Sunday, August 24, 2008

1 Month to the Day!

Well it has been one month to the day that Dawson first started vomiting. I find myself this month emotionally all over the place and today has hit really hard. I wonder if there is a point where a parent starts to feel normal again or if the sick feeling inside me is always going to be there? Though when I look at Dawson I am amazed at all we have been through in the last month.
I feel like a part of me died on that Tuesday, July 29 but a part of me was then re born on the 30th, does that even make sense?
I knew I could not handle this situation and so far not going great, we have upped my anti-anxiety meds and I am still having awful nightmares!
I am haunted by the awful answer less questions:
1. How did he get this tumor?
2. Why?
3. How long has there been signs I continued to miss?
4. Will it regrow?
5. Why was Dawson's benign and other kids are dying from tumors?
6. What am I supposed to learn from this? What if I do not learn what I am supposed to, can things get worse?
7. Can I ever fathom having more children now? I am scared.
It seems when we get good news I just expect the bad to come at the next appointment. Like his November MRI which is more in depth and could ultimately tell if there is any tumor left and if it has grown at all.
Then is this my fault? If I hadnt been working full time then maybe I would have noticed sooner? idk
Bad Day great kids!
Please do not take this post as a need to boost me up or anything, I am just venting!

Plus with those blue eyes looking at me everything else just melts away!

Monday, August 18, 2008

So THankful!

Never been so thankful to have a child with a positive strep throat swab in my life! Dawson is now on antibiotics and hopefully he will sleep better tonight!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dawson has a fever!

Well Dawson started getting fussy last night and has been running a fever all day! Needless to say I am a nervous wreck but I already called Neurosurgery and they told me what to watch for. I think it is most likely some kind of virus but what timing right! AGHHH!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Thank you for the Power of Prayer!

Lets talk about the CT Scan first:
1. Less fluid around brain
2. More normal ventricle size
3. No apparent tumor left

1. Still more fluid or pressure than a normal child should have but again less than before
2. Still larger ventricle size than a normal child
3. CT scans are not great for seeing small pieces of tumor.

Overall, our surgeons are ecstatic about the results, and how well Dawson is doing. They do not have any current concerns and we do not need to go back for 3 months.

Dawson's surgeon told us that never in any of the surgeons history had they seen a cyst form around this type of tumor. Typically cysts are formed around more aggressive tumors typically malignant. At their first thought they believed it would be malignant because of this cyst. After doing the MRI and really getting a good look it keep leading them to the benign form. After surgery they were convinced that it was benign as well as the pathologists! He also said that these tumors usually attach themselves really good to the brain often making it very difficult to remove them without damaging any brain matter but the cyst changed all of that for them. Making the tumor more easily accessible and more easy to remove. YEA
They are now using Dawson's case to educate the world on this new finding and possibility of a cyst around this type of tumor at a Neurosurgeons Conference next week.
At least if my son has to have a brain tumor its got to be one of a kind, right, wouldn't have it any other way!
I know with my whole heart that the power of our prayers has saved Dawson with the miracle of this cyst.

Follow up MRI:
In November to see if they were able to kill the little bit of tumor. They did say today that they left a little bit of the tumor there because trying to aggressively remove it might damage him more so they cauterized it, in hopes that it would kill it. This all makes me a nervous wreck thinking that there is still a tiny part in there but they are all so optimistic that I feel a little relieved.
Feeling incredibly blessed and nervous all at the same time. Do not know if I will ever get over this feeling of worry and anxiety! agggghhhhh.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pray for Dawson tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 1pm we have a follow up CT scan for Dawson at Primary Childrens. Please pray for less fluid around the brain, complete tumor resection and normal ventricle size. Thanks for all the support from everyone!


On our way home from the hospital both of the kids were exhausted. Dawson woke up at home and was so excited to see his room but Brielle stayed asleep even when presented with a new toy! She must have been tired.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

First night at Primary Childrens

This is when they put him to sleep intubated him and put the drainage tube in. It was heartbreaking to see my baby this way I just cried and cried but I knew he was no longer in pain. That is what I clung to! All those machines doing something vital for my sons survival was excruciating to witness and made me feel so helpless! It was hard to give up control on my child's care to people I did not even know. For those of you that know me know I have to be in control and this experience did not comply with that, torturous for me to let go. Though I have to say I loved every nurse and every doctor they became instant family.

