The surgery is complete! We have been in the hospital room (a single room for once!!!) for about 5-6 hours now.
She woke up and was very happy this morning. Quite active in the pre-op room playing with a bag of socks they gave us. I was allowed to go back with her to the OR so I could be with her when they put her under with the mask of “magic air”. She hated that, per the usual.
Alex and I hung out in the cafeteria with our laptops while the surgery was happening, and they were really great with giving us pretty regular (every hour or two) updates throughout the procedure.
Madeleine did fantastically well! They were able to complete her tumor resection (a fancy term that simply means, removing the tumor) using the robotic equipment described here previously. There were no complications and she was done even sooner than we’d thought she would be! YAY! We waited for her in the hospital room while she went to recovery and came to after all of the anesthesia.
The surgeon, Dr. Meehan, came and met with us post-op and told us the details of how everything went. He said that he believes they got about 98% of the tumor out. The only remaining tumor is between her vertebrae and a “finger” of tumor that goes north and south along her spinal cord. Since it’s not hurting anything, they did not see the sense in doing the risky surgery to remove that portion. He said there may be a small wisp of tumor left at the very top of her chest cavity, but that they got everything else (that they could see). Realistically, there are always a few cells/layer of cells left behind.
They will now take the tumor to the lab to be “biopsied” throughout to see what types of cells are in the tumor. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the tumor has “matured” and is now considered benign. There is a chance that there are still pockets of active Neuroblastoma cells, which we do not want.
Dr. Meehan was very grateful that we were able to do the robotic surgery, because he said that the traditional way of doing this surgery, by opening her whole side up, would have been a huge incision and much longer healing time. We are grateful, too! We feel so lucky that Dr. Meehan is at this hospital, as he is the most experienced surgeon in the world with this type of equipment and surgery.
She is currently on a steady morphine drip to control her pain levels, which seems to be working pretty effectively. Earlier when she seemed to be having more pain, they gave her an additional dose of morphine. She’s been calm since.
Her recovery since getting into the room has gone well. She is sleeping most of the time with the occasional wake-up for the nurse to check vitals, etc. I guess it’s common for kids to not pee after surgery, so she had to have a catheter inserted to drain her bladder. She hated this, as it took two different nurses trying before the 2nd one got it. I hated it, too, because I don’t like my baby used for learning purposes. Practice on some other child, please. Do you not hear my baby screaming?
Otherwise, all is going well. We will be here at least until tomorrow afternoon. She has to be completely off of IV fluids, peeing on her own, etc before we can leave.
Keep your fingers crossed for the biopsy to come back as totally benign (sometime next week) and for her to heal with as little pain and discomfort as possible. Thanks for all your prayers and good thoughts. She’s doing great for now!