Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Results Are In

The MRI results are in. She has a very large tumor (about the size of an orange) in the middle of her brain. It is basically consuming the cavity above the thalamus that would normally contain spinal fluid. The tumor is putting pressure on the fluid which is causing the swelling and pain. It touches some very important parts of the brain (like, isn't it all important?).

Here's the upshot: the good news is that the tumor is not very "solid" in the scan which leads them to believe that it will be more "fatty" than "fibrous". This usually makes it easier to remove. The bad news is that it is very large and they will need to make a diagonal incision along her forehead, go about 8 cm into her head to get to the tumor.

They will not know until they get in there exactly how much they can get out. They will not know until they get it out whether it is malignant or benign.

She will go in for surgery at about 8:30 AM and the surgery will be 6-8 hours. Once the surgery is finished, she will retun to recovery in the PICU. She will probably have shunts to drain fluid from her brain for a while and they will be able to assess her condition at that point. Recovery can range from 1-2 weeks (before discharge) and at that point we should know our next course (further surgeries, chemo, radiation, etc.).

Here is the GREAT news: Her doctor (Dr. Tye) and nurse practitioner (Ms. Joanne) have been wonderful. They perform surgeries of this type 30-40 times per year and many people have told us that we are definitely in the right place and working with the right people. I also know that we have a wonderful network of friends, family, and others supporting us, praying for us, and lifting up Charlotte's health to God. I have tremendous faith!

We will be at MCV for a while, going back and forth between home and romp n' roll as well. Thank you for all your messages, offers to help (some of which we have already accepted), gifts, and most importantly, prayers.

We will keep you updated.

Rachel, Roger, and Charlotte

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