouragement for you.

Praying for your sweet little girl!