April 12, 2007

The Surreal Scoop

Today was Jack's follow up visit with his neurosurgeon at Dallas Children's. He was the surgeon that surgically attached the frame for the halo needed for the gamma knife procedure 2 weeks ago tomorrow. He gave Jack a quick neurological exam, checked to make sure everything was working properly and talked us through the next steps. Jack passed his exam with flying colors. He was reactive everywhere that could have been damaged from the radiation. The doctor was very happy with what he saw.
Then after he checked Jack over he said that we would set a date for THE MRI. July 12th is the date. I was under the impression that the upcoming MRI would show the final results for the radiation on the brain tumor. But, apparently more often than not, there will be an increase in size of the tumor that would show up on the MRI. Dr. W. then said at that point we (being all the doctors and oncologists) freak out and get worried, then the radiologist tells everyone to cool their jets and just wait a couple more months and THAT MRI will more often than not look great, possibly shrunken a bit, but the main goal of gaining control of the tumor and keeping it from growing anymore. The radiation is causing the tumor to swell up, and it continues to work for several months doing its job, then the tumor will take it's final form.
He said the gamma knife procedure was very grueling and detailed, making sure the laser didn't touch Jack's brain stem. I just want to stop right now and thank God for these doctors who had a part in not laser beaming Jack's brainstem.
Does this sound surreal to anyone reading this, because it is surreal writing it. Laser beams, brain stems, swollen tumors, MRI's, these are words I never thought I would ever utter much less walk through with my son. But praise be to God that we are living quite normal lives and smiling more than not.
So that is the surreal scoop.


Sarah said...

Yes, just as you wrote, I was thinking, "I can't believe I actually KNOW anyone who has had a laser beam precariously close to their brain stem!" I, too, am SO thankful that Jack is still Jack after a laser close to his brain stem! And I'm glad you are back safe!

Anonymous said...

What's more amazing? The doctors and radiologists working on us- using today's technology- didn't have said technology when they were in school studying. It amazes me how much these medical experts absorb AFTER graduating medical school. They are always learning, always refining, always seeking better treatments and practices and medicines to our betterment. Thanks to those who are dedicated to their craft! We should all take this lesson to heart....