Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Brain Surgery

Yesterday was a long day, but let me start with this morning: when I talked to Scott this morning, he and Thomas were watching Fievel Goes West (you remember) together. Scott said Thomas had sat up with him for a while, played peekaboo, even smiled once. That's good to hear. I had only seen him asleep after the surgery yesterday, before I went home to crash after our exhausting day.

A day with surgery starts the night before. Surgery sends up this special soap and we have to wake Thomas up in the wee hours to wash his little head. Last time they sent these terrible hard plastic brushes. I had insisted on helping, but I cried the whole time, and Scott had to hold our wailing baby over the sink. This time, it was much gentler. Thomas stood holding onto the rails of his crib, and the nurse talked to him and gently rubbed his head with washcloths. Thomas is very grown up now, so I just sort of spotted (the rubbing made him a little wobbly) while he babbled to the nurse.*

We went down and met all the anesthesiologists, talked to the neurosurgeon again, and kissed Thomas and handed him to the nurse. Upstairs, we tried to figure out what to do with ourselves while we waited. There were board games, the paper. I knitted the ugliest hat I've ever seen in my life.

Finally, the doctors appeared. He's fine right now, sleeping but he'll wake up. We got through the cyst, they said, but there was tumor underneath. About the size of my thumb. And.

Wait, I said. Wait.

Tumor is bad news. It means that chemo didn't work. Chemo doesn't usually work that well against ependymoma anyway, but we had to hope it would since Thomas has been too little for radiation.

The good news, the goodish or less-entirely-awful-news, is that we were already planning on starting radiation therapy soon. We did manage to get Thomas's brain through its first year - he'll be one on Thursday - and now is the soonest that it might be reasonably safe to radiate.

Radiation is a much more effective weapon against his kind of tumor. And Thomas's neurosurgeon did get the whole tumor out again - that's good news too. Practically speaking, this new finding doesn't change our approach for now, like I said. I guess we've just learned that this tumor is not the kind of tumor that gives up and goes home, not even when chemo makes it uncomfortable. I think we'll be ok, though. We're not that type, either.

The rest of this week should see Thomas improving pretty rapidly - they even think he'll be out of ICU and on the floor in time for his birthday party on Saturday. I'll keep you updated as I can, but the hospital's new firewall blocks blogger, so your comments won't get posted immediately and my posts will be a little delayed.

Thanks, as always for your support.

*He's making a lot more sounds now. It's cool.

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At 1:40 PM, Blogger Dixie Chick said...


We have never met, but someone introduced me to your blog. I just started reading it this week and want you to know from one mom to another, I am praying for you. You are a rock and I pray that the God of peace gives you all the comfort and strength you need to be Thomas' mom and Scott's wife. Hang on to Jesus!

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Rhonda said...

love you all.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Dee said...

Sarah--you have the makings of a great writer! I hung on every word until I saw the word tumor. Tears in my eyes and a large lump in my throat. I continued reading-tumor gone - great! Yes--radiation -to keep the ugly beast at bay! Courage Sarah and Scott! Thank you so much for your quick update on Thomas. So many prayers are coming your way! We love you so much!

At 7:00 AM, Anonymous Dee said...

I forgot---that "ugly" hat! Be sure to give us pictures. I'm sure it's the most awesome - beautiful hat ever created! And I'm not kidding!!

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Sweet Thomas!
Hoping recovery will be quick and that he's able to celebrate his birthday. We keep you in our constant thoughts and prayers and will continue to do so as long as it takes! God Bless the 3 of you.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger stephanie said...

You guys are my heros!!! and I think and pray for you all the time...if you need anything feel free to call me and will do whatever... sara i am send you a site you will enjoy...
love you all=
// h

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We pray for you all every day. The Lord is with you.

At 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello there
I am a student of yours, Sir Bickle
I am quite sad over Small Sir Thomas.
I wish him a happy birthday, and wonderous luck.

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Lindsay A. said...

I love you guys....I think of you everyday....


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