Archive for February, 2012

Surgery #2 Complete

It was a long 9 hours of waiting, but Dr. Dirks finally came out to tell us that he is confident he was able to remove the remaining tumor.

They will do another MRI likely tomorrow to make sure they have got it all, but Dr. Dirks told us he felt confident the surgery was a success.

This surgery was not without complications as we knew going into this. Nicolas had a bleed in one of his vessels and required a blood transfusion. There was also agitation of his cranial nerve (7th) therefore it will take a few days to weeks before we have clarification on any possible deficits (if any), however at this time we are just so happy that the tumor has been removed and ask for continued prayers for a quick recovery for Nicolas.


Surgery…Take Two!

I am happy to report that despite having trouble with the anesthesia last week, all the tests that have been completed are coming back normal.  So, we may never know what casued the problem, but Nicolas is doing just fine.

We now have rescheduled Nicolas’ surgery for Wednesday February 29th – or “Good Luck Day” as Mario has renamed it.  There has to be some luck surrounding “Leap Day”!

Of course we should have this routine down pat due to our dry run last week, but it never gets easy handing your child off to the OR staff. Please continue to keep Andrea, Mario, Sofia and Nicolas in your prayers.

Operation Fail…

Well I have said it many times….one step forward…two steps back!  Yesterday happened to be one GIANT step back.

Nicolas was taken into surgery yesterday, put under general anesthesia, however before they were able to begin the surgery he developed complications.  Nicolas was having respiratory difficulties and after some trying to figure out the problem, the decision was finally made to call off the surgery, wake him back up, and reassess.

I am happy to report that despite the battery of test they did yesterday, we have not found the cause of the problem, and Nicolas was in good spirits yesterday and woke up just fine.  However, we still need to move forward with this surgery to remove the remaining tumor and as such, we are again in “limbo” as to the next step.

The team of doctors (Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology, Oncology) will likely be meeting today to have a discussion as to how/when to move forward and attempt surgery again. Until then, we remain optimistic and confident in the abilities of all the wonderful staff at Sick Kids who are taking such great care of Nicolas.



Surgery #2 – scheduled for Feb.21

It has been a busy week for the occupants of room 81 – 5C to say the least. We are all finding out that the daily (and sometimes hourly) life of a Cancer patient is ever changing, so flexibility is key!

Nicolas had the EVD (drainage tube) removed on Thursday Feb.9th, however there was some leaking and after a few consults with the medical team over the weekend (11th and 12th) the decision was made to put it back in.  So, Nicolas has been again hooked up to this all week.

The lumbar puncture results were“inconclusive” as there was still some clouding from the residual infection he had.  However, they did say that there were no Cancer cells seen in this spinal fluid.  So, although the test will need to be repeated, we take it as a good sign that the Cancer has not spread to his spinal column.

Nicolas has recovered from the Meningitis, however got a Virus on Sunday the 12th which made him sick with vomiting and diarrhea.  Unfortunately it also spread to a few family members (who shall remain nameless!).  This virus appears to pass in 24-48 hours so everyone seems to be in good form today.

Onto the big news…the MRI which was completed on the 10th came back showing good signs regarding the ventricle space and proper flow of cerebral spinal fluid.  What does that really mean? Well it means that the neurosurgeon Dr. Dirks feels very confident now that he can go back in and get the remaining tumor out.  If you remember, we were supposed to have a round of chemotherapy first, then the surgery, however we have been delayed almost a month already and as such, the decision has been made to go right back to the Operating Room.

So it is with mixed emotions that we are preparing for Nicolas’ second surgery on Tuesday February 21st. We are of course eager to get this tumor out, but of course this is a very big and delicate surgery.  We are all so please with how well Nicolas responded to the first surgery and how wonderful it has been to see him perk up and laugh and smile.  We are very confident in the neurosurgical team here at Sick Kids and know he is in wonderful hands.  However we again ask that you all keep Nicolas in your thoughts and prayers as we prepare for this next, very big step.

Isaiah 40:30

Hurry up and wait….

Now that Nicolas is recovering from meningitis, he is looking so much better.  He is laughing and clapping and playing with his toys.  He had his feeding tube removed and has been eating well.  It has been so nice to see him like this and to spend time with him.  However, this will be a big week for him with regard to testing.

First off, we are hoping to see his WBC to be below 10 so that we know the infection is gone.  Once this happens,  the doctor’s plan to “test” his intracranial pressure by lowering and eventually clamping his EVD. If his body is able to regulate the CSF all by itself, then the EVD can be removed.  If he is unable to do this, then he will require a shunt.  Nicolas will need another MRI (thursday or friday) and also the hearing test which has yet to be done.  Both of these proceedures require sedation so prayers and positive thoughts for Nicolas.

Finally, we are awaiting the start date for Chemo seeing as we were delayed due to the meningitis.  We have been very happy to see Nicolas looking and feeling so well, however we still have a ways to go and are eager to get all those Cancer cells out of his body.