We spent a couple of hours in the Children's waiting room, trying to get squeezed in to Dr. Browd's schedule. He had a packed day already and wasn't able to see us until noon, at the end of his clinic hours. We looked at Summer's MRIs again and talked about the surgery.
Again he mentioned his surprise that her vision hadn't yet been affected. We looked at the scans from the side-view, which showed the cyst is definitely not a deflated balloon - it's a full, round cyst. The only possible explanation is that it's pushing more out to the side this time, so the change in direction might be sparing her optic nerves at this point.
This surgery will not be quite as easy as we had hoped. It will be quite similar to her first one. She'll get another awesome haircut, they'll use the same incision and go in through the same pathway.
He said it might be a little more difficult getting down to the tumor, since there will be some scar tissue to go through, but he won't be going as deeply in to her brain this time. He'll go only as far as he needs to in order to reach the cyst, puncture it and insert a catheter to drain it. He'll leave the catheter in the cyst and attach it to a reservoir which will stay under the skin on the side of her head permanently to allow for draining at any time.
The goal of radiation is to completely treat the tumor mass and, in theory, stop it from producing the fluid that fills the cyst. But if the cyst does ever fill up again, whether it's right after radiation or decades in the future, the permanent reservoir will allow us to drain the fluid without requiring another surgery.
The surgery is set for Monday, probably sometime around 12:30/1pm, but they'll confirm the time with us tomorrow. We have a pre-op anesthesia appointment at 1pm tomorrow, followed by a full physical at 2:30pm.
Between yesterday, today and tomorrow, we'll have spent about 12 hours at Children's. They're doing a great job of ramping us up for another stay!
Dr. Browd said we'll likely be there 3-4 days this time. From what I recall, that's what they said last time too, so we'll be planning for a full week. At least this time we have a few days to plan, get organized and pack for it.
Now, Summer and I are off to Target to stock up on supplies - extra binkies, a Wiggles DVD. You know, the necessities.