Thursday, 13 March 2014

Surgery a must

My little superhero will have yet another chance to show off his super strength with a second brain surgery scheduled for this month.

Doctors informed us earlier this week that all of his symptoms are related to the fluid-filled cysts growing in his spinal cord. The cause: an obstruction in the flow of CSF in his head, primarily (or at least neurosurgeons suspect) in the area of his previous surgery.

It has been 4 years since he was opened up and a large cancerous tumour was removed from the back of his brain. But the memories and emotions of that initial surgery still feel like it was yesterday.

However, this latest news is not all bad. In fact there is a lot of positive.

First and foremost, it is NOT the cancer or any regrowth of the remaining tumour tissue left on his brainstem. He is still CANCER FREE (that sounds so good to say!)

Secondly, the surgery is routine. Albeit there will be an increased risk because the area has previously been operated on, but the surgeon is familiar with Xavier and his initial surgery. She has followed him ever since. (Dr. Singh is an amazing woman and we can't say enough about her expertise at McMaster Children's Hospital).

And lastly, the surgery should alleviate most, if not all, of the symptoms Xavier has been having recenly.

It was four months ago during his last MRI that the cysts had somewhat increased in size. At that time he was not experiencing any symptoms - so nothing was recommended.

Between then and now, multiple symptoms have presented. With no treatment, his condition could eventually affect his mobility.

We expected something (surgery is the only option) would have to be done. We just didn't expect it to be this soon. However, he is young and will bounce back quickly.

I am scared for him. But I know he can do it. He has endured worse and so have we.

The five-hour surgery will keep him in the hospital for about five days. And doctors are confident, pending no unforseen complications, he will have a full recovery and return to school within a few weeks.

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