Thursday, January 13, 2011

Couldn't They Just...?

As soon as Scarlett's tumor was diagnosed, everyone in our families became brain surgeons.  Everyone had a plan for how they would cure Scarlett, and it always started with "Couldn't they just..."
  • Couldn't they just operate?
  • Couldn't they just do chemo or radiation?
  • Couldn't they just suck out the tumor?
  • Couldn't they just chop out little pieces and let her brain grow?
  • Couldn't they just kill it with lasers?
Obviously, we are not a family of neurosurgeons.

It was really hard to hear all of these pseudo-options because it made me feel even more helpless.  Especially early on, when there was very little hope of any possible treatment, I wanted everyone to be at peace with her prognosis and enjoy her.  I wanted her to be surrounded by happiness and laughter for however long she had.  False hope of a cure was not helpful to me or Scarlett.

Getting the second surgeon's opinion was one of the scariest parts of this whole process.  We tried to prepare ourselves for what we expected him to say; we kept saying to each other, "It can't get any worse."  If he couldn't operate, then we already knew what the path ahead would look like.  But I was terrified of what it would be like if he changed the plan, gave us hope after I had made peace.

Of course, we were so grateful to hear there was a chance for Scarlett to come through this.  It was shocking and scary, but also gave me a new energy and determination for her.

Once there was a plan for treatment, the Couldn't They Justs faded away.  We are all committed to providing Scarlett with whatever she needs in the future, but we leave the neurosurgery to the doctors. 

40 comments:

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for your posts. You are such an inspiring couple and Scarlett is such a strong young lady. My son's birthstone is the ruby. Everytime I put in my ruby earrings (daily) I not only think of him, but now I think of little Scarlett too. Thank you for sharing your experience with "the world"!

Anonymous said...

I dont know if you are religious or not but I fully believe that God does not bring us to anything we cannot get through with his help! You and Chris are very strong people and its obvious you have a VERY strong little girl. She is fighting as hard as she can! I can only imagine how hard this must be; at least she is so young she will never remember all of this! My prayers are always with you and your family!

Shannon said...

In some miniscule way, I understand what you mean. I had a miscarriage 1.5 yrs ago, and everyone seemed to feel that they had to offer me some sense of WHY it happened, as if they were geneticists or OB/Gyns or something. While this is NOTHING in comparison to what your family is going through, I think it shows how other people react to hardship in other's lives. We want to help, so we offer suggestions that may not be realistic, but we hope that somehow our suggestions might save the person from pain or heartache, because we don't know what else to do or say.
I'm so glad that there is a plan and that Scarlett is fighting this with her whole entire little body...she is a truly amazing little girl.

Anonymous said...

I just pray tomorrow goes well and your little Scarlett is on the way to recover from this horror. You have incredible strength and Scarlett took it after you.
I keep thinking about her all day every day, I cross my fingers that tomorrow surgery is a success!
Be strong little Scarlett you are amazing and loved so much.
Julia-Tampa

Anonymous said...

Prayers for you and Scarlett tomorrow. She is a fighter and a beautiful little girl. Thank you so much for including all of us in her fight. God Bless you Scarlett. Hugs to all of you from PA.

Amy-BBC January 2010 Birth club.

Anonymous said...

I think about you and Scarlett daily. I am so believing God for her miracle!!!

Mary

Heidi said...

As a parent of a medical special needs infant I heard the same thing quite often. Now as a preschooler things are under control and most people wouldn't know there was anything different about him just from meeting him, but family and friends (always well meaning) still try to *treat* him. It is very frustrating.

Thinking of you,

Heidi

Anonymous said...

I haven't looked at my baby girl the same since I've read this blog. I appreciate every single moment with her and just thank god that I have her and that she is healthy. THank you for sharing your story.

Just my opinion, but I think you should try nursing her again. It will help both of you! It will give you amazing bonding time plus it will help you feel mentally great. Have you tried it yet?

Anonymous said...

I am amazed with the strength that your baby girl and your family have. She is a miracle and such a strong little girl. My prayers and thoughts are with you everyday. My twins (who are four days older than little Scarlett) and I say a prayer together everyday for Scarlett, Brandi and Chris. Will be praying for tomorrow to go great and Scarlett to be healed and healthy again.

Thinking and praying for you,
Jessica in Florida

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to tell you and your husband that you are heroic and inspiring. You and your little angel Scarlett are always in my prayers. I have been asking family and friends who don't know about your horrible trials to say a prayer for you and your daughter. God Bless you Brandi and Chris and Little Scarlett. We're rooting for you

Connor's Mommy said...

Your family is in my prayers. You all are AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

Sending prayers for baby Scalett and your entire family. I try to read your posts every day and have both cried with joy and sadness as I have followed her journey. I just feel it in my heart that it all will be OK. Hang in there I will be thinking of you guys tomorrow.

Trin said...

Best of luck for tomorrow, I'm really hoping everything will go well.

Stepper said...

We're praying for you and I'm so glad to see that there is hope. She's such a beautiful baby. Please give her a kiss from me and my family. I'm in your birth club. Gabscilla

JenAnderson said...

Your blog is incredibly inspiring and as a Mom, puts so much into perspective for me. I held my daughter tighter last night and shared your story with those around me. I am amazed at the strength you and your husband have. I loved your "Mom Up" phrase....you are certainly a perfect example of that. I am praying for you all each day. Like the person above, I just FEEL like things are going to be ok. I hope you continue to have the strength to stay strong!!!! HUGS!!!!!!!

