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Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated on Brittney.
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Brittney's diagnosis of a brain tumor came about suddenly, and has turned us upside down. We so appreicate all of your love, prayers, and support! We have the best friends and family anyone could ever hope for.
Brittney has had a few migraines each year since 2007. Each of the migraines was ocular, starting behind her left eye. She had a MRI in 2011, but had a orthodontic spacer in her mouth at the time, which blocked the area where the tumor is. Brittney's brain tumor is located in her skull base, by the sphenoid bone, basically behind her left eye.
The evening of Sunday, January 27th, I had been gone all weekend, and was catching up with Britt, and quite literally her right arm went numb instantly. I did not think much of it, until the next day when the pain and tingling started increasing. We went to her pediatrician, but ended up in the ER that night when she was unable to move her fingers. At the ER they did a X-ray of her shoulder, during that X-ray they caught a glimpse into her brain above her ear. Just as we had been discharged, the Dr. pulled us into a room as we were walking out, and mentioned it to me, and told me to follow up with her doctor about it. It did not alarm me as he said it in passing... Next thing we knew we were being called in for a MRI.
During the MRI, we were told they needed to use contrast dye to look at something, by the end of the MRI, we were told she needed a CT. Friday morning we went in for a CT, and Friday night, Feb 1, we were called by her pediatrician telling us Britt needed to be referred to a neurosurgeon. I was faxed the report, which was barely in English, and met with her pediatrican to discuss the news. Neil was in Canada with Brandon, Britt and I were by ourselves, I remember not being able to breathe all the way home. A brain tumor? Serously, I thought she had a pinched nerve in her shoulder.
That weekend was horrible, hearing this on Friday night, with no answers about what we were facing was the most difficult few days of our lives. I am so grateful to those who surrounded us with prayers and support. I told a few friends via text, one of our dear friends offered to be here to pray for Britt in 15 minutes, I told her to wait an hour so we could try and compose ourselves, no luck with that. Britt was prayed for and blessed, we all cried... I did not feel peace though, as much as I wanted it, I did not know how to pray, I did not have my husband home, Britt wanted her dad, it was painful. I mean gut wrenching, I did not know human emotion and worry could hurt that much.
Over the course of the next days, we had countless doctors appointments, spent lots of time waiting for the tumor board to meet, for doctors to discuss what to do, and it was finally concluded by a unanimous decision that Brittney would be having a complete craniotomy to remove the entire tumor. The tumor is sitting right by her carotid artery, which carries all the blood to the brain, and is right by the nerves that control her facial muscles, her optical nerves, and is pushing on her brain. As the neurosurgeon at Children's put it, this tumor is taking up "valuable real estate" in her brain, it needs to be taken completely out before it causes some serious problems.
Currently, Brittney is experiencing lots of head pain, pressure, nausea, and dizziness. It is hard to wait for surgery, but we know it takes time and planning to prepare for a complicated brain surgery such as this. Brittney will be having her surgery at Children's hospital. The head neurosurgeon specializes in skull base brain tumors. He does 300 surgeries per year on patients from all over the world, only 15 a year are kids. So, a neurosurgeon from Children's will be there as well. And, we are grateful this surgeon is right here in Seattle.
We do not know what type of tumor it is unti it is removed and taken to pathology which has frozen me in fear at times. But, through all of your prayers and support we are getting through, even if it is just barely sometimes.
Brittney is doing amazingly well with the pain and information she has been given. She is strong, positive, has kept her sense of humor, and I am in complete awe of her. I am so proud to call her my daughter. She has not once panicked, even with hearing about the drills, and details of the upcoming surgery.
We are incredibly grateful to all of you. There is not room enough left on this page, to thank each of you individually, but the meals, cards, flowers, gifts for Britts, prayers, visits, all of it mean so much to Brittney, and to our family. We appreciate each of you more than words can say. Please keep Brittney in your thoughts and prayers!