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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Daniel has a Cyst or Tumor

Last week Daniel had strep and I hadn't gotten a good nights sleep for 3 days. Today I have strep so I am all exhausted. I am on medicine and will be better tomarrow. I just don't get strep very often. Eric has it as well. This one is a mean one. Your throat doesn't feel like it is on fire so you don't know you have strep until 3 days later when you go to the doctor. I think Rob has it as well. We will survive. There is one more reason. II have attached some pictures because I figure if you can send pictures you can recieve them. If not, go to a library or look at a members book of anatomy if they have one.

1st Letter... On Monday January 12, 2009, I took Daniel in for an MRI. It is routine test that Texas Children's Hospital does when diagnosing autism. When John did it, his came out fine. Daniel's didn't. He has a small growth in what seemed to me to be the middle of the his brain. The nuerologist said that it looks benign and shouldn't be a problem but is sending us to a Neuro Surgeon to be sure. He said he was worried about the "plumbing" because of the location of the growth (aka tumor). There is a small chance that it is a cyst or the very beginning of something malignant, but he didn't think so. Daniel will need for sure another MRI and may only need to be monitored for a long time to come. We will find out more information on January 23rd when we visit the neuro surgeon. In the mean time, we could use the prayers for him and to help us cope with the stress. I told the neurologist that I would not panic yet, but I have to admit to being a little worried and am trying to stay really busy to keep my mind off of it as much as possible. Staying busy is not very difficult for me. ...........

2nd Letter... Rob and I went with Daniel to the neurosurgeon at Texas Children's last friday. The short answer is--watch and wait. The tumor or cyst (they can't tell which from and MRI, tumor is tissue, cyst is fluid filled sac) is located in his right brain vetricle (yes brains have vetricles). It is about 3/4 of an inch tall, 3/4 of an inch wide and 1/8 of an inch deep. Rob described it as looking like a very small yo-yo (actually 1/2 a yo-yo). It is near the bottom where the fluid from the ventricles drains and circulates to the rest of the brain. If the tumor/cyst grows it could block the drainage of the fluid that is produced by the ventricles. The ventricles produce about a cup of fluid a day. This would cause headaches, dizziness and/or vomiting. (I have never seen Daniel get dizzy even though he spends a lot of time spinning.) At this time, Daniel does not show any signs of the tumor/cyst bothering him. The tissue surrounding it is completely normal, showing no signs of swelling or intrusion. The tumor/cyst is well defined and did not absorb any of the dye that was injected into Daniel to see if it would change the tumor. Not absorbing the dye and being well defined is a very good indication that it is benign. The location of tumor makes it easy for a neurosurgeon to opperate even though it is in the middle of the brain. There is a common treatment (for a neurosurgeon) for a disease or condition that causes a buildup of fluid in the vetricles. They go in through the brain and with something like and endoscope and relieve the pressure by draining the fluid. The neurosurgeon can use the same techniques to biopsy the mass if necessary, and probably remove it. Right now we are to wait three months and get another MRI. If the mass remains the same, we get another MRI six months after that, and then 1 year later. After that, an MRI each year for five years. If the tumor/cyst has not changed then we will leave it alone. If there is a change then we will see what the next step is. I would think a biopsy, but for now just MRIs. If Daniel begins getting any of the symptoms, we are to take him to Texas Children's for a CT scan. It is a quick scan that will tell the doctor something. I am guessing it doesn't have the waiting list the an MRI does, or maybe he doesn't need sedated and go in on an empty stomach. Because it is a children's hospital, It is difficult to get appointments early enough in the morning for the 8 hour no food rule.

This is pretty much all that has been on my brain for the last two weeks although both doctors are very positive that it is okay. I only get scared when I try to tell someone else and their eyes get all big and have a big intake of breath. So breathe and don't worry too much. We won't know anything more for 3 months so put your heart and soul into serving the Lord and trust he will take care of Daniel. The rest of us, besides strep, are doing fine. I'm going to start allergy shots in a couple of weeks. The allergist said that I am allergic to Houston. My main thing is dust mites though and, unlike the other allergist, I didn't come up allergic to animals. I think I reacted so strongly to the dust mites that it looked like I was allergic to animals.

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