Tuesday, October 18, 2011

To do or not to do--brain surgery

thank you to all who have responded to the post requesting prayers..keep it coming

it is nearly 8 pm and Lisa, Mike and I are here waiting for a room in the Intensive Care unit so we can begin getting her ready for next steps

Docs have given us three choices to treat the cyst/neuroblastoma tumor in her brain:

1) Do nothing except provide stronger meds which will help control the pain and most likely would have her sleeping for most of her days

2) Do surgery and place a shunt in her brain followed by rounds of radiation.  The shunt would divert the fluid and hopefully relieve pressure so that she can function "almost" normally.  There is some concern re:placement and size of tumor that leaving it could cause her to have some issues with balance, emotions, etc.

3) Do brain surgery followed by radiation.  The brain surgery would involve removing as much of the primary tumor as possible.  Because of the stage of her disease, this is not even considered a cure.  It's considered palliative care because there are so many other sites where the cancer is present.

While number 1 seems a terrible choice, part of me wonders if perhaps it makes sense.  Given the nature of neuroblastoma, are we just putting off the inevitable?  How much more can Lisa really endure?  Is this a chance to let her go with less trauma to her body?

Number 2 and Number 3 both have pros and cons. We need more info to make best decision.  Some of that info should come once we get an MRI done and can determine if the cancer has spread to her spine, as well as, her brain. Also, we need to hear from the surgeons, oncologist and radiologist what the quality of life, timeline and risks are most likely to be for all the options.

Please, please, continue to pray and even beg for a miracle.

Thru most of the day, Lisa has slept.  The time she is awake she seems comfortable and still manages to smile and tease.  She really is a fighter.

A big kudos to all the docs and nurses.  All the different teams have done a great job of checking in, sharing information and working as a team. Send extra prayers for all of our doctors that they are able to use their knowledge, skills and have steady hands in helping Lisa.


Anonymous said...

Praying, praying, praying...my love goes to all of you.

Anonymous said...

I know you two will make the right decision...PRAYING!

Anonymous said...

My heart and prayers are with you all. Lauren prays for Lisa every day. Keep fighting!
Debbie Hummer

Anonymous said...

Our family continues to say lots and lots of prayers for Lisa and your family. I am currently working in the ICU at Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. If I can be any help with medical translation, etc, please let me know.

Ashley (McMaster) Loboda