Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Have You Ever Had Radiation

 Have you ever had radiation? I’m surprised by the headache that “isn’t” a headache, by how hot my skin is, and by how tired I am.

For the brain tumor radiation they made me a mask and had to bolt me to the table (so I wouldn’t move). I became so petrified they had to pull me out of it three times. Finally the nurse said, “Did you hear the way she talked about her husband? Is he in the waiting room?! Go get him now!”

After that, they rushed to the waiting room and got Mike. As they bolted me to the table, Mike held my hand and said for me to imagine I was a violin. This was all before he had to go into the other room. But it was just enough time, and his imagery worked! 

I pretended I’d become a violin that God needed to work on. And when I went into the machine under all the lights and radiation; it was as a violin. The whole thing seemed as if the Refiner’s Fire truly touched me. And as it ended after about 15 minutes, a thought came to me that God doesn’t destroy violins—I sure hope that’s true. I want to be worth keeping, not physically but spiritually.

And that’s how I made it through my first bout of radiation. I wasn’t brave like I hoped, but a kind nurse, my wonderful husband, and God got me through. It was beautiful really, in a very ironic sort of way.

Monday, November 16, 2020

“Berty” the Walker

 “Berty” doesn’t look like much, but I’ve come to love her. She’s not edgy like a skateboard, or energizing like a bike...but she has a charm all her own.

I just wanna make her look awesome somehow. #ThisWillBeFun because Berty is getting a makeover! 😍😍😍 BAM! Take that to your face 🤣

Friday, November 13, 2020

Jamming with the Music Therapist

So…this DID get so emotional that I cried halfway through – but I still made it to the end damn it!

I am so stoked that I got to surprise the music therapist today. When she came in to play something for me, there I waited with a violin to accompany her. I hope it meant something for her to have someone play something back for her, after all the kindness she’s offered to others.

Here’s the link or the video: Music Therapy Jam Session

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Elisa’s Surgery

From Mike, just an update on my wife's surgery today...

I just got off the phone with the surgeon. He said things went extremely well! She is awake and the breathing tube is out, but she is still pretty well under anesthesia still and wont be really coherent for conversation or be able to remember any conversation for another hour or two. She probably won't be back up to Huntsman until 5ish and they will come check on her later on tonight as well as tomorrow morning to make sure she's still doing all right. She has a "drain" in her back to protect the nerves from whatever small bleeding will happening around the spine and that will be removed, at her bedside, in the next day or two. So as of right now, no more surgeries are planned!

So briefly, what they did was fuse the spine from L1-L5, removed the tumor and most of the infected bone in the L3 vertabrae and put a "cage" in its place, relieving the pressure from her nerves. 

Still a road ahead but after she's healed from the surgery, the pain should be pretty reduced and she should have feeling back in her leg hopefully increasing her mobility. Next step is meeting with the Melanoma specialist hopefully friday or early next week. For now "the patient is resting."

Saturday, November 7, 2020

An Update About Elisa

Hi, everyone. I figured I'd put out an update on my wife now that we kind of have a plan. After scans and biopsies, she has stage 4 Melanoma. We are currently waiting on results for a "B-raff"(?) Mutation in the melanoma which makes it respond well to immunotherapy,  but if it doesn't have that it is much more difficult to treat. She is still in the hospital while they are trying to manage her pain in a way she can be released and be comfortable which has been a challenge. We have an appointment on monday morning to see the surgical team and talk about the surgery to relieve some of the compression of the nerves in her spine, but it sounds like a high risk surgery. We also have an appointment on Thursday with a melanoma specialist to go over the best course of treatment going forward. Oncology/Radiation appointment to be determined based on if/when surgery will be performed. We are looking down a long road to travel and we are hopeful for the best outcome.

Thank you all for the love, support, generosity and good thoughts/prayers/hope you are all sending our family. Everyone has been amazing and we love you all.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Fiddling at the Hospital

 Pretty much had a big-fat breakdown today. But after I cried, the staff let me play my violin in the lobby. 

It’s humbling to perform for fellow cancer patients and these generous staff members. Giving back definitely fills that cup to overflowing. I’m just so glad they let me do what I can (albeit small) to lighten the mood for others and myself as well.

Here’s a link to the video: Elisa Plays at the Huntsman:

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Haunted Violin

Sometimes life deals really crappy hands. BUT, sometimes crappy hands win.

I JUST got confirmation that I have Stage 4 Melanoma. There’s gotta be a hidden Ace in the deck somewhere!

I’m really in shock and wanted to get my mind off of things. So, I asked if I can play my violin for the other patients, but apparently I’m a patient too 🤣

Maybe someday... 
Or maybe everyone will hear a haunted violin down the hallway tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A Modified Gown

 Mike came to see me for his birthday yesterday. I felt terrible that I hadn’t gone shopping for him before being admitted to the Huntsman Cancer Institute, so my sister went and bought him a bunch of gifts! I’m still so amazed by everyone’s generosity. And it’s nice to be getting so close to my sister. We’re talking almost every day now, and I love those moments with her.

Anyway, when Mike came over, we had a “fancy” hospital dinner, but I didn’t want to look completely frumpy so I modified my dress Please ignore how skinny I’ve gotten.

My friend saw the photo and said Scarlett O'Hara would be proud. Now I’m scoping out the curtains! 

I’ve got to make this “funny” somehow! 
After my nurse recovered from the shock, even she thought it was great!

Anyway, to my husband:

Mr. Magagna, YOU are the best man any person could ask for. You’re kind and gentle. You don’t burn food like I do. You’re spicy and fun in all the right ways. I feel like I was looking for you my whole life—and every day that I get to wake up next to you is a blessing. Thank you for choosing me—and sticking with me through literally anything. I love you more every day. You’re my dream best friend—and YOU make me strive to be a better person. Thank you, Mike, just for being you. I love you with everything in me.

Happy birthday, handsome. Even with cancer and how I'm admitted to the hospital, I am the luckiest woman on Earth.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Asking for Help


So this will be a post that you don't see from me ever, I just don't know what else I can do at this point.
If you have a heart, please send your prayers, or thoughts, or hope or whatever it is you do for my wife
Currently, she is admitted to the huntsman cancer institute due to some findings on her spine and brain. We appreciate you all.