Scarlett has been doing well since her first surgery. It has been 4 days, and she is starting to look like herself a little more each day.
The incision is healing well, thought it will be re-cut in surgery Friday. No brain bleeding after sugery, which was a concern. Sub-clinical seizures were still prevalent, so anti-seizure medications were increased, but today's EEG will hopefully show improvement.
The swelling has decreased a lot, so she can now open both eyes. She doesn't make much eye contact or track anything, but I think she does look at us. Her left eye was not reacting to light yesterday, but today it is.
Her left arm and leg are regaining some motion. She swats at the doctors and nurses when they pry open her little eyes (that's my girl!) It's funny to watch, because when she is calm, they observe no motion, but the second their hands cross into her bassinet space, she opens her eyes and gets her arm moving, as if she's been spying on them all along and knows what's coming next.
I am pretty convinced that the IVs and swelling are a main cause of the stiffness in her left side. The doctors agree, but they don't know for sure if the seizures are affecting it as well, so we just have to wait. Meanwhile, her right hand is actively seeking contact with someone's finger or a fuzzy toy whenever she is awake. I love to watch her fingers start searching, but I try to fill them with my finger or a kis as soon as I can.
The surgeon who assisted in surgery, and will again be there Friday, took time to explain the newest MRI images. It is amazing to see what her brain looks like now. My best explanation is that the original scan showed the tumor to be about as big as my fist. Now, the remaining tumor is about the size of my pinky finger in the fist. The rest of the tumor space is now fluid and air...we joked she's truly an "airhead" now (have to keep a sense of humor sometimes!!!)
This surgeon explained more about why they stopped the first surgery when they did, and why they agreed to take on such a risky case in the first place. Scarlett's tumor had a very defined boundary from the brain. This led to it basically peeling away easily in surgery (as "easy" as an 12 hour brain sugery is.) This gives a much better chance of fewer malignant cells being left behind, and an overall better surgical outcome. There are two dangerously large veins connected to the remaining chunk of tumor. Somewhere near to this is likely the origin site of the tumor, where it began and is probably more integrated with brain tissue. They could have, as he put it, been greedy, and gone for the whole thing, but may have run into dangerous territory late at night when she had been sedated for too long. They were being cautious, and we are grateful for that.
Basically, this all boils down to the brutal truth: the next surgery is going to be hard and long, even though it is far less tumor to remove.
However, she is strong and handles anesthesia well. Waiting until Friday stinks, but gives her body a chance to rally and heal, so it can continue to fight through the next surgery.