Hannah surgery–round 2…

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So here we go again… Sigh.

After her rather extensive leg surgery back in April of 2013 to make sure that all of the hemangiopericytoma tumor had been removed, Hannah’s follow-up scans have all been perfect, first at 3 and 6 months out and then every four months after that. In late May, her doctors felt it was fine to go to scanning every 6 months – with the idea of trying to limit the amount of radiation she gets from multiple CT scans of her chest. So her latest set of scans was done on December 18th.

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At her follow-up appointment last Monday, we found out that although her leg MRI still looks great with no sign at all of recurrent tumor, there was something concerning in her chest CT. When the radiologist compared it to her May scan, there was one teeny nodule that had grown. Any growth in the lungs is cause for concern and while this wasn’t huge growth, it is significant enough for the oncologists to take it seriously, especially given Hannah’s past history.

We don’t know what this ‘nodule’ is – it could be tumor, or it could just be a benign cyst. But the only way to find out for sure is to do a biopsy and test it. Since the thing is tiny to begin with, it makes sense to just go in once and remove the whole thing altogether.

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So, we’re looking at more surgery – just what a 12-year-old girl with her very first band concert, school spelling bee and the winter volleyball season all coming up wants to hear… NOT. She wasn’t happy at all about this – her mood and cooperation level for anything at all doctor or medical-related has completely soured since her previous surgery and while I can understand that, I had a long talk with her after this latest set of scans because while we don’t need any level of enthusiasm (I don’t care if she gives me the silent treatment the whole time), we do need her to cooperate for tests and appointments. And now surgery again. And I know she does understand that. She doesn’t have to like it (I certainly don’t), but she does have to do what the doctors, nurses and radiologists need her to do.

This won’t be as extensive of a surgery and recovery as last time – while painful, at least she’ll be able to get up and walk around afterward instead of being stuck in bed for days and on crutches for weeks. We are hoping that the surgeon will be able to find the nodule with a scope – if he can’t locate it that way, he’ll have to open up a larger incision, which would mean a longer hospital stay and recovery time. We won’t know until he gets in there though, so we have to plan for either possibility.

Once they take out the nodule and test it, we’ll know what the next steps will be. If it’s something benign, we’ll just be looking at doing scans more often again for a while. If it’s tumor, well that will depend on what kind – whether it’s some of the hemangiopericytoma that spread from her knee, or something else. I’m not thinking that far ahead yet – just need to get her through surgery first and then we’ll deal with whatever comes afterward.

The girls and I are headed out of town to visit friends over New Year’s next week so surgery is scheduled for January 6th. Which means that Hannah will get less than a day of school after going back from winter break on the 5th, since she has a pre-surgery appointment that afternoon. Some kids might be thrilled with extra days off, but Hannah loves school so having to miss any of it isn’t something that she’s looking forward to. She’s a good student, so her teacher isn’t worried about her falling behind at all, but it stinks that she’ll miss the band concert and possibly the spelling bee. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for volleyball since that doesn’t start until later in January, but we’ll have to see when the time comes.

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Right now she’s just wishing for snow since she got the (very basic) snowboard that she had been coveting for Christmas and after record snowfall in November, we’ve had practically no snow at all in December, which is very odd for here in west Michigan. Hannah is hoping to get in at least a few runs down our backyard hill before surgery, but we’ll have to see if Mother Nature will cooperate. So far it doesn’t look good. I went grocery shopping tonight and texted Hannah to ask if she needed anything at the store (she was at a friend’s). Her response – “SNOW?????”

I never thought I’d be hoping for snow so badly. I just wish it was something that Meijer carried. 😉

Thank you to Jenn Brown for use of the #GoGold graphics!