5-12-09, 4:30 PM by Mark
Caleb is in his GUH room, resting and comfortable. They did NOT need to do a craniotomy, but removed the mass nasally. They'll do a CAT scan in the morning to make sure what they got was satisfactory, but he could go home as early as tomorrow afternoon! :)
We arrived at 6:AM, went thru pre-op questions and exams by the three teams, ENT(ear, nose and throat), neurosurgery, and anesthesiology. Each team asking their own, often redundant set of questions. It was here that they first mentioned they could be proceeding either of the three ways again [thru the nostril; straight in past the nose, thru the face; or thru the scull past the brain]. We had mistakenly understood that the craniotomy was the only option left, but Dr. Newkirk (ENT) was hopeful that his new stronger tools (broke 4 last time and it was slow going) would help him get the job done. Dr. Douglas (neurosurgeon) would be by his side and very possibly would need to approach from above if Dr. N. couldn't access the whole tumor from below(thru the nose). Then we said our good-bys and they carted him off at about 7:30; we headed to 2nd floor surgical waiting. Our first report from the liaison lady was about 10:AM - she had just come from his operating room. They had begun about 8:30 and things were progressing just fine. Then at 11:30 she reported again that Dr. Douglas was not involved and would not be needed, Dr. Newkirk was able to get access to the whole tumor from below. It would be about another hour. We were guardedly ecstatic! Then about 1:00 Dr. Newkirk came up and beckoned us to the consultation room. He said he had good news and bad news. the good was that he was able to get all the tumor except for a small, hopefully insignificant part close to the eye. The bad was that they hadn't needed (the neurosurgeon) Dr. Douglass. :) :) Even with his better tools he still broke 3 bits, but was able to accomplish in 15 minutes what had taken him 3 - 4 hours last time. He would check in on us later this evening, do a CAT scan in the morning and if that looked good, and there was no spinal fluid leaking and Caleb was otherwise doing well, we could go home as early as tomorrow (probably later in the day).
He is receiving antibiotics and some pain meds for mild discomfort. Genoa is also resting in the lounge chair beside his bed. We are again in GUH's Pediatric ward, 5th floor, CCC building - this time in room 5205. They are watching him to make sure he's comfortable, keeps food down, tolerates the meds and continues to improve. He's tired but able to answer questions and maintains a mild sense of humor.
Ahead for Caleb.
They are biopsying the mass again. Weekly for the next few weeks we'll need to return for Dr. N. to clear out his nose, then every other week for a month or two after that. Then in about 2 - 3 months from now he'll have another CAT scan to make sure all is well in there. By that time he should be back to normal, returning to his regular routines.
Thank you all for your prayers, care, well wishes and meals. God is great and merciful. We love you and are humbled by your love for us.