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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cystic Hygroma

...only without so much "hyrgo."  We are so glad to have discovered the root of Katie’s facial pain.  It is a large cyst, which has evidently been there, undetected, for at least over a year, probably two.  Previous images from last year show it plainly, but no doctors saw it because they were focused more on bone issues, and overlooked the soft tissue problems.  Thankfully, an ENT (Dr. Grimmer) that the infectious disease guy asked to look at her, immediately saw the problem.  He is used to working with soft facial tissue and it jumped right out at him.  Two days ago, on Friday, they successfully completed the scan with contrast.  I guess the cyst in her cheek is larger, more cavernous, than expected, so it took a whole lot of fluid.  But they think they have a pretty good feel now for what needs to be done.  This weekend, we have fasted to understand which of our three choices to take:

1.      Do nothing, and let her live with the pain, controlling it with Gabapentin, amitriptyline, and, if necessary, Oxycodone;
2.      Do a radical facial excision of the cyst, which would require that they basically peel the right side of her face back and CAREFULLY cut it out so as not to damage any of the five facial nerves; or,
3.      Do at least one and possibly three injections of bleomycin, and first-line cancer drug, which would hopefully cause the cyst to collapse on itself and thus heal. This procedure is called "sclerotherapy."

#2 has been proven to be the most successful means of dealing with such a “cystic hygroma,” but contains serious dangers that we don’t want to have to deal with if there is another way.  We’ve researched this 3rd option, and though it, too, has some potentially bad outcomes, if done correctly (meaning the right dilutions and hitting exactly the right spot), has been shown to be very effective.  The medications she’s been taking have given her some relief, but I can’t imagine having to deal with that pain for the rest of her life.  So, our decision, with which we went to the Lord in prayer and fasting this weekend, was to pursue Option 3 as quickly as possible.  It won’t require a hospital stay, so she’ll be able to participate in the holiday cheer, and can happen within the next two weeks.  We’re awaiting confirmation that we’ve made, or not, the right decision.  Please pray with us.  Katie is so anxious to get rid of the thing that she seems almost willing to just submit to the radical surgery and get it over with.  But we feel pretty strongly about trying the less invasive alternative first.