Davis Hospital!

This was Dawson at Davis Hospital before we knew what was going on. He suffered like this for days before the doctors finally listened to me and did a CT scan and I was right! There is nothing worse than watching your child suffer and not know how to help him or what is wrong.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Week in Review!

  • July 24: Dawson throws up at 9 pm. (Of course all over his bed) Though no fever.
  • July 25: While at work Dawson sleeps until 11 am, then Esther feeds him some oatmeal which he then throws up within a few minutes. I come home from work early worried about him and feed him a few bites of rice and he keeps it down. Dawson was not interested in dinner and I could not get him to eat anything. He only wants me at this point and only finds one position that is comfy. Still no fever and no diarrhea but cousin has vomited also.
  • July 26: Dawson sleeps late again and I wake him up and feed him breakfast again. He eats 3 bites of oatmeal and keeps it down. He is not himself and just wants me to hold him in the one position. He attempts to eat Top Ramen and vomits instantly on his high chair. No dinner again but takes a bath a perks up a bit in the tub. I think he must be feeling a little better. Cousin not vomiting anymore.
  • July 27: Dawson sleeps even later this morning and I go and wake him up. At this point he is not interested in food only water. He wants me to sit in the rocking chair and hold him and that is where I sat from 11 am to 2 pm. During this time I told David I am really worried that there is something going on with him and I am taking him to the Doctors at 4:10. He cannot even keep down the water at this point.
  • At the doctors office we saw whoever was there on a Sunday and she was really concerned with the way he was acting. Straddling my stomach with his face down in my chest, THE POSITION! I began to tell her his symptoms and that I was concerned about something going on in his brain. She thought he could be dehydrated so she said lets do blood work. The blood work came back borderline dehydrated and she said if I thought I could get him to drink then I could keep him home. I told her it was not possible for him to drink he just vomits instantly and we were admitted to Davis Hospital at about 9pm. Our actual pediatrician was on call at the hospital which was great because he knew Dawson's history and I was comfortable with him. I told him I was worried he had a brain tumor and listed my reasons. We decide to give him IV's in hopes of perking him up a bit. Dawson has had no food or drink orally at this point.
  • July 28: Doctor comes in at 9 am and Dawsons domineer and his position on my chest had not changed. The doctor said he was concerned to not see him more lively are looking better. He said his current blood work looked great and his hydration was back where it should be. He said let's do a ultrasound of his belly and rule out anything inside his abdomen and if that comes back clean we will certainly do a CT scan. Though he says we would rather not expose him to all that radiation if we don't have to. He also said that he would not be in the next day and that his colleague would be and he had already discussed Dawson with him. The ultrasound tech spent about 15 minutes on Dawson and said well the Doctor will be order more tests because his belly looked great. Dawson has had no food or drink orally at all today.
  • July 29: The other Doctor comes in at 8 am and tries to examine Dawson but is still not sure what is going on, though at this point is looking really concerned. He says we will do the CT Scan right away and go from there. Off we went to do a CT Scan. On the way back from the scan the technologist asks me has he had any falls of any kind lately I said no. Then it got me to thinking, brain swelling! The tech says the doctor should be in with the results in 15-20 minutes.
  • Well an hour and a half goes by I am positive that they are speaking with specialists because of what they found. The nurse clears all of our family out of the room and in walks My pediatrician who is not supposed to be there and the other doctor, and that is when I knew. They said the results of the CT scan do show a mass in his brain, and I think that is that last thing I heard clearly. I then heard bits and pieces of information amongst my hysteria and vomiting. Once I calmed down I heard that we would be going by ambulance to Primary Children's Hospital where a team of Neurosurgeons were standing by and not to give Dawson any food or water in case they had to rush him to surgery. What? Was I really hearing what I already new?
  • When we arrived at Children's the Neurosurgeon says at this point all I know is he has a mass in his brain and he is in pain. He said they would be giving him pain medicine and steroids to help with the swelling of his brain and we will do an MRI to get a better look at what we are dealing with then in the next 48 hours brain surgery. He returned about a half hour later and said after my colleagues and I examined the CT Scan we have decided that Dawson is a lot worse off than we thought. We think the best approach would be putting Dawson to sleep and intubating him with a breathing tube then put a drainage tube in his brain to relieve the excess pressure. What??? A tube in my babies head? Agghhghg! Then we will perform the surgery at 8 am tomorrow and push all the other scheduled surgeries behind. Freak out city!
  • They wheel my perfect boy away from me and I am an freaking mess! I know the next time I see him he will be in a drug induced sleep with a tube in his lungs breathing for him and a tube in his brain draining for him.
