Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter weekend & surgery update

This past weekend was a busy one. The little dragons came to my work to attend their first ever Easter Egg Hunt - which was fantastic. 

They were up bright and early with me and helped us get a head start on things. As always, the staff and residents at Harvard Square loved seeing the babies and they couldn't believe how much they've grown. 

They enjoyed coloring, exploring, playing with plastic eggs, and of course the egg hunt itself. Maisie's fast and furious with getting around now- she's so quick that if  I'm not careful, she's out the door or around the corner in no time. I was lucky to have lots of extra hands and eyes on Saturday! James of course, is obsessed with anything resembling a ball. So, for him the eggs worked and he threw Easter eggs all around the building and chased them as far as we would let him. Another fun game James figured out was "explode an egg" where James would throw the plastic egg filled with candy at full force on the concrete and watch or explode into a dozen pieces. The other children were not amused but James was thrilled! He's got two strong arms and crazy muscles to prove it. 

On Sunday we relaxed in the morning and went to visit GGP in the afternoon. Jimmy's whole family minus a few aunties away at college were there and so it was very busy. The little dragons had lots of fun playing and eating, and were as cute as could be. 

James's upcoming surgery is on the minds of so many people. We are thankful that everyone is thinking of us and keeping his well being in mind. 

It might be helpful for me to clarify a couple of things about the surgery. 

1. The tethered cord release is more routine. The arachnoid cyst removal is more complicated. 

2. What is an arachnoid cyst? Would it be better to leave it alone?

An arachnoid cyst is a cyst that forms on the surface of the brain or spinal cord. It is filled with cerebrospinal fluid and covered with cerebrospinal matter and collagen cells. It is a congenital disorder that most often begins in infancy; it is most likely related to James's Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) that he experienced in the days after birth. 

The image directly below shows an example of how James's extradural arachnoid cysts formed, a progession of sorts. The bottom image is what his cysts look like today - the only exception being that James has five vertebrae that are impacted. 

If his cyst looked like the middle or top images we may have waited to operate. However, his cysts are pushing on his spinal cord and the vertebrae and presumably impacting James's movement and flexibility. 

3. Will it come back?
Our neurosurgeon doesn't believe so, but only time will tell. 

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