Thursday, February 19, 2015

Is Surgery Necessary?

  Oh my, I cannot believe I forgot to update you all after our meeting with the surgeon!  I am so sorry!  Our meeting with Dr. Bliss (Hazel's surgeon) went well, and he concluded that we should NOT proceed with surgery of any kind at this moment.  He did not, however, make this decision lightly.  With Neuroblastoma, any spot on a scan is something that needs to be taken very seriously, so of course our inclination is to get in there to see what it is and possibly take it out.  But before doing that, the risks must be weighed.  So, Dr. Bliss met with a large group of surgeons and showed them her scans.  As a team they determined surgery to be far too risky for several reasons.  

     First, she would almost definitely lose her kidney if surgery was performed, and unless we are absolutely certain that this spot is cancerous and life-threatening (thus making losing the kidney imperative), then it is not worth it at this point in time.  

     Second, they all agreed with Hazel's oncologist and medical team that since this spot has remained unchanged for at least 9 months, it becomes less likely that this is active disease.  

     Lastly, Dr. Bliss informed us that this spot is completely involved with Hazel's Inferior Vena Cava.  This is a very large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower half of the body back up to the heart (see picture below).  If this vein is damaged, it is very likely that a person will not survive due to too much blood loss, and that is not something Dr. Bliss, nor we, want for Hazel.

     So, for now, we continue to wait.  Her next scan is scheduled for March 25th, which we will pray for it not only to be unchanged, but for it to be clear!  My hopes are high because each day Hazel seems to be getting stronger, healthier and happier!

     On an unrelated note, our family has made the decision to close Hazel's PO Box.  We thank you all for the wonderful cards, letters and gifts sent to her; we will cherish them always.  If you would like to continue to show your support, please consider sending cards to other children still in treatment, or donate to one of the many childhood cancer organizations I have listed on the blog!


  1. We are happy that the spot has not changed size. It is wonderful to see Hazel looking healthy and happy. We will pray with you that this spot completely disappears to the glory of God.
    God continue to bless your whole family!
    Tom and Janis Van Keuren

  2. Obrigada pela atualização sobre a encantadora Hazel. Ela está linda, saudável e forte. Deus é fiel e não deixará que nada lhes falte, principalmente saúde. Minha pequena de 06 anos acompanha e sempre me cobra por notícias da sua pequena Hazel. Parabéns pela luta e empreitada. Muitas famílias precisam de seu apoio, portanto siga em frente e não desista. Abraços

  3. Jasmina From SwedenMarch 3, 2015 at 12:21 AM

    All my love for the entire family.
    Beautiful Hazel, what a fighter you are

  4. We found out that Taylor had a small piece of tissue, later on down the road. Her surgeon was completely confident he got it all, so I choose to believe its scar tissue and not tumor. I sometimes would like to ask about opening her up to find out but I dont think her oncologist would recommend doing it.