Diary of a Brain Tumor Patient's Wife

Nov. 12, 1998

Renette Davis

Paul has been sending out quite a few email messages lately, and you may get some messages that you can't understand. If that happens, I would say just don't worry about it. Sometimes his messages are quite clear and then other times they're hard to figure out. He puts a lot of effort into the messages - writes them out by hand first, sometimes asks me how to spell words or tries to find them somewhere (like on a map if it's a place), then types them on the computer.

It takes a lot of time for him to type up what he's written because he basically has to do it one letter at a time. But I think it's worth the effort. For one thing, it helps him express some of his feelings and it helps everyone understand some of what he's facing. Also, I've been doing a lot of reading on aphasia, and although most of it is geared to stroke victims, I think some of it could apply. The emphasis seems to be on practicing using language so that other parts of the brain can learn some language function. As Dr. Nicholas pointed out, a brain tumor is different from a stroke in that it's a continuing event, but he said he thought language therapy was worth trying.

Paul can usually read the messages ok that people send. It just takes him longer than it used to to figure out everything. I would encourage you to write to him, even if you're not sure if you understand what he's saying. You should probably try to keep sentences fairly simple. The main thing is to let him know you're thinking about him.

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Created: June 4, 1999
Last updated: July 20, 2010