Dear Family and Friends!
Some of you may have seen this information previously in the day (on Facebook, blog, e-mail, SMS, or one of the other multitude of ways we all communicate). We are very thankful to all you have posted or sent us messages throughout the day. Huge THANK YOU!
So… We arrived and checked in at pre-op around 8:45am. We left Granny Meryl in the family waiting room and accompanied Charlotte back into the Pediatric Surgery OR Suite (they have 25 ORs). Once we got her ready, she played and was actually having fun, even though her diapered butt was showing!
Here we met with the Anesthesiologist (Dr. Ana ???? from somewhere in Eastern Europe!) who discussed in detail about what was going to happen with sedation. We then met with Dr. Georges (the Pediatric Surgeon), who talked to us about the operation and what to expect.
They marked her to show where the surgeon would cut, to ensure that no mistakes are made.
At about 10:00am they came and said that they were ready, and Toby carried her to the outer OR (or whatever they call it), where anesthetic was to be administered.
Daddy stayed with her for about 5-mins while she went under, and then returned to Mommy. We then went out to join Granny in the waiting area. By this time Gramma Dar had arrived too.
At about 11:30am we were told that surgery had started. Dr. Pearce (the Pediatric Oncologist) appeared in the waiting room at about 12:15pm, in surgical gowns, and told us that Charlotte was doing well. She said that Dr. Georges had called her down to come have a look at the tumor. At this time she told us that they felt it was cancerous. This is definitely a word that sparks your attention!
She went on to mention that the tumor was indeed encapsulated, and that the whole mass was removed without incident, and that Dr. Georges was now starting to complete the procedure. Dr. Pearce explained that she had sent the mass to the Pathologist for testing to determine the type of cancer. Based on these results (we should have them in a couple of days), and also the results of blood tests over the next few days will determine what further action may need to be taken.
If these results do come back showing that further action is needed, then it is possible that chemotherapy may be required. THIS HAS NOT BEEN DETERMINED AT THIS POINT THOUGH.
At about 12:30pm Dr. Georges came out and said that Charlotte was doing very well. He told us that the procedure was faster than thought because the tumor happened to be right there when he made the incision, almost like is was saying, "Hey! Here I am. Take me!". This allowed him to remove it all in one go. Charlotte also didn’t require any blood transfusion, which is obviously always a concern with liver operations.
At about 1:00pm, we were allowed into the post-op area to be with Charlotte, who had just come out of sedation. Mommy stated with her, while Daddy switched out with the grandmas so they could see her too.
Shortly after this, we moved with Charlotte up to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). The reason for this move is because she has an epidural for management of pain medicine. Because of this she has to be in the PICU, as they cannot support this on the normal floor. She should be in the PICU for 24-hours, maybe 48 depending on how she goes over night.
Gramma Dar and Granny Meryl both had visits with Char in the PICU this afternoon. Gramma left at about 4:30pm to go home. Thank you so much for being here with us today, you are a champion! 🙂
This evening Granny (who is staying with us at the hospital) is breaking us for a while so we can relax in the hotel room. Daddy is going to man the watch this evening so Mommy can get a night of sleep in a bed and not an arm chair that turns into a "bed"!
Charlotte is a calm and very well balanced 19-month old. If it becomes apparent that further treatment is required, she was obviously made this way for a reason, and having the demeanor that she is blessed with will greatly help. We are entering a period that could require further testing over the next few years to ensure that she is cancer free. This will probably become a difficult period for all three of us, and your continued prayers, thoughts, kind words, loving notes, and whatever other ways everybody has displayed their affections to us will be greatly appreciated for time to come.
I know this was long, but I know that you all wanted to know what had been going on. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts today. God Bless you all! 🙂
With Love to all,
Toby and JoAnn (and butterfly kisses from Charlotte!)