Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The best laid plans.......

Today, Matthew was scheduled for a minor (well, relatively minor - I'm not sure any type of brain surgery is minor!) surgical procedure. An Ommaya reservoir was going to be implanted so that the cystic portion of Matt's tumor could be drained. The surgery was scheduled for 1 hour and then we were going to be allowed to go home 24-48 hours after surgery. Warren, Matt, Jake and I headed down to Salt Lake yesterday to meet with the neurosurgeon and also have an oncology clinic visit. We had a nice evening and stayed the night with Carolyn and Lee so we could be to the hospital at 6:30 a.m. this morning.

We arrived at the hospital, Matt had a CT scan and was whisked into surgery rather quickly. We were in the waiting room at 8:30 - which was a first, for sure! We were happy and not surprised when Dr.Walker (our neurosurgeon) showed up around 9:30. We thought the surgery was finished. Well, the news was not exactly what we had anticipated! Apparently, when Dr.Walker went to insert the catheter portion of the reservoir, the cyst collapsed. This was not a dangerous complication or anything, it just meant that the surgery didn't work and that the cyst would continue to fill with fluid and Matt's ventricles would continue to be blocked, putting him at a great risk for hydrocephalus.

Dr. Walker gave us 3 options. We could either end the surgery then, try putting a larger scope in the hole Dr.Walker had already made, or perform a full craniotomy. It was a rush of emotion as we hurriedly weighed the options and ultimately decided that the craniotomy was the thing we would do. Dr. Walker was leaning that way, and I really respect his opinion! He also hoped that we might be able to remove a bit more tumor.

Matthew was in surgery for another SIX hours. Let me tell you that if we had known what today was going to turn out like, we certainly wouldn't have brought our 8 month old baby! Jake is a trooper and an absolute doll, but he doesn't 'do' waiting rooms for hours on end!

When Dr. Walker finally came out after surgery, he was practically beaming. From this different angle (Matt's first incision was right across the front of his head. This new incision begins on the right side of his incision - your left - and continues on to the back of his head, making almost a 90 degree angle with the first incision) Dr. Walker was able to completely remove the cyst, and also remove a large portion of tumor! We were beyond thrilled and Warren said, "I have never felt so happy in this place!" I totally felt the same way! This gives us a large chunk of tumor to send to different pathologists, and hopefully the tumor will be easier to measure without the large cyst making the MRI's difficult to read. Dr. Walker also said that the cyst was much more tumor than it appeared on the MRI. I am so happy they were able to remove so much!

Tomorrow will be an exciting day because Matt has an MRI. We will be able to get a good look at exactly how much of the tumor Dr.Walker was able to remove.

Tonight, Matt is doing well. When we first went into the PICU to see him, I asked him how he felt. He opened his eyes and said with a clear, strong voice, "I feel like crud!" It made me laugh.

So, now we work through our modified plan. Our 1 hour surgery + 1-2 day hospital stay has morphed into a 7 hour surgery + 1-2 days in ICU with 5-8 days in the hospital after that! However, if this surgery resulted in a significant resection, it is totally worth it!

10 comments:

MoziEsmé said...

If he's saying he feels like crud, he must be feeling pretty good, huh?! That's great that the doctor was excited about the results. Hope both Matt and Jake recover quickly!

Cathy from WV said...

I found your blog last year when I was looking for information about my 3 year old being dx'd with diabetes insipidus. I have followed all of your posts and have prayed for Matt and your family. I am so happy for you recent news and will continue to pray for him and his recovery.

Burton Family said...

We are so happy to hear that he is doing so well!! Carolyn let us know what was going on (which we really appreciated so much) and we were so worried all afternoon! She did call and let us know that he was doing pretty good last night as well. I hope that this can be a great turning point in his treatment and recovery!! It does sound like a positive thing-let him know that we love him and wish him a speedy recovery from the surgery! Please let us know if there is anything that we can do for you guys.
Love you-Cristy

K said...

The best laid plans, indeed! I'm glad the new plan worked out so well, and I hope Matt's recovery goes just as well!

Jessie said...

Wow. What a day of high emotions! You'll have to let us know about the MRI results. That's so exciting. Sometimes things come down to those in-the-moment decisions. That's great news and progress. I loved reading it!

Michelle said...

I am so happy it went so well! Please let me bring you all dinner or lunch or anything you need! I am only a few minutes away and am at your disposal! SERIOUSLY!!! My number is 628-8862

EmilyCC said...

Yay! I love hearing such good news! We're praying for a speedy recovery for Matt.

Karen said...

I am soooo happy for you! That is just amazing that they were able to take so much of that nasty tumor out!!! You must be elated! Wow, I am just so excited to hear this news, I know how promising this is for Matt. I hope he recovers quickly, which I am sure he will, he is a tough kid. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Hang tough Matt!

Karen and Lew said...

Lew always asks me if I have read your blog recently. He is not a blog reader himself, but he likes to know how Matt is doing. We pray for your family regularly and hope that the small miracles keep on coming!

The Uffens Family said...

(watch out for the Utahism coming...) OH MY HECK! That is GREAT news!! Next time that happens, call me, and we'll come get Jake. I know how those things can be!! Hopefully you're all getting a lot of rest. Matt is such a fighter. Love to you all!!