Kelly said...

Your story has touched me so much. I am a fellow BBC mom, and to be honest, I stayed away from this blog for a long time. I knew how reading it would tear me apart. And it did, but it also gave me hope for Scarlett. My son is only a little over a month older than she is, and you are an AMAZING woman to go through this. I come on here everyday to read your blog, and I will be wearing my red tomorrow for this amazing little girl. God bless you!

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Brandi! You are a wonderful person and an amazing mom! Sending positive thoughts and praying constantly for you all.

Jeff said...

I'm sure you have been given a divine strength that allows you to continue to write, with insight, in the midst of what most (including myself) can not even imagine. What an amazing record for your family, and an invaluable support for others in similar situations. I am in awe.

Praying for your family and the surgeons.

And I am wearing red to school tomorrow (even though it's the "wrong" one since I jumped ship and no longer work with your mom)

Anonymous said...

You, Scarlett, the doctors and nurses are all in my prayers. I pray for peace, clarity, understanding and strength for you all.

Anonymous said...

Just thinking of you and baby Scarlett tonight! I hope & pray that everything goes well in surgery tomorrow and will be anxiously waiting to hear how she is. Thank you for taking the time to update all of us on her progress. Even if we are strangers around the country! Somehow it feels like Scarlett is a piece of us all. :)
Good Luck tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

Praying EXTRA HARD for Scarlett to come through the surgery tomorrow and have an amazing recovery!! I just told my husband to pray hard tonight b/c we would want the same if it were our daughter. My assistant at school asks about Scarlett daily since I told her about it and she is a woman of great faith and this morning's words were "She's going to make it. You know this don't you? I have faith, that little girl is going to make it." So we are all praying for you both and especially Scarlett!!

Shannon in Virginia

*mom* said...

A lot of people will be wearing red tomorrow in honor of our sweet Scarlett. Please please don't take offense to me calling her "our" Scarlett, it's just that she has become such a part of our daily lives that we all feel so bonded to her and you.
God will be with you tomorrow, watching over you and watching over one of his littlest angels. Mary too, will be there, holding your sweet girl during the times that you can't.
We love you guys and wish we could be there with you tomorrow in person....but we are definitely with you in spirit.

AngelaCourtney90 said...

Keeping Scarlett and ur family in our prayers... You have a strong little girl and I believe she has a great future ahead for her. God bless you and your family. <3

Cristina said...

I will be asking God for a special favor in watching over Scarlett during surgery tomorrow. I pray for precise and careful hands for the surgeon. I pray for strength for you both while waiting for here. Thank you for continually writing and sharing this journey with all of us. My heart is with you all tonight and tomorrow. God bless you all and that amazing little fighter of a daughter you have.

RLC said...

Love to you sweet Scarlett. Be strong baby girl. The universe is with you tomorrow. How could it not be? You are loved by so many! <3

Samantha said...

I pray for you all and baby Scarlett every night. She sounds like a fighter and I'm so happy that she is doing well so far. Bless you all and best luck. I will continue to pray for you and that sweet sweet baby girl.

Anonymous said...

I bet it is hard to hear everyone's great "ideas". You guys have actual doctors on the case though, and it seems that they are doing wonderfully!

I know that little Scarlett's surgery is tomorrow and I just wanted to pass along the love and good vibes to her and you guys. I know she will do amazing and the doctors will skillfully precisely get their job done!

Love, strength, and good vibes to you all tonight!

Kimberly said...

Hoping, praying, visualizing her happy, healthy and unscathed. Will be wearing red again.

jellybean78 said...

Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. Scarlett is a fighter, and her strength comes from you. I am so amazed at the strength you've shown during this rough time. I will be wearing red tomorrow.

Jessica and Katie said...

We are still praying for your little girl and thinking of her daily! I will be checking for news to see how surgery went. My daughter and I will be sporting our red tomorrow just for her! sending you all our love and support!
xoxo-jessica and baby katie
sept 2010 bbc

Anonymous said...

Saying lots of prayers for Scarlett, the docs and both of you today!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you guys again today! We'll be checking back in for news.
Jen, Oct 2010 mom

shynek said...

My baby girl is wearing red today in honor of Baby Scarlett! Sending positive thoughts, love and prayers your way!!!

Kelly said...

Saying prayers for Scarlett and her mommy and daddy today!

Kelly (BBC July 2010)

Anonymous said...

We are thinking about Scarlett here in Pennsylvania today!!

Anonymous said...

Sending you prayers and best wishes for your beautiful baby girl. God bless you and Scarlett. May He give you all the strength and courage you need to get through this.

Your daughter is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I will be praying for all of you today. I ask the Holy Spirit to give you strength and peace and to pour out abundant blessings on Scarlett.

Anonymous said...

Wearing red today for Baby Scarlett! We are thinking of you, and wishing you the very best today!!

Baltimore, Maryland

Kathryn said...

I found you through babycenter and am so sorry about everything, all the desperate low points especially. My thoughts are with you all.
actually what prompted me to post is I wanted to say that you are a great writer and I admire your honesty. You have said several things that gave me pause to think, wow, so many people would have kept that to themselves lest they be criticized. But you didnt. Scarlett will learn many things in life that others will not have the chance to learn because most people are too cowardly or fearful. Good for you, Scarlett and everyone in your life that benefits from your brave and honest approach.

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear that Baby Scarlett is tumor-free!! We have been praying for her and thinking about her every day. We will continue to pray for her through her future treatments. God Bless. The Clifford Family (Rocklin)