Friday, January 13, 2012

The Latest News

Well Dustin & I toasted right at the stroke of midnight of the New Year "Here's to a surgery-free 2012!"...but unfortunately that won't be the case.

A few days ago I sent Dr. Bauer updated pictures of Brooklyn & he wrote back Wed night saying that she does, in fact, need that last touch up surgery. I thought that would be the case & we have been planning on 5 surgeries since day one. It's unfortunate, but I have to be honest here.....

It's not that I WANT my child to have another surgery. I DID want 2011 to be the only year for surgeries & that's it! I didn't want a surgery in 2012, or any other year for that matter. I don't want to have to spend SO much money on another surgery, deductibles, insurance payments, hospital/doctor/anesthesiologist bills, travel, hotels, food, gas, wear & tear on our car (or a rental car), lost time off work with no pay, difficulty paying bills because of being out of work, time away from home, time away from Cali, and of course the dreaded illness that I ALWAYS get a week before we leave for surgery.


Why NOT have the surgery? If we can make her face even slightly more perfect than it already is, I'm gonna do it. If I can lessen the chance that she'll get teased when she's in school, I'm gonna do it. If we can fix her forehead/eyebrows/scalp up even just a little more, I'm gonna do it. Our thought is this: we've come THIS far with 4 surgeries, 3 expanders, TONS of injections, 4 trips to Chicago, 4 stays in a hotel, etc, etc.....WHY STOP SHORT??? If our miracle-worker, Dr. Bauer, thinks she needs another surgery, he is who we will listen to. He is the expert. He is the one who has been doing this for years. He is the one I trust. So we do the surgery. Simple as that.

He did say that we'll still have our consult in July at the Nevus Outreach conference & then we'll do surgery in the Fall. Our only problem with that is that our schedule is so booked this summer/fall. If we do the surgery in September then I'll be gone every month from July through October & Dustin will be gone July through September. The beginning of October is fine but that will put me gone the entire month of October, with my trip in the middle/end of the month for my best friend's wedding. November is our first choice, right before Thanksgiving cause we'd both miss less work. But the Moller's (awesome AZ friends) will be there the first part of December & I've always wanted to see Chicago at Christmastime. So as of now, November 16 or December 6 are our choices. December is nearly impossible for Dustin to get off work with all the Christmas mail, so we'll have to talk it over & see. Not like we need to decide right now...this IS 11 months away!

So with that said...5 surgeries is it. If you haven't gotten your Volume 2 of Brooklyn's Best yet, NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT! :o)  Please keep us &, of course, Dr. Bauer in your prayers this year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Year Ago Today...

A Year Ago Today...

...our nevus journey began. One year ago today Brooklyn had her very first surgery. WOW! To think back on this past year is just crazy. Travel to/from Chicago by car 3 times, travel to/from Chicago by plane once, FOUR surgeries, countless recovery days, a miracle-worker surgeon, sightseeing, dressing changes, meeting new people, pain medication, antibiotics, wonderful staff at the StayBridge in Lincolnshire, feeling like home in the hotel even though we were thousands of miles away, four bouts of the cold/flu for me (one for each trip, of course), a two (turned three) year old who didn't like what was going on, a dramatic time with major attitude adjustments for both girls -- but mainly Cali, a fantastic staff at NorthShore University Health Systems -- including both the hospital AND Dr. Bauer's staff, countless movie-watching both in the hotel & in the hospital waiting for Brooklyn to wake up so we could take her "home", swimming with Cali at the hotel, awesome Chicago pizza, amazing nevus families, pizza parties, get-togethers, family bonding, picture-taking, blogging....

but most importantly......  A 1-year-old who consistently amazes us at how wonderful, tough, strong, resilient, & amazing she is at all she's been thorough this past year.



After (taken today):

This girl is truely our hero.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Grand Way to Ring in the New Year

Well what a great way to ring in the New Year...

Dustin & I were in the living room watching football while the girls were playing on the stairs. Playing on the stairs is not an unusual thing for them. They just like being there. They both have been walking up & down the stairs on their own since they could walk so I don't have to be worried about them falling or anything. When the girls are on the stairs we can see them from the living room, so it wasn't like we couldn't see them or anything!

So this particular day we were watching TV & the girls were playing on the stairs. All of a sudden they got quiet. I waited about a minute & then asked Dustin what he thought they were doing. He didn't know so he got up & walked over to the top of the stairs. He immediately got a straight face & said "get over here now" to me. I was thinking "ok do I need to run...are they in immediate danger, or can I slowly walk over there". So I asked Dustin if they'd eaten anything, as I was getting out of the chair. He again said to me "get over here now" with a sense of urgency in his voice. Uh-oh...that's not a good sign. So I ran over to the top of the stairs & looked down.

I immiediately stopped in my tracks & my eyes got wider & wider. "IS THAT BLOOD?!" I said, as I was staring at Brooklyn, her hands, her legs, & the stairs. At the top of the stairs were drops of red on the floor & red smeared all around; the first 4 stairs were literally almost covered in red; Brooklyn didn't have a twinge of white on her hands...they were COVERED with red; and her legs were equally as covered from the tips of her toes to her mid-thighs. I started shaking & literally having an inward panic attack; but I looked at Brooklyn's face & noticed that she was smiling. Then I looked in Dustin's hands.....

He had a jumbo bottle of red food coloring that was completely empty.

WHEW!!! Ok so I could breathe again, but my adrenaline had already kicked into high gear so it took me literally several minutes before I quit shaking again.

Long story short (which includes Dustin being extremely upset, mommy taking the girls to the bath, & Dustin trying his hardest for an hour and a half to clean the stairs)...we ended up putting them down for a nap & now have perma-pink stairs & a perma-pink daughter. See for yourself:

Our perma-pink stairs

And our perma-pink (for now) little Brooklyn. This is after scrubbing & scrubbing in the bath.

So do yourself a favor RIGHT NOW....and go put your food coloring up on the very top shelf of your cabinets with your alcohol. :o)