photo taken by Angela Speiker

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Great Wednesday

It is a good day today with Walt. His eyes are open, he is even tracking things moving around looking. He is currently eating lunch and enjoying it a lot. He's talking a great deal today. He told us "Walt's back". We got some of the results back and two of his tests came back clear, which looked great! We continue to wait for the path results. His neurologist is supposed to be in this afternoon.

He's been pretty funny these few days. Quite the sense of humor, and a little unreserved on other comments. It is so good seeing him looking better today!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Walked in to the room today and the nurse said that he was "alert & responsive". These are wonderful things to hear! He is on a mushy food diet (he and Zach may get to share some food) and finished all of his breakfast & most of lunch, which is great news! They removed the feeding tube (with a little help from Walt) and are just watching him closely to ensure he consumes enough calories. He was bantering with the nurse quite well this morning, even telling her he'd rather have a pizza. You forget how something so simple (eating, moving him around, bathing) can really wear you out after everything he's been through. Walt is getting some great attention from his nurse today, since he is her only patient. We still haven't gotten the results from several tests. Still waiting.

Walt's brother & sister flew back home (after a flight delay kept them here an extra night). It was so nice having them both here! We tease G a lot, but I think it was perfect having him here. Cheryl is already missing having N's medical experience! Sure wish you guys lived closer :)

Cheryl was able to get home last night to Mac. We got Maggie out of the kennel and she was very happy to be at home with us. Cheryl was able to visit with several neighbors & friends. She is trying to return calls, so if you've called, be patient with her as she is swamped right now and is really trying to spend as much time with Walt as possible (and we are trying to force her to take care of herself some, too, you know like eat & sleep). I think the whole situation is starting to catch up to her. She (and all of us) VERY much appreciate your offers of help. Don't worry, she will be calling you to ask for help.

Walt has been asking about his "Magster" and his "monsters" (aka grandkids), so this is such wonderful things to hear. He tells us he loves us and doesn't love it when we leave his room. We tell him we have to go so he can rest, and it never, ever gets easier to leave a loved one behind as you walk through the doors of the hospital. It wasn't easy 18 months ago, and it isn't easy now!

As you continue to pray for Walt's recovery, pray also for Cheryl. This isn't easy on her. We all love them both so much.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Yesterday was a very good day, as Walt woke up enough to open his eyes a little, respond by nodding his head to verbal questions, give “thumbs up”, and even smile some. However, our exuberance to see all this may have caused us to overwork and exhaust him. Today, although still showing some of this responsiveness, his overall awareness/responsiveness level has been a little lower. Because of this step back today, the doctors are trying to let him rest as much as possible, and also conducting a few tests to determine if there is some reason for this setback.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What a sweet, sweet sound

As we were leaving tonight, we told Walt we loved him. He says, "I love you" back to us!! That was an incredible sound! He also was able to tell us speaking about his brother, Glenn, "he's annoying" but we all laugh and are happy hearing Walt say that, b/c well, that's just Glenn!!

We were hoping to put it out there for a possibility for some "help" requests:
1) I'd love to have some people offer to do SMALL meals, possibly sandwiches, small containers of salad (she loves a chicken waldorf, with pecans??? I will check on this for you). The containers need to be small, and able to be marked with her name that can be stored in a community fridge. I would love it if you could contact me first so that we don't have too many people trying to do this all at once. Email me at

2) I think I (Stephanie) am going to stay in Mac for a few days after Skip heads back to KC. I would love to be able to help Cheryl out in Wichita if she needs me and was wondering if there are any Mac family/friends who might be willing to help watch the munchkins. This could be at their house, or at your house, whatever is convenient. Again, email me at Possible times include anytime Tuesday and/or Wednesday. I will take whatever I can get.

This is all I have per Cheryl. I will let you know if I hear more requests from her. We appreciate all the cards, calls, prayers, etc. If we don't get you called back immediately, I hope you understand. Access to the internet is limited as well, so please do email, but be patient as I will try to get to it as I can.

