Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More surgery, bronchitis and TV stardom... Just another week at the Weeberts

Little B’s brain is throwing us for a loop again, and I thought I would let you know what is going on.

On October 14, Little B had a periodic MRI, which is meant to monitor the status of Little B's brain tumor. Later that day, Little B’s oncologist called and informed me that Little B had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is essentially an excess of spinal fluid in the brain. This buildup of fluid puts pressure on the brain, causing dizziness, headaches, and nausea and vomiting. I had noted that Little B had complained more of headaches and had been tripping more often than normal, but was hoping that Little B's oncologist would brush off my concerns as maternal worrying (it always makes me feel better when he pokes fun at me over worrying).  Unfortunately, sometimes we moms worry for a reason. 

Over the past few weeks, we have had a number of doctors appointments and Little B had a follow-up MRI to determine a course of action.  Today we met with Little B’s neurosurgeon, and the plan is for Little B to have brain surgery on November 12. The procedure is called a third ventriculostomy, which is essentially an alternative to a shunt. Shunts tend to fail over  time and to have some other difficulties, and a third ventriculostomy, if it works, should have less long-term issues than a shunt. It should make Little B feel better, and the procedure is well understood. If everything goes according to plan, Little B should only be in the hospital for a few days.

The good news (if there is good news) is that the tumor is not acting up, and there is no sign of tumor regrowth. The bad news is that there is no explanation as to why the hydrocephalus occurred. Hydrocephalus is a moderately common side effect to brain surgery, but it usually occurs within a month or two of the brain surgery. The neurosurgeon has indicated that neither he nor his colleagues have ever seen hydrocephalus occur this far out.

Poor Little B also has bronchitis and is on antibiotics for it. We are doing our best to get him healthy for Tuesday.

In any case, life at the Weebert household is never boring. We’re hoping to get Little B feeling better soon. On Friday of this week, Big A, Little B and I are recording a TV commercial for Make-A-Wish's holiday campaign. Fingers crossed that our 30 seconds of fame goes smoothly.

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