That funky-looking thing on Hannah’s knee

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IMG_5655In October of last year, the little red bump on Hannah’s knee wasn’t anything we were terribly worried about. Ron thought it was a large pimple and although I didn’t agree with him, I figured it was probably just some weird type of blister or maybe at worst, similar to the hermangioma that was removed from Hannah’s right temple when she was a toddler. Nothing to panic over in any case – with her birthday a little over a month away and next well-child checkup soon afterward, I figured we’d just ask the doctor about it then. It wasn’t shorts weather anyway, so she wouldn’t be feeling self-conscious about it.

In November, we saw the doctor to get flu shots for the girls and I mentioned the funky-looking thing growing on Hannah’s knee – yes, that’s my technical term for it – the ‘funky-looking thing’. The doctor agreed that yes, it was strange and should be looked at by a specialist, so we got a referral to a dermatologist. The doctor wasn’t overly concerned so when the earliest dermatologist appointment was a couple of months out, I didn’t worry too much. After all, it was still winter and long pants weather, so the funky-looking thing wasn’t making Hannah’s life any more difficult. It didn’t itch, it didn’t hurt (unless she pressed on it) and most of the time she simply ignored it. And so did I.

IMG_6734Last week we finally had our appointment with the dermatologist – which was good because our level of concern regarding the funky-looking thing on Hannah’s knee was growing, just as the funky-looking thing itself was. It no longer resembled just a red bump – it was big, it was ugly, and after she crawled around on her knees at the YMCA pool one day without thinking about it, the thing bled quite a bit. I was glad that we had the dermatologist appointment the next week to get it dealt with.

The dermatologist wasn’t exactly sure what to make of the funky-looking thing either. She preliminarily decided that it was probably either a) a wart or b) something called a pyogenic granuloma (which is the term our pediatrician had used). Neither of which are anything to really worry about, and after numbing the area, the dermatologist simply sliced off the funky-looking thing with a scalpel. But just to make sure, she sent it out for testing. Hannah went home with a pressure bandage to control any leftover bleeding and a quarter-sized crater on her knee. We changed to just covering it with band-aids that night and the area hasn’t been giving Hannah any trouble since.

Then… today Ron got a call from a pediatric surgeon – the kids had a snow day and he was home with them while I was at work. Apparently we’d missed a call yesterday from the dermatologist, so we immediately called her back to see what was going on. So here’s what we know so far – and what we don’t know as well.

The funky-looking thing definitely looked weird to the dermatologist (never a good sign, right?). The lab she sent it to was able to determine that it was a tumor of some sort, but they couldn’t do further testing on it because they deal with skin issues only and apparently the funky-looking thing was not a skin tumor, but was growing out of the soft tissue underneath the skin. So that lab sent the funky-looking thing over to a different lab for more testing to figure out exactly what kind of tumor it is, which is what we’re waiting to hear back about now.

All we know at this point is that yes, there was a tumor growing on Hannah’s knee, and the tumor was either benign or malignant. Either way she’ll need to have the rest of it surgically removed, so we have an appointment with the pediatric surgeon next week. Plus, we have to wait to find out exactly what the funky-looking thing was before they can figure out if she’ll need any further treatment or what that would entail.

It’s a little hard not to panic right now – I hate being in waiting mode, but we have to wait for the additional lab results, which won’t be available for a few days and we have to wait a week for the next appointment to find out what the surgeon thinks. I hate waiting! And I definitely don’t like not knowing how much of that thing is left beneath her skin.

So far all we’ve told Hannah is that she’s got another appointment to talk to a different doctor about the funky-looking thing on her knee since they’ll have to get rid of the rest of it. There’s not any point in worrying her until we know more about what’s going on. I don’t want to hide anything from her, so once we get some definitive answers we’ll explain as best as we can, but at this point there’s no reason to put her into panic mode. Ron and I are there already.

Right now I’m mainly just trying to stay calm and think positively. We’ll have answers of some sort soon – and hopefully a game plan in place to deal with the rest of whatever that funky-looking thing was. I’m hopeful that it will just be a quick and easy surgery and then we’ll be done, but part of me worries that it’s not going to be that easy.

More to come as we find out additional information.