On Friday Oct. 5th Stephen and Ariannah Shipman’s life changed forever. Stephen had a seizure in their home that resulted in an emergency trip to the ER. A battle the couple never saw coming began.
After many tests a mass was discovered in Stephens brain and he was transferred to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha which is almost 3 hours away from their home and their two infant daughters. Upon further testing at OMA a tumor larger than a potato was found.
They sent Stephen home with a follow up appointment scheduled two weeks later with the surgical team at OMA to develop a plan. He tried to return to work on Monday but severe headaches and nausea disabled him from returning to his normal routine. Each day the headaches got worse as did the nausea.
He returned to the hospital for IV fluids and was transferred back to OMA. There they did another CAT Scan and found the margins had changed and the doctors were unsure if it was caused by the seizure, swelling, or the mass growing faster than they originally thought. They decided operating sooner would be the best option.
On Monday, Oct 13th Stephen underwent an Anterior Temporal Lobectomy which is resection of brain tissue entangled with tumor along with a portion of the tumor. They could not remove the entire tumor because of fear of too much loss of function. Surgery went well and the portion of the tumor was sent off for testing.
After a busy 5 days of therapy Stephen was released to go home on Friday, Oct. 19th with plans to continue PT, OT, and Speech therapy closer to home. This would also allow him to be home to celebrate his son D’Andre’s 13th birthday.
On Monday Oct 29th Stephen began to experience swelling in his face and a slight fever. His white counts were elevated. As the week progressed he started feeling nauseated and didn’t want to go to therapy.
Wednesday, Oct 31st Stephen’s incision started oozing. They returned to the ER and his speech began to become difficult.
On Thursday Nov 1 back at OMA the doctors informed Stephen and Annah they would be doing surgery to remove the infection from his brain. They reopened the incision, removed the skull plate, swept out the infection, and closed the incision without the infected bone plate. He will have to be without a plate for 6 months and wear a helmet for protection.
On Friday the pathology report on the tumor came back. It is called Astrocytomas. It’s a type of cancer of the brain. It is a star-shaped brain cell in the cerebrum called astrocytes. This type of tumor does not usually spread outside the brain and spinal cord. Stephen and Annah will be meeting with Oncology to determine the treatment plan to battle the remaining tumor.
Wednesday, November 7th Stephen and Ariannah returned to their home. They spent the morning loving on their little girls before spending most of the day with the home health care nurse. Stephen will be doing at home antibiotic IV treatments every 6 hours to battle any remaining infections. He will also be continuing his PT, OT, and Speech therapies.
They have an appointment with the oncologist on Nov 16th to find out the plan to battle the cancer.
Stephen has a long road ahead of him and they appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers while they start on this journey of recovery and healing. They wish to thank everyone that has sent messages, said prayers, and helped with food, taking care of their children, helped with their home, and donated monetary funds to help with all the extra bills and lost time at work while they have been away from home.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.