Welcome Sophia Hope Bell!!!

Welcome Sophia Hope Bell!!!
Maddy has officially become a big sister!!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cardiology Results

Well, it was a brief visit. Madelyn was great. The cardiologist stated that the PFO was a pinhole and they would see us back in 2 years. She has no limitations on her activity other than until we run another echo, no scuba diving. When told that she couldn't scuba dive, Madelyn showed no emotions. I think she's OK with just snorkeling for a while.

We also had her monthly visit at the Children's Cancer clinic. Her blood tests all came back great. She walked unassisted around the entire office and was the