We just met with a pediatric brain tumor specialist who will be working with Michael during his follow-up visits, and he's my favorite person in the world right now. After he took Michael's history and did a quick physical exam, he told us lots of great things. He was also told that the tumor was benign, and that everyone is pretty sure it is a ganglioglioma like they suspected. This is a very slow growing tumor.
Dr. Pilcher said yesterday that they think Michael was born with the tumor. This means that it has always been in the way of memory formation and learning, and that his brain learned to cope with this a long time ago by transferring the responsibility of memory formation to another area of the brain. Since this transfer of responsibility has already worked fine, they don't think he will have any problems learning and remembering new things.
It also looks like Michael is seizure free right now. Although he is on the anti-seizure medicine still, he had still had seizures when he was over-tired or sick. Since he's about as tired and sick as he's ever been right now, it's great that he's not having any seizures. There is still a chance that the scar tissue can cause seizures, but most of the "focus" is gone.
Dr. Lui (epilespy specialist) and Dr. Wang (neurologist) both stopped by while Michael was asleep and seemed very pleased with the outcome of the surgery.
Michael is having a good day too. Earlier this morning, he was able to get up out of bed and walk across the room and sit with Mom for a bit while he had a popsicle. A few hours later, he asked to get up and walk around again - the nurse couldn't believe it. So Dad carried him up and down the hall a few times. He also had another popsicle, a cup of jello, and some saltines. Other than immediately after they gave him an anti-inflammatory medicine, he is keeping everything down and feeling well. They are going to try and give him some anti-nausea medicine or try a different anti-inflammatory later that might not make him sick.
He's been awake a lot today, and is already watching his new Handy Manny movie for the second time. He is more responsive to our questions as well. After he had said "no, thank you" to something, he turned to Mom and said "See Mom, I used my manners." It was the first unprompted thing he had said, and sounded just like normal again. Most of the time he says his head doesn't hurt.
Overall, everyone is really impressed with the surgery and his progress. We hope to be moved out of ICU later tonight or tomorrow. Everything is going great!
We will post a bunch of pictures tonight (I forgot the cord to transfer them off the camera to the computer - oops!) and will update when there's something new.