A special personal prayer goes out to my dear friend Stephanie tonight. In the midst of this chaos, she is working hard at bringing a brand new miracle into this world! Best wishes Steph, can't wait to see pics of that sweet girl!! Love you Steph & Kyle!!

Wonderful news!

Walt is awake. Sometime last night he woke up. He was responding to requests (lift 2 fingers, nod head yes & no, etc) & really focusing his eyes on us. He even belly laughed at his brother. He became very emotional seeing Cheryl this morning, and she did a good job calming him down. They extubated him at 9:10 and he has done a great job breathing on his own. He does need to have a lot of rest. The visiting with family seemed to wear him out and has been sleeping a lot the rest of the day. The docs asked us to take it easy to allow him to have enough energy for the docs.

We are beyond thrilled at this good news. We know there is still a long road ahead.

They are hoping to remove the drainage tube from his head (that had been draining fluid) tomorrow. It has been clamped since yesterday and he is doing well with that.

His lungs continue to look good. They did a brochoscopy (forgive me if this is wrong) yesterday and it looked good. Lungs have remained clear and he is giving us some good deep coughs.

He was able to get a good bath & shave today. This is a good thing b/c the scruffy look was not looking right on our Walt.

We continue to wait on the patholigy results. No news yet.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Some good news

They have been watching Walt closely for congestion and/or pneumonia. They did a procedure this afternoon to look into his lungs to make sure they were clear. They were a little worried with the fluid they had seen in the tube, but were very pleased to NOT see any significant amount of fluid on his lungs. They are still giving him some antibiotics to prevent pneumonia. They had given him some heavier duty meds for the procedure, so the rest of the day we don't really expect much out of him due to the drugs. We were very pleased to not see fluid on his lungs!! For the most part everything else is remaining the same, and right now stable is not a bad thing! We are just allowing Walt to have some time resting until his body is ready to "wake up". Keep praying for him, and keep praying for Cheryl, as I know this isn't easy on her.


I haven't heard anything from Cheryl yet. Walt's brother & sister flew in from Florida this morning, so I am very happy they are here to spend some time with Walt and being a comfort to Cheryl. Will update as soon as I hear some news.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday's wrap up

There were a few changes today, but mostly Walt is just still resting. The docs wanted to run an EEG today. The results came out fine. The docs said that he is just taking his sweet time to come to the party (the doctors didn't seem at all concerned about how long it is taking). His nurse told him she wanted to have a serious discussion with him about his getting back to his preferred position 15 minutes after they position him (to prevent bed sores) and the kicking he is doing with his right leg. He also gets quite annoyed when they suction out his mouth or brush his teeth (he never did like going to the dentist). He is coughing "real" coughs not just the gagging ones and getting up the fluid from his lungs. They removed one of the shunts, the one placed during surgery, as it was draining very minimal fluid. There is still a shunt in place, the one they put in to drain fluid that they positioned the first evening. We saw him yawn this morning (very different than a gag). We are keeping positive and hoping for continued improvement each hour.

Still waiting

I guess there really isn't much change for today. The neuro came in and was pleased with the movement in Walt's right side. He has ordered an EEG which may be happening this afternoon. Will share results when we get them.

Thursday update

As of 10:00 this morning, we are still just waiting on the doctor to come. Don't know much more, but will update as we hear any news.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wed. afternoon update

Walt is staying stable thru the day. They have given him one dose of pain meds today, and have him on insulin. His numbers were a little elevated but that could be due to the amounts and types of meds he's received. He has been doing a great job breathing on his own all day, yeah! He's a little "feisty" (Cheryl's words) as he is really moving his arm to try to pull out his intubation tube we assume. The doc came in and reminded us that this last hurdle is worthy of celebration, b/c he is doing such a good job so far. The swelling in his brain is greatly reduced. They don't plan to extubate him tonight, but are hoping to try to do that in the morning.

We continue to take things one step at a time, dealing with the minute presented to us and not totall focusing on what our next step will be.