  • Well he had so much pressure in his drain they had a hard time getting the drain in! So that took twice as long as they thought! Then off to MRI! (It is now 10pm at night!) The MRI was supposed to last 30-45minutes and turned into an hour and a half of waiting. The first thing the surgeon team says is that after doing his head they decided to scan his spine to check for tumors there! I almost fainted onto Dawson's crib! They said no he is clear everywhere but the brain and they believe it to be benign! Oh my crap! What a feeling! What a relief and a blessing! Then he said he thinks they will be able to get in the head through a cyst that formed miraculously around almost the entire tumor. He also said he thought they would be able to get in and get the tumor out with very little brain matter being touched! Oh thank you! Well off to bed at 2 am.
  • July 30: The nurse comes and gets me to say goodbye to my son before they take him for brain surgery, this is 7 am. I just cry because if things go terribly wrong this could be it. Though he did not look like himself with a machine breathing for him and a bald head with a drain coming out it, though he was absolutely beautiful to me.
  • They say 5-7 hours for the surgery and that they would call us periodically and tell us how it was going. 1.5 into it they call and say just getting started we had a rougher time getting all of the stinking IV's in your kids entire body than we thought. 1.5 hours later the surgeon walks in to the waiting room with no smile on his face and calls David and I into the conference room, I thought I was not going to make it to the room. I was faint and nauseous. He said everything was great went great and they were done! He said it was very successful Dawson did not loose very much blood so he did not need a transfusion and they believe it to be Choroid Plexus Papilloma, or a benign tumor. I could have kissed that man! From 2pm until 2am I sat in a hard rocking chair holding my incredibly brave but incredibly frightened 20 month old baby. He would not allow me to leave him and would cry out for me until I returned so I went no where. When I could take it no more I laid him in his crib or jail and went and caught about 3 hours of sleep.
  • July 31: Much of the same holding Dawson all day while nurses shoot his IV's with so many drugs I loose track. Then off for another CT Scan to check everything. Scared of everyone that comes near him he is very temperamental and wants me to hold him and that is exactly what I did until the nurse forced me to go get a shower and eat something. I spent an hour away then was right back holding and reassuring him. The we find out his is doing so well they are moving him to a recovery room and out of the Intensive care, excited, but apprehensive!
  • They new room is nice because it allows me to be with him 24-7. There is a bathroom and a couch bed and he was so happy to be in a room and be somewhat left alone. Brielle came to visit him today though he was not in the mood to share Mommy very much.
  • August 1: Spending all my time taking care of Dawson and comforting him so he is not scared of all the nurses and doctors! He is really thriving and is eating like a champ again! Oh how I missed him eating. He is snuggling with me and giving me kisses and there are absolutely no worries about brain damage at this point. All day was spent in the room with him!
  • August 2: Brielle came and spent the day with us and Dawson really perked up to her! He was smiling,laughing, playing with toys and walking. What a rebound this kid has. He was like better than months before the diagnosis. It was the most amazing thing to see him with his sister and having such a great time.
  • Another CT Scan to check progress and everything looks great!
  • The doctors removed the drainage tube and he lost a lot of brain fluid during the process and they said he could have a pretty nasty headache from that and he did. We did not sleep until 3 am and not until we figured out a way for him to be on the couch bed with me, although he was still connected to four machines.
  • August 3: Dawson wakes up kinda cranky but hungry, eats a huge breakfast then in a few minutes projectile vomiting! I freaked out and got really scared! Talk about a pit in my stomach bad memories and I automatically thought pressure headache! They said lets watch him and see how he does then you could possibly leave tonight. He ate lunch and dinner fine and still seemed to have a little bit of a headache and I would prefer to be on the safe side and stay another night. They said that was fine and that would could leave tomorrow. Another night of sharing a couch with my cutie boy but I would not trade it for the world!
  • August 4: Wake up and start getting ready to come home. All of you know how getting discharged from the hospital works, right! Well we finally left at 2 pm without our prescriptions in hand because they were so busy and we wanted to beat the traffic home. Primary's says oh you can get these filled anywhere so that is what we attempt. Then at 5:30 Walgreen's says sorry we do not have this prescription in a liquid do you think he will take a pill, yea idiot he is 20 months old just had a brain tumor removed but I am sure I can get him to swallow a pill whole! duh! After a half and hour on the phone I track done a pharmacy with it and all is good.
  • We sleep in our own beds and no one could be more happy than Dawson he walked to his crib and pointed to get in!
  • August 4: Getting back into the swing of things and Dawson is doing great!! Love my house, my family, my ward, this gospel and modern medicine! Among many other things!


