The good news is this. The Dr. says that his condition is not life threatening as he believes the tumor to be benign, from its location and characteristics (though he can't be for sure). He also states that because we have no visible symptoms of this tumor, he wants to simply observe the tumor for an indefinite amount of time to see if it changes or grows. There are methods to treat a tumor without surgery, though none of them are good to talk about really without knowing that they are necessary.
He also gave us some comfort in this... there are a fair number of these reported tumors that do nothing.. they stay stagnant in size and as a result do no lasting damage.
He wants us to see two specialist in the next two weeks... a pediatric Ophthalmologist and a pediatric oncologist. We will see both of these guys by the end of the month. The goal with these doctors is to rule out any other potentially related conditions.
One of the potentially related conditions is known as neurofibromatosis. Often you find these tumors (glioma) a symptom of neurofibromatosis... though in our case none of the other symptoms are present, and we didn't sense a huge degree of concern from him on this issue. However, this is something that the other specialist will help us hopefully eliminate.
That brings you up to speed on the physical issues we are facing... for the emotional and spiritual health I can say that we feel a great deal of relief from speaking to Dr. Pearson. Knowing that most likely the condition is not life-threatening was a big answer to prayer for us. I do not intend to convey that we think the road ahead is easy, but we certainly were pleased to hear this. We have felt a great deal of peace in this process... though honestly it has been an up and down battle for us.
We would like for you to pray specifically for a few things...
- Caleb will have another MRI in a month. We are looking to that MRI to help us determine if the tumor is growing. We of course want good news from this next MRI. We would love to see it go away and believe that God can do this. Pray that the growth would cease (if it is growing) and that it would do no damage to his vision.
- Pray for the doctors that are evaluating Caleb. Their names are Dr. Pearson, Dr. Donahue and Dr. Kuttesch. These guys have all worked together before and this is for sure good to know. Their experience is great and we are confident in their abilities, but we would ask you to pray for their wisdom as they look over our son and make choices that could have lasting impact on his life.
- Pray for Nicole and me, that we would set our minds on things above and not let our minds wander, but that we would focus only on what we know and be thankful for the victories we have already gotten.
Thank you all so very much for your kind words and thoughts during the past week or so. You are all blessings in our life.
Austin & Nicole Henderson