Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Beginning of a Plan

After a very long day, we met with Scarlett's neurosurgeon today.  He again showed us the images of what we are dealing with.

He said it very simply: Let's just get this out, and then worry about it.  He is just as disappointed as we all are to see something growing, but admits we just don't know what it is, and we can't make a wise decision on treatment until we know.  His biggest concern at this point is the risk of infection; he estimates that 1% of craniotomies (surgery to open the skull) get infected; shunts increase that risk, and we all know that Scarlett has a way of attracting conditions with even the most minimal risk.  The last thing we want is her shunt to need to be replaced - this shunt is a winner!

So, Scarlett will be scheduled for surgery shortly after we return from our Thanksgiving trip; I expect it will happen before Christmas.

It was a full day of talking Scarlett.  This morning, I spoke at the breakfast for the super donors of the Stanford Blood Bank - those who have donated 100 or more times.  Our blood drive coordinator suggested us as a speaker, and we were happy to share our story, and to thank the wonderful donors who commit their time and arms to donating every opportunity they have for several years. The blood bank supplies the hospital where Scarlett had all her chemo and countless transfusions, so it is highly likely that someone there donated blood that saved her life. The blood center was kind enough to put us up in the hotel the night before so that we would not have to battle traffic early in the morning, so Chris, Scarlett and I had a little night out before our speech.

Now, we have a few days to pack before we take Scarlett on her first flight to visit her great-grandparents in Washington.  It will be an adventure for sure!


~Mayhem said...

Brandi and Chris. I am so sorry to hear this news and yet so glad for the neurosurgeon's frankness and for a plan of action.
I couldn't help but stare at the cute little ears on the MRI scan. Thank you to you Scarlett and family, for showing us all what a true fighter looks like.
Blessings to you all and thank you for your continued updates.

Melissa said...

There are no words that can express what anxiety you must be feeling at this moment in life. Just know that we are all praying for you, for Chris, and for Scarlett. She is only one day younger than our little guy and I think of her a lot. Stay strong! We'll be here to support you through thick and thin.

MelissaD said...

Your beautiful Scarlett is always in my prayers. I pray for strength for you and your husband and knowledge and strength for her doctors.

child of God said...

Sounds to me like you have an amazing surgeon. Praying for no infection, the Lord Jesus to guide the surgeon's hand and the mass to me nothing alarming at all.

Have a wonderful trip and Thanksgiving.

Praying and praying,

Kenny said...

I had the pleasure of hearing you speak at the Stanford Blood Center breakfast yesterday. Thank you so much for sharing Scarlett's story. Seeing her in person really "brought home" the importance of blood donation. I often think about the people "on the other side of the needle" when I donate and seeing your beautiful daughter nearly brought me to tears. I will be thinking of Scarlett when I go in to donate on Monday. Best wishes everyone!

Töddel said...

I am so sorry Scarlett is looking at yet another surgery. I cannot imagine what you are going through and how frustrating and scary this must be. I keep thinking of you and have been checking up on Scarlett since her diagnosis. I am all the way over in Norway, which means that Scarlett's fighter spirit has spread across the globe and that we are so many people that are rooting for her!
You are in my thoughts.