Gavin

Gavin had his neurosurgery way back in the beginning of September, right after I got back from Burning Man.

He had his epidermoid cyst removed and his skull scraped to remove all traces of the stalk that penetrated the skull, but not the dura.

The dura is the outermost membrane covering the brain and had it penetrated, it would have required brain surgery to remove.

We caught it just in time.

The biopsy came back and confirmed that the cyst was indeed a benign epidermoid cyst composed of keratin, sebaceous material, and skin.

Whew!

Gavin was a trooper.

He was out of the hospital within a day and a half of surgery AND he was off pain meds in two days.

About two weeks after his surgery, he had 14 staples removed from the back of his head which were holding the incision together while it healed.

All in all, it was a stressful time for me.

I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to stay with him in the hospital and during his first few days of recovery.

Gavin is back to his usual self, playing video games and enjoying the company of our various pets.

I feel insanely lucky that we caught this cyst when we did and had the wherewithal to deal with it.

The surgery and subsequent hospitalization cost $57,000.

My share of the hospital bill?

$150.

Not too shabby.

Update on my son

Here’s the latest on my son.

He has what appears to be a benign dermoid cyst, a saclike growth present at birth.

No big deal.

The problem with his cyst is that it’s compromising his skull.

Meaning a portion of his skull will need to be removed with the cyst by a neurosurgeon.

According to the pediatric surgeon, this is a challenging surgery because

  • The cyst is on the back of his head which means he has to be operated on facing down, always considered a riskier surgery.
  • It’s also considered a high blood loss surgery (so family and friends may need to donate blood for him).
  • There’s always the risk of infection (gah!).

I am personally more than a little freaked out about this.

I looked up dermoid cyst on the internet and found out it’s a type of teratoma (a tumor made up of several different types of tissue).

A sacrococcogeal teratoma is exactly what caused the death of my son Douglas way back in 1998.

I don’t think I need to explain the fear that is coursing through my body right now at the thought of another teratoma threatening the well being of my child.

If you are the religious sort, please say a prayer for my son.

And if you are not religious, please send good energy and positive thoughts our way.

We’re doing better but we’re not out of the woods yet.