Sunday, May 29, 2011

Neuropsychological Assessment

Tomorrow, Monday, May 30, Kol will be going to the Kinsmen Children's Centre for a neuropsych evaluation.  He will spend all morning, and probably most of the afternoon doing tests - what kind of tests, I'm not sure - to evaluate whether or not he has any brain damage, and to find what areas he might struggle in.   With all of the treatments that Kol has been through, it's more likely a question of "What kind of damage has been caused?" than "Is there any damage?"  We are, however, obviously hoping and praying that these tests will show that Kol's brain function is perfectly normal.  The testing day will be long, but if Kol can't handle the testing, or if he gets too tired, it will be continued another time. 

From what we have read, most children with brain tumours don't lose the abilities they had before treatment, but their ability to develop new skills and to think more abstractly is diminished.  There are certainly ways to mitigate the damage, but it helps greatly to be able to focus on weaker areas.  It may take him longer than it would otherwise have done to learn key concepts. 

I've been trying to avoid thinking about the possibility that Kol may have suffered from brain damage, yet the reality is that there is little chance of avoiding damage.  My second greatest fear since the tumour was discovered has been that Kol would have serious brain damage.  (Obviously, my greatest fear was that Kol would die.)  I've never been good at sports, or music - so academics, research, learning, etc. have always been important to me.  It makes me sad to see others 'waste' their intellectual abilities, and I really admire 'smart' people.  If I were to be brutally honest, I'd even have to admit that I look down on those that don't appear to be very intelligent (a fact that I'm not really proud to admit).  I have been proud of Kol's intellectual abilities - proud that he is my son.  As a result, Kol's brain tumor is hitting me in the most sensitive spot.  It's making me swallow my pride. The possibility of brain damage, memory problems, or diminished function makes me anxious about Kol's future and the struggles he would face as a result.

Kol has come through every hurdle that he has faced much better than we ever could have hoped, so there is reason to believe that he will come through this just as well.  We know also that God is in control and that He is very capable of miracles.  We know there is nothing special about us - we don't deserve miracles any more that the hundreds or thousands of other kids suffering with cancer - but that doesn't stop us from hoping and praying for the miracle of a perfectly normal, unaffected brain. 

Please pray
  • that Kol enjoys the tests and really tries his best
  • that Kol won't get too tired during the testing
  • that we get an accurate picture of what Kol's strengths and weakness are
  • that the tester will be at her very best
  • that those interpreting the tests will not make any mistakes
  • for Kirk's and my peace of mind, and that we will be able to accept the results graciously, no matter what the outcome
Thank-you again for your support and continued prayers.  We cherish them.

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