Well it has been 6 weeks since Michael's surgery and he is doing very well. He was released by his surgeon to start Pre-K on Monday. He is going right to our local elementary school. The bus comes to the house at 12:20 pm and brings him back home around 3:55 pm.
According to Michael they learn "lots of things at school because that is what you do at school." They learned their numbers yesterday. When I pointed out that he already knew his numbers, he said he knew that but he had never learned them at school before. They also go outside for a while each day and they have snack. He's not allowed to play on the playground equipment but so far he doesn't seem to mind. He wasn't too sure about school at first but seems to be settling in. He has a new friend named Jessica, she is in his class and rides the bus with him. Today he gave her a hug before he got off the bus.
We have been working with Michael everyday in some pre-school and kindergarten workbooks that he received as gifts after his surgery. We haven't seen any memory deficits or learning disabilities (thank God). He did have to have a school physical a couple of weeks ago and did very poorly on his eye exam. We took him to an opthomologist last week and he has to have glasses. He was VERY upset at first but when we went tonight to order them, he was pretty cooperative. He even asked when we could go back and get them. (Okay - I'll confess. He still wasn't happy about wearing glasses so I bribed him with a tractor. Hey whatever works. He's had to endure so many changes the last couple of months, I hate to see him upset.)
His hair is growing back nicely. There are just a couple of spots along the incision that are still bald but they get smaller every day. Michael is not self conscious at all when people ask him about his head (surprisingly it's usually adults and not children). He tells them his nose felt funny, he went to the hospital and he had an operation. The doctors removed the bad thing from from his head and now he feels better. Thankfully, he is still seizure free.
Since he stopped the steroids and the swelling in his head went down, his appetite is back to normal. He has gained 9 pounds since his surgery. I didn't realize how thin he got over the summer. He is a SOLID little boy now. If you didn't see the scar on his head, it would be easy to convince yourself that is was all a bad dream.
But, unfortunately it is not. A mother in a support group I belong to said something that summed up life for us these days. She said some days she wakes up feeling normal and knowing with certainty that her son is going to be just fine. And then other days she wakes up in a state of sheer panic, worrying that she isn't doing enough or she will miss something or make the wrong decision. (Fortunately, so far Jeff & I don't have those kind of days at the same time.)
We are just waiting for December to have the next MRI and to see the specialists again. Until then we are still trying to learn all we can about Michael's tumor and the best possible treatments. We will keep everybody up to date of any changes. In the meantime, remember to keep Michael in your thoughts and prayers. JoAnne