Zachary James

Zachary James

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No Sweat...Literally...

Whew...I can't believe 11 weeks have come and gone since we left Chicago.  Today, I am sitting in the same hotel I was in August, getting ready for surgery #4 - the second round- tissue expander removal.  This past 11 weeks has been a whirlwind.  Adding a Kindergartner to our lives certainly made things more taxing.  Books to be read and homework to be done, nightly and lot's of little school stuff.  The greatest challenge being picking up two different kids at two different times in two different locations...guess we have been a little spoiled with our fabulous daytime caregiver Mrs. Bunch who has taken care of Zoie for the past 4 years and Zac since he was 10 weeks old.  So...I apologize for not keeping everyone as informed as they would've liked I simply have not had two extra minutes to rub together and my DVR proves it LOL.

Anywhoo...after an EXTREMELY rough start in this round of tissue expansion, I must was all downhill from there.  After our fills gone awry, I was reluctant to try again but of course knew that this was just a horse I had to get back on.  My little angel Zoie said to me "Mommy, I believe in you...and I KNOW you can do Zac's fill...I just know you can."  Yes people...I have my very own personal Anthony Robbins...:)

Our next fill and every subsequent fill thereafter went wonderfully thanks to my bestie Candy and her terrific girls who were all to eager to keep Zac's attention while we did the fill.  With every fill we were able to get 90cc of saline in!  We are ready for tomorrow's removal surgery with 750cc of saline and lots of pretty new skin!!  Woo Hoo!!  I don't know what size bra he'd need if he needed one but it would be at least an E cup! :)

I will be so happy to have more of this back nevus removed.  There are many people that think that this surgery is for cosmetic purposes so for my friends and family - and anyone considering removal of their child's nevus I have just a few things to say about my opinion on the subject.
I will say that I believe each parent has the right to make choices for their child - this is purely MY opinion on this condition.

  • Cancer risks - I mentioned before that Zac's nevus skin has potential cancer risks and even though the risk is small is too small??  I mean...I don't know about you...but 1% is even too much for me.  If he got cancer after the removal, I would know that I had done everything I could and never regret not having done more.
  • Fragility - This skin is extremely fragile.  There is little or no fat underneath it - the skin damages easily and takes great pains to heal.  I have heard it gets worse with age.
  • Itching!  This skin can be VERY itchy!  Though Zac does not currently have any issues with itching - who wants to wait to find out if he will forever want to carry around a back scratcher.
  • SWEAT!  No sweating!  Seriously guys...this skin does not sweat!!!  AND I live in the desert!!  For anyone w/ a child with a torso covering nevus...beware.  I just endured my first real Summer where Zac was in and out of the heat.  NEVER ONCE did I feel moisture on his torso.  His head, however, sweats profusely!  I must admit, living in the climate I do, this is the one that scares me the worst and the one I think is overlooked the most by most parents.  The body sweats to cool itself down and prevent overheating.  If it can't sweat you run the risk of seizures, heat stroke, etc.  Hyperthermia
  • I really need to go into more detail here...?  I trim the cute little nevus on his eyebrow every two weeks...  And I have heard from adult nevi wearers that over time...nevus hair on the scalp and other places can really thin...  great if it's on your back...not so much if it's on your head...
  • Laser - well, laser only removes the pigment...this is what I think of when I think of the words "for cosmetic purposes".  Besides, do you know that laser generally requires more medication for pain management than Zac does with surgery?  I have never had to give him more than Motrin...really!
  • Waiting until later...  There was about 3 seconds where I thought about leaving the nevus and letting Zac make his own decision later.  I suppose that someone older could have expansion surgeries done...but this is where I have the strongest feelings that what I am doing is 100% right for my child.  I have seen Zac carry around 750cc of saline, toddle, spin, laugh and enjoy life not even realizing that he has a special little bubble!  There have been no developmental delays - he started to crawl right before his first tissue expander was put in and started to walk right after the second one was put in.  I have seen him the day after removal surgery acting as if nothing ever happened!  His body adapts and heals better than it would at age 5...age 8 or age 16.  750cc of saline is going to cover most of his back...if he were older, wouldn't he need twice the amount to cover such a large space?   He is not aware of stares or questions and the BEST the time this is done...the only one who will remember it is ME!  I will remember every hospital stay, every injection, every stare, every comment, every explanation, every antibiotic, every dressing...the smell of anesthesia and that yellow gauze that makes me want to hurl.  Essentially, I feel that when this is all done, I will then have achieved what every parent wants to do for their child...take the pain for them.  I am so very thankful and blessed that Zac has the option for such a swift and wonderful removal and that we found Dr. Bauer and his wonderful team and I am going to wrap my arms around such a blessing and welcome it!   
When Zac is older and asks me what it was like going through this reply will be... 'no sweat'.