Monday, April 6, 2009

Friday was a long day at Motts. The appt with radiation to make Lisa's "mold" was at 9:30. That was pretty timely and went very well. We were in a new building so things weren't as familiar to us, but Lisa didn't seem to notice. The doctor came in to talk to us. At this point in the game, things are as good as they can get. While they won't say she is cancer-free or in remission, they do say "at this point in time, none of the tests is showing any active cancer cells". That's pretty good for neuroblastoma and the doctor said that while he didn't want to get our hopes up it's great that Lisa had made it this far. Because there were no active cells evident on the scans, they are only going to radiate the area where they did surgery....Lisa's stomach. So in one sense, that's good, because it means less radiation exposure for her, but on the other hand, you hope there's not some roaming cells that we could be zapping at the same time.

Once the doctor was done talking with us, we went with some nurses and techs to get Lisa's "mold" done. It was quite interesting. It was done in a room with a cat scan machine which Lisa is very familiar with; Lisa was doing fine until they started mixing up some "goo". They offered to let her shake the mixture and she said "no way". She got a little anxious and tried to get off the table but the nurses and I assured her everything would be okay. They were a pretty fun group and used a lot of distraction techniques to help Lisa lay down. The whole process took about 20 minutes and actually was pretty cool. Lisa laid on the catscan bed on top of a clear, plastic trash bag. They poured the "goo" inside the plastic bag so it didn't even touch her. Once they had the "goo" poured, they put a warm blanket on Lisa and just chatted away with her. As I stood next to her and watched, I realize the "goo" was rising and it was forming a mold around her. She had to have her hands above her head so they let her hold a doll up there...the "goo" grew around the doll as well. I found it interesting that the mold felt warm and I remember one of the Child Life specialist telling Lisa she would feel like she was laying in a warm bath. Besides not being able to move, this didn't seem like such a bad thing.

Once the mold was completed they needed to take a few cat scans of Lisa. We explained to her that I would be on the other side of the window while they did pictures. They had a microphone that I could talk to her with, so I told her that the queen was watching and could see if she laid still in the machine and then we played hide and seek while the table moved in and out. After that, the mold was looked like a big styrofoam shell of Lisa and baby doll. The nurse took us over to see the radiation machine which he told Lisa was a rocket and that she would be driving with her mind. We got to sit on the table and go up and down and Lisa got to use the controls to move the machine around.

After radiation, we went for an MRI...they were running over 2 hours behind. Ugh. It was 11:30 and Lisa hadn't eaten all day because she had to have anesthesia. That meant we had another 2 hours to go without food. She did pretty good and only started to fuss after we got called into pre-op and we had to wait some more. She had just started to dose off when they finally got around to her. We took her back to the machine and they put her out and did the MRI. She was quite the bear when the test was over and she was coming out of anesthesia. She usually comes out of anesthesia with a nasty attitude, tack on the fact she didn't eat all day, it was a double whammy...she was screaming and yelling when she woke up. We finally left there at 4:00 and I stopped at a grocery store on the way to the lake and let her pick out any food she wanted.

Overall, she seemed pretty comfortable with everything. It will be interesting to see how she does's her first actual radiation appt and they said first appt could require her to lay still for up to 45 minutes, we are all hoping she can do it without anesthesia but we'll see. That's a long time for anyone to lie still.

Thank you to all of you who said some prayers for my Mom. She has gotten most of the test results back and as her radiologist said "if it has to be cancer, this is the best circumstances....the only better news we could have gotten is that she doesn't have breast cancer" She is stage 1 and had three very small lumps that were well differentiated and easily removed during her outpatient surgery/biopsy last week. She will have another outpatient surgery to remove any lymph nodes that are cancerous... which may be as few as one but possibly two to four based on what they now know about her cancer. So far, all the other test have come back negative and there is no reason to think her cancer has spread anywhere else. She will need to under go six weeks (five days a week) radiation treatment. She may get fatigued during the treatment cycle but other than that no other side affects are expected. Timing looks like she will probably start her radiation after Lisa finishes with if she needs any pointers, I'm sure Lisa will be happy to give her some!


Diane Ebeling said...

Happy news on both your Lisa and your Mom!!

Juli is suggesting that Lisa should "star" in one of the U of M Hospital commercials! She says she so cute and has been so brave, she would be a great rep for the hospital! LOL

Diane and JuliAnna

Anonymous said...

So glad your long day is over. Stay strong and enjoy the lake.


Anonymous said...

You and the staff are amazing in your ability to help Lisa through the many tests. Your understanding and support are such a wonderous gift.
Glad to hear that no active cancer cells are showing at this point in time. Sending much love and healing thoughts to Lisa, your mom, and all of you.


Anonymous said...

You and your family are inspiration to the rest of us. Get a few lemons make lemonade. You guys are great and I tell everyone how amazing Lisa really is. Lisa you can do it. Good Luck to everyone Hope you have a nice Easter you deserve it.


Amanda.B said...

Julianna has a good idea! Lisa would be so cute in the commercial! I'm praying for you guys,
Take care