Saturday, August 13, 2011


After seeing Dr Sato yesterday, I learned a lot more about Annabelle's scan results. Basically it depends which Dr you ask whether or not the tumor is gone. Some think that little bit left is still tumor and others are certain it is just dead tissue. Either way, it doesn't change her treatment plan. Also, I was wrong about the cancer still being in the bone. Apparently it isn't. I think. I'm still confused on that whole deal! That probably sounds like I am a bad mom, but I promise I am really involved and care, it's just very complex.

One thing I did learn is that the tumor ate a lot of her C6 vertebrae. It is compressed already and not the same width as it should be. Because of that we aren't sure how stable her neck is. She has a few restrictions, like no jumping on the trampoline, no horseback riding, no contact sports (so no playing with Layla...just kidding) and stuff like that. Dr Sato was going to set up a consult with an orthopedic surgeon, but when she called them they said they don't do the cervical spine (neck), that is the neurosurgeon's department. So it turns out we are back to consulting with Dr Brockmeyer. I feel good about that, afterall, he IS the best! So around 8:00 last night, Annabelle and I went to pop some popcorn and while we were there the nurse tracked us down and said we needed to head downstairs for an x-ray. I didn't even know they wanted to do one. Turns out Dr Brockmeyer looked at Annabelle's scans and he was the one to order it. This morning Dr Sato came by to tell us that it looked pretty good. I mean, there is still the issue with the C6, but when she flexes her neck it doesn't lean to either side, it holds the correct position. That was very good news for this mama to hear! I will still be making sure she is careful, but it's not likely her neck is going to break if she does happen to trip and fall.

There is still a large possibility that in the future she may need a spinal fusion or something of that sort but for now she is alright. When she gets radiation, however, they will be hitting 3-5 vertebrae and those bones will no longer grow. Because of that she is going to have a shorter neck. When I asked Dr Poppe (the radiation oncologist) if it would be noticeable from the outside, he said it would. No mom wants to think about their kid looking "different" and being made fun of for it, but I really can't imagine that it will be THAT bad. And it doesn't matter anyway. She will still be my sweet Annabelle.

Anyway, so those effects of radiation may complicate the whole spinal issue and add to the likelihood of surgery. There are a few other longterm effects of radiation to the neck that I'm not so wild about, but hey, that's cancer for ya. I'm not a big fan of anything to do with it!


Grandma Kroll said...

This war will be won one battle at a time and the first one goes to Annabelle!! She can take on the effects of the radation when they happen and we can pray for a miracle that they won't ever come. Can't wait to see you!!!!

Anonymous said...

We are blessed just to have Annabelle and I know that you will help her deal with her limitations with grace and dignity! Besides, like your mom says, who is going to notice a short neck in our family? The majority of us look like we don't have one at all! Love and hugs to all of you! See you soon. Love, Auntie Penn

RL Lacey Family said...

Hope you are having a wonderful birthday, Sally. What did you girls do for your special day? Did my little girl have something to do with it?

Annabelle, we are so happy for your progress. You are such a little trooper. You are in our prayers. Hope to see you soon.
Love, Rick & Linda