Thursday, December 11, 2008

Post-Op Treatment

We got back just a little while ago from meeting with the neuro-oncologist and are very encouraged by what we heard. The short story is that they are going to take the wait-n-watch approach. That means MRIs every 3 months for a year, then every 6 months until Aidyn is about 18 years old.

The Dr. said that if this tumor were anywhere else in her body (other than head or spine) it would be considered benign. That basically has to do with how much havoc the tumor can wreak on the surrounding area. There's obviously a lot going on at the base of the brain/top of the spine, making Aidyn's tumor malignant. While it is technically "cancer," he suggested we stop using the word regarding Aidyn because it just doesn't accurately define (in most people's minds) what's going on here.

Here are some other things we've learned today...
. This tumor is probably fetal cells that didn't stop growing. Woah.
. There is a "chasm" (the dr.'s word, I think) between this kind of tumor in a juvenile and in an adult. If she were an adult this would be far more serious.
. He said this was a Grade I (the lowest and best) and the chances of transformation to a higher grade are highly unlikely.
. Once Aidyn gets to be about 18, this basically becomes a non-issue. Once she's physically mature, these cells should essentially shut down.
. Most of these tumors are found in the head, not in the spine. That means their numbers/statistics for Aidyn's tumor are a little less firm.
. There is roughly a 50% chance this tumor will grow again (this is where the numbers for spine vs. the head aren't as good).
. If it grows again/enough, they will probably do chemo next.
. If needed, chemo should be very effective and while there are some side effects Aidyn should be able to live a very normal life during the 14-month treatment (with weekly treatments).
. This kind of chemo ain't cheap. In the six figures. Woah.
. There is a 1-2% chance this tumor will just "misbehave"--be difficult, unresponsive, and ultimately life-threatening.

While there are a few caveats and concerns in all this info, this is good news and cause for great rejoicing. Faithful friends and readers, you've been interceding for us and now it's time to give thanks to God! Would you help us do that?! Right now. For real. So many answered prayers--your prayers--and we are so grateful for His mercies on us.

Tomorrow (Friday) we go back to meet with the neuro-surgeon for a follow up visit. We aren't expecting any big news there. The one question on Aidyn's mind, though, for the Dr. tomorrow: When we visit grandma and grandpa over Christmas, can I ride all the roller coasters at Disneyland?
.

12 comments:

Jessica said...

good news! wahoo! praise God! aidyn, please ride a few roller coasters for us at disneyland!

Auntie Chelle said...

EXCELLENT...so happy and relieved. We love you, Aidyn and yippee for Disney!!!

Nicole said...

YEA GOD!!!

I prayed all day specifically that Aidyn wouldn't have to do any chemo now.

*jumping up and down*

Thanks for the news!

Karen said...

eyes are filled with tears I am so thankful! Praise you Lord!

Lorraine said...

Wonderful!!!

SEF said...

That is amazing news. Praise God!

Chiahead said...

What a mighty God we serve!! Of course Aidyn will ask the important questions!

Shannon said...

Wow! What wonderful news. Praise God!!!

Mandie said...

WOW! This is great news! Praise God!

thekeller4 said...

Hooray! Thank You God for answering our prayers in so many visible ways!!

Holly said...

amazing!

Ray said...

Oh, boy are we thrilled for this news of no chemo for now or maybe ever. Still prayin' every day for complete healing. Marf and Ray