Thursday, April 28, 2011

The C word

We had a very serious meeting with Dr Brockmeyer this morning. There was a lot to take in and I'm still trying to process all of it, but here is the abridged version...
Annabelle has cancer. She has what they call a small blue cell tumor. I don't know if that means that it is small (in relation to other blue cell tumors) or if the cells are referred to as small blue cells, I haven't had time to look that up yet. But anyway, the tumor is quite large and surrounds her vertebral artery and includes a vertebrae. It is growing too rapidly to try and shrink it before removing it so she will have her first surgery tomorrow. They will go at it from the back tomorrow and get all that they can from that angle. Then on Monday they'll attack it from the front. They will be removing part of the affected vertebral artery with it and the 1 vertebrae and possibly the nerve which controls her left arm strength. If he can get it off the nerve and leave it intact, he will. But if not, and possibly even if he can't get it off, she will loose her muscle strenth and control of her left arm permanently. With her vertebrae being removed they will either graft a bone from her hip or from a cadavier in it's place. If required they will do a 3rd surgery from the back again fusing the spine for stability. This is all a very complex surgery and critical situation. She will be in ICU for atleast 1 night after each surgery.
It is going to be a very tough recovery, but she is a tough girl! She will need radiation and chemo afterward as well. The Dr repeated several times that we will discuss all of that at a later date. His priority right now is getting her safely through one surgery at a time. The good news is Dr Brockmeyer has operated on another patient with a similar tumor a few years ago. She was a little older than Annabelle, and we won't know until after the surgery tomorrow if it is the same kind or not. But that girl is doing well now, so that was a little glimmer of hope in the situation.

17 comments:

Danica said...

Your family and especially Annabelle has been in our thoughts and prayers a lot lately. I'm so sorry to hear that everything has become so serious. Good luck tomorrow and Monday. Let us know how things go, we will be thinking of you.

Stephanie said...

I can't imagine how difficult this must be. I am so, so sorry to hear about your gorgeous little girl. We are praying for her every night and morning.

Penny said...

Our prayers will be with you and Dr. Brockmeyer! She is a strong little girl. Just remember the first time I met Annabelle she was taking a hunk out of one of the bradshaw boys' face! She's got some moves!!!!!! Love you all!

Teriann said...

Sally I am so sorry your family is going through this. I saw you were at Bev's house yesterday and I wanted to stop and give you a hug (yes, I should have!). Annabelle and your family will be in my heart and prayers constantly. Take care.

RL Lacey Family said...

We love all of you and so does Heavenly Father. Our prayers are with all of you, especially our sweet Annabelle. God bless.

The Blickenstaff Family said...

We're praying for you all. I'm so sorry for the most recent news. We'll be thinking of you every step of the way.

Melissa said...

We are so sorry to hear the news. We will be thinking and praying for your family. I'm glad you have family nearby to help you. Stay strong.

california smiths said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I just can't imagine what you are going through and keep thinking what it would be like if it was Courtney. Good luck tomorrow, I will be thinking of you all...

Anonymous said...

We are thinking and praying for you all :)
Brittney Jacobsen

Jenny said...

We are praying for you all. We will be praying for the best.

kelley knight said...

I will have you all in my prayer! I am thinking of you and your family always. Let us know if there is anything any of us can do to help.

Heather said...

Sally, Stay positive, I work for Dustin Wise (he is a pediatrician in Utah County) and we see kids beat cancer all of the time! Not to mention the docs up at primary childrens are the BEST in the business! So you and Annabelle are in Good Hands. Our Heavenly Father knows your thoughts, and he hears your prayers. He loves your family more than you could ever comprehend. Hold to your Faith for Strength, and you, Josh, Annabelle, and Layla will get through this together. I love you, and your family is in my thoughts and Prayers.

Ang said...

Think positively. My son beat cancer 22 years ago. He's now 24 years old.

I'm sorry for the journey you're about to embark on. It's long. It's scary but thinking positively and trying to keep things as "normal" as possible is very important for all of you.

Blessings sent your way.

Angela

Anonymous said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with you everyday! Love Uncle Darryl and Aunt Jonni

Kim said...

I'm so sorry - what a scary time for all of you. You're in our prayers.

Halls Family said...

Sally, my mom asked us to keep you in our prayers. I had no idea your family was going through this. What a terrible couple of weeks for all of you. We love you and our hearts and prayers are with you. Stay strong and keep your head up! I'm sure the entire town of Drummond will be praying for you!

Holly said...

We've never met. Suzy Yates's parents are from my old home ward. Ive kept up with your blog for a while because I have two little ones and I enjoy your Mommy stories about your two sweet little ones. I wanted you to know that you're getting support and prayers from even those you've never met. I have a little girl and it hurts to imagine going through what you all are facing. I'm proud of how positive your posts have been, letting us know how tough she is. Keep that positive outlook, not everyone can do such a great thing. You're in our prayers, all the way in North Carolina!