UPDATE: Michael successfully completed a long surgery on Thursday to remove the tumor in his left orbital area. Surgery went as well as could be expected, and lasted five hours. The procedure required the removal of his skull from mid head to the eyebrow; the incision went from ear to ear. They were able to remove the vast majority of the solid tumor. The good news was that the tumor had not invaded the dura matter, the protective casing of the brain. It had not penetrated the protective tissue of the eye or the optic nerve. They did not have to remove the orbital bones, although there was some damage to those areas. However, the hope is that it can be treated with additional chemo (which began this past week) and MIBG therapy, a targeted radiation isotope strategy that finds metabolically active sites of the cancer and attacks them at a molecular level.
Michael spent one night in ICU, and was moved back to the oncology floor around 6pm Friday night. He has received two transfusions to restore his blood counts as a result of the chemo earlier this week. He experienced a great deal of pain after surgery, but is feeling better every day.
Michael will have surgery on Wednesday to place a central line in him in order to retrieve stem cells to be used in later treatments. We had hoped the surgery would be on Monday, but due to his counts being very low, he needs time for them to recover before stem cell retrieval.
Tentative plans over the next two weeks are as follows. He will probably go home by the end of next weekend. He will recover at home for about a week and begin chemotherapy the week of March 12th, spring break. Then MIBG will be in April at either CHOP in Philadelphia or at University of Michigan. The hope is to send him to school on the days in between therapies, when he is up to it.
Michael is starting to have visitors, but the Malones are taking this process very slowly.
Mike’s birthday is today!! They will be spending his birthday together as a family at the hospital with cake and balloons picked out by Michael.
Please pray for a speedy recovery and managed pain. Please also pray for Michael’s spirits – he hates not being at school and misses his friends. Please pray over the anxiety of a third surgery in two weeks. Pray for healing!!