So many doctors appointments this week! One of them brought us a fun little surprise - our baby boy is actually a baby girl! We were thrilled with a boy and we're excited about a girl. Talya is thrilled and keeps doing a victory cheer as if she won a big game. Most importantly, Baby Annie (named after her Amachi Anna) is looking perfectly healthy and on target growth-wise.
We can't wait to meet her, which we might be doing sooner than we thought.
After meeting with several doctors in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis, we finally feel peace about a treatment plan. Thank you to all of you who have prayed for us along those lines. The doctors have pretty much all reached a consensus that my tumor, while certainly a serious situation and needing treatment, is not an emergency. I had a great resection (that's grey's anatomy talk for tumor-removal-surgery), and while there are almost certainly dangerous cells leftover in my brain, my MRIs continue to show stability. Also, the pathology of the tumor showed some scary characteristics, but not the MOST scary ones - which offers everyone hope that it is not overly aggressive, and therefore if we wait on treatment for a few months, it is reasonable to believe that my health will not be put at great risk.
Of course there are no guarantees with any of this. So please pray that the tumor cells will either: 1) be taken care of by the chemo wafers already in my brain or 2) die on their own or 3) God would wipe them out or 4) Decide to lay dormant until I'm like 85 years old and have been to my grandkids' weddings. (That was not even close to proper grammar. Let's blame my poor writing on the tumor, hmm?)
I will be having many MRIs every several weeks to monitor the situation, and if things progress, we will have to adjust our plan accordingly, but for now, we've decided to try to wait on radiation until we can get this baby safely out of my body (i.e., the radiation zone).
So, the plan: MRIs every several weeks (about 4). As long as they look good, we just live life and grow this baby girl. Then, once we get to 32 weeks, we can deliver the baby. If, at 32 weeks, there is still absolutely no change on the MRI, we might try to push it to 36 weeks. Then, we have the baby. Then, about a week later, we start radiation and oral chemotherapy. The baby will probably be in the NICU for several weeks (especially if she's born at 32 weeks). While I'm sad about that, the timing wouldn't be horrible, as the biggest side effect of the treatment is fatigue. So, it would probably be okay that during those weeks, we'd have middle-of-the-night state-of-the-art nursing care.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying. I will say that a week ago, we were not even close to being able to make a decision. If anything, I was leaning completely the other way. It was a specific answer to prayer (by us and many of you) that so many doctors ended up actually agreeing and giving us some wise consensus to move forward on. We do so, knowing that nothing can guarantee the outcome, so we continue to trust God and ask Him to be our Healer and sustainer.
Oh, and on a totally unrelated side-note, but since I'm writing, I'll just ramble for a bit. We took the kids to see the Secret World of Arietty this weekend. I love the cheap theater because you can splurge on the big bucket of popcorn! I just wanted to share with all the parents out there that we really liked it. Here's why: the two main characters were a boy and a girl, so it was good for both genders. The girl was NOT a princess and did not have the figure of a super-model. She was just a brave little girl. There was nothing scary or evil or "bad guys," but there were challenges, and Arietty showed a lot of bravery. Arietty's dad was her primary hero and protector and while the boy did step in to help later in the movie, it was not romantic in nature at all. Themes were bravery, friendship, and I think obeying and trusting your parents. Talya & Simon were both able to articulate after the movie what Arietty did right (help her mother, do chores without asking) and what she did wrong and why it was wrong (disobey her parents when they were trying to keep her safe). There's my glowing review. And it's rated G, which is nearly impossible to find in kids' movies these days. And it was cute. And it wasn't annoying (can someone say smurfs or chipmunks?).