Scarlett is getting ready for her surgery tomorrow. She, of course, has no idea what is coming. This morning, she had the pre-operative MRI that maps her brain for the surgeon. This includes the placement of fiducials, 7 little buttons glued to her head, that will help guide the neurosurgeon in placing her head exactly right to find the tiny spot to be removed. He calls them his GPS. We learned today that Scarlett is the only neurosurgery patient tomorrow, and we should expect 6-9 hours in the OR. Seems like an awfully long time for such a small spot, but, hey, it is brain surgery - we want him to take as much time as he needs to do it right.
We are holding up okay. It has been a stressful few days preparing for the long days and nights ahead. I will be out of my classroom for 4 days (or so I am planning - there's no telling what will be happening next week). 4 days of lessons plans for kindergarten is a big job - they need to stay busy! My great colleagues are being wonderfully helpful, and I am trusting that my class will be fine. I'll be back just in time to enjoy some last minute holiday fun with them before our long winter break.
Chris has been running Scarlett to school and appointments and taking care of all the paperwork and details before surgery. While he was at the hospital today, he filed a request to have a slide of tomorrow's biopsy released to her doctors at Lucile Packard at Stanford so that everyone can work together (we hope) on the most reasonable plan for Scarlett.
Tonight, we are taking it easy, trying to relax. We have to finish packing - I could pack for the hospital with my eyes closed by now - yoga pants, tank top, t-shirt, sweatshirt, socks, slippers, ear plugs, headphones, fleece blanket. Laptops and Kindle and hospital requirements. There's not much room for more than that. Chris and I rotate each night, one staying in the hospital overnight while the other gets some semi-quality sleep at home. We know the routine, which table we will scout out for its convenient electrical plugs in the cafeteria as we wait tomorrow. This time we had the luxury of time before surgery - many have been in emergency situations with no warning - so I was able to make a little treat to share with the PICU nurses that always take such good care of her (and us).
Scarlett is NPO (no food) after midnight. We have to be at the hospital at 6:30am, so with a coffee stop on our way, we'll be out the door long before the sun comes up. Surgery is scheduled to begin around 8:30am PST, and we will update as much as we can.
Thank you all for your support throughout this difficult time. For now, Scarlett is working off the last of her energy for the day by climbing on and through the step-ladder we have used to decorate the house...