(Dont mind all the typos, I'm still tired!)

Four Days Post Op

Fourth Day post op and loving life! He is laughing out loud and in a great mood! He loves my dads glasses and wore them around the hospital for awhile! He had all the nurses cracking up. My niece Lyla came to visit which is nice I missed her but Dawson did not want to share his toys! These are his battle wounds a few days post op you can see a little bruising but overall we cannot complain! What a blessing modern medicine is!
Our miracle boy!

Saturday, Day 3 Post-Op

It is hard to believe Dawson looked this good three days after he had a brain tumor removed. He shocked everyone including us, the nurses and certainly his surgeons. He was playing with toys, smiling, playing with sister and of course still wanted to snuggle with mommy! Dawson was also trying to climb out of his crib while hooked to iv's, a brain drain, a blood pressure monitor, leads, oxygen monitor etc.
More pics to come! Feel free to click on these pics for a close up!
We have witnessed our miracle!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Well we thought we may be coming home today but after a really rough night and Dawson vomiting up his breakfast we all decided it was to soon. See on Saturday they removed Dawson's draining tube which was inserted before the to surgery to relieve pressure in his brain from them swelling. We have not used it since the surgery but it was keep in for precautionary reasons. After several days of not needing it, it was removed. The process did allow for a lot of fluid to escape his brain which they say is normal but could make for a pretty nasty headache. He was up until about 3 am in pain and then woke up in a pretty good mood. He ate tons of breakfast as usual then all of the sudden, projectile vomit everywhere. In my heart I panicked because it brought back the feelings of before his diagnosis when the pressure in his head did not allow for anything to be swallowed and I was sick. The neurosurgeon said it is not uncommon to get a pressure headache from loosing so much fluid and that we would watch him closely.

Since then nothing but great news! Dawson is laughing, playing, fighting with sister and cousins, snuggling and giving kisses! He is almost like a whole new kid. I realized after today that he must have been in pain for such a long time because we lost some of his personality along the way but it is back. He is now sleeping soundly and unhooked from all IV's and cords, yea!

Miracles are real!
Kristin (pictures coming soon!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hungry boy!

Well things today are great! Dawson's biggest complaint seems to be he cannot eat enough! He had for breakfast: yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, pudding and milk. Still seemed hungry but did not want to push our luck! Then for lunch: big bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy, a bowl of mac and cheese, some of moms cafe rio (Thanks, Mariah and Andrea!) milk and a cookie.
He also is much more alert today he is "reading" books, playing with toys and even walked a little what a relief. He was so proud of himself for walking I think because he kinda stopped walking a few days before we were hospitalized he was not sure if he could anymore.
Oh yea best part of the day so far, we got a big cheesy Dawson grin. I absolutely melted and he has not given us anymore so treasured it is. It seems that his personality is coming back with him grunting for a bite of food or yelling at me for putting him down, oh how I love this boy!
I want to close this update with one word!