More updates

Since this info, at 9:30 they started to reduce the sedative. He is making movements with his arms and legs, and starting to respond to pain stimulus (which is a good thing). They also stopped the vent, and he is doing a good job breathing on his own, keeping his Sats up. They still have him intubated for now, but are hoping to remove that soon. They hope to have him back to his "base line" today, which means responding like he was when he entered the hospital on Monday night.

We have heard from the doctor that the section of the tumor they looked at doesn't look great. It may be a higher grade of tumor, which can mean it is more aggressive. We are asking for prayers for that to not be the case. Again, we won't know anything for sure for 2-3 days until results come back from patholigy.

I know MANY of you have offered to help. Even if Cheryl (or any of us) haven't taken you up on it, this will be a long road, not over in a few days. We may be in the hospital for some time, and then a long recovery at home post-hospital time. Offers to Cheryl for things like meals, lawn mowing, prayer lines, people to run some errands for her, possible babysitting for the crazy 5 grandkids so that we can help with Walt's recovery are all VERY much appreciated and will be utilized. I can't imagine my crazy 3 munchkins running around like wild children near Walt right now. Thank you for everything, it is so appreciated.

It's a good morning

Note from Cheryl:

Just talked to Walt's neuro surgeon, whose style is to take things step-by-step to avoid overwhelming everyone inv loved. Walt's CT scan this morning looked very good and the doc is pleased. Today's task is to cut back on the sedatives and allow Walt to wake and let us know just where he. Walt is still in the Neuro CCU and pretty much for the next 2 days is only allowed 2 visitors (immediate family only) at a time.

Thank you all for all the prayers and well wishes, and keep praying b/c the road ahead will be a long one.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Out of surgery

Walt is out of surgery. They removed a tumor that was slightly larger than a golf ball. The tumor bled into itself, thus the "bleed" they saw on the CAT scan. They do not know at this point what type of tumor it is. They've sent it on to patholigy and will not receive the results for 3-4 days. They saw a significant mass on the other side of the brain as well, and will identify it later with a more detailed MRI later today possible or tomorrow. He will remain in a sedated state for today, heavily sedated so as to keep him calm. They inserted another shunt as well to drain fluid. As soon as the tumor was removed there was an immediate "shrinkage" of his brain, and it firmed up a lot more. They said we are taking things one step at a time. He may be talking in a few days, possibly even up walking, but may not, we aren't sure.

Cheryl looks exhausted & hoping she rests soon. We are going to drive her up to Mac to get some meds, clothing, check on Maggie, and wrap up a few things. The doc felt confident that we'd be fine to leave for a short bit, and he will just be in recovery mode from the surgery. Prayers still requested for a good result from the patholigy, a healthy recovery, and that he handles the news ok when he is awake & aware.

Will update later if we learn more info.

Walt's status 11:00 AM

Walt collapsed at work last night. this was a good thing, as that forced him to go to take his stubborn personality to go to the hospital :) They did a CAT scan in Mac and it presented as a stroke, so they transported him on down to Wichita where there is a specialist. The neuro isn't convinced that it was a stroke, more to follow. They took him into surgery at 10 this morning, 2 hour surgery, to remove the bleed. The neuro is optimistic that he will recover, although it will be a long recovery. We are thinking he is here for sure for 72 hours post surgery, possibly days or weeks longer, depending on how he does and if there is a need for any further surgeries.

We appreciate all of you who have helped in this emergency. We also appreciate all prayers centered around Walt & Cheryl during this stressful time. We will keep this updated as we hear more.

Friday, June 11, 2010

More from Steph's shower

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A princess is on the way


I was lucky enough to get to go to Steph's baby shower in Arkansas. She is soooooo ready for a little girl to light up her world after her 2 crazy boys. Don't get me wrong, we love Keegan & Gavin, but little Reagan is going to be quite the addition--and ALL pinked out! It was so much fun to hang out with my friend.
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