William: "I think you're getting skinnier!"
Me: "You are wise beyond your years!"
I don't know why I wore make up this morning. I should know better. I knew the tears would flow after talking to the surgeon very candidly about what surgery will entail. Ryan and I met with one of William's surgeons this morning to discuss the details of surgery, understand the expectations, and get good vibes from her.
What we learned:
- Neuroblastoma tumor removals are not a favorite of any surgeon. They are hard and long and complicated.
- Neuroblastoma tumors like to wrap around things, i.e., blood vessels and organs.
- William will lose his left kidney and adrenal gland and possibly his spleen.
- At biopsy, his tumor was described as gelatinous, like applesauce. After chemo treatment, the tumor is more cement-like and the word chiseling was used.
- She and the other surgeon participating have both done several of these and will both be in surgery together along with the chief resident. At this point, the more the merrier---or should I say smarter, more observant, and thorough.
- After studying the scans with her, we were reminded that the original tumor was humongous.
- The tumor, although greatly reduced, is still roughly the size of a softball, but is not round and pretty. It fills in the nooks and crannies between and around the organs and blood vessels.
- Surgery will be 6-8 hours long. It is their only surgery that day.
- The incisions will incorporate his existing scar from biopsy and extend across the width of his abdomen.
The surgeon mentioned something to us that perhaps she didn't realize had a great impact on us. She was assuring us that although Dr. G was unable to perform this surgery due to his current medical leave, she and the other surgeons in their practice have been aware of William from the beginning, have discussed his case with Dr. G since the beginning, and read his scans previous to this surgery. Then she said it. "In fact, I woke up thinking about him this morning." This may not seem out of the ordinary, but we can't help but believe that she is being guided and inspired to know how to perform the surgery successfully. We are grateful for all the prayers and ask that the surgeons be included in your prayers as well.
On my way home from the consult, I stopped at the store and stocked up on a large quantity of stress chocolate!