Monday, September 27, 2010

Surgery Consult

Me: "I think you're getting fatter!"
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.
Ryan and I feel very much at peace with the abilities of the surgeon. We definitely feel anxiety as any parents would, but we have faith that our loving Father in Heaven is aware of the needs and desires of William and us. We fasted for William yesterday and we know many others did too. We truly thank you.

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!


  1. Yay for chocolate!! And thank heavens for good, competent surgeons. I am sure they will be guided and inspired. You can count on our prayers for William, you and Ryan, the surgeons, etc. We will be thinking of and praying for you a lot over the next few days. Much love to all of you... xoxo

  2. We're praying for you. William's name is on the prayer roll at the Manhattan, Washington DC, and Provo temples . . . Broadbents

  3. William and the surgeons get double prayers from the boys and I tonight. You are all at the forefront of our thoughts, especially this week. Glad to be saying farewell to that nasty doohickey!!!

  4. Julie: William and your whole family are being prayed by myself and my whole family, as well! Having been touched by neuroblastoma ourselves, we are understanding of your fears and concerns. I have to agree with you, however, that the surgeon IS being prompted by the Holy Ghost in what she should do. I have no doubt that God's hand is in all of this and know that William will be under His loving care and protection the entire time. I send my love and prayers to all of you today, tomorrow, and all of this week! Hugs!

  5. I had to have a tlak with myself today--that if I had faith in Will's recovery prior to all the details of what the surgeon, said, the details of the risks should not lessen that faith. Will is in my prayers, as are you and Ryan. I know today has not been easy, and that tomorrow may be worse. But "in the furnace God may try you, hence to bring you forth more bright." That is what I keep thinking of. Will is going to SHINE!!!
    Grandpa is on his way. Wish I were too. Much love--

  6. What precious thoughts. It is amazing to hear all the faith the is bursting from your soul. It is obvious that your surgeon is being guided as well as REALLY REALLY cares about William. This is such wonderful news...and certainly deserves a little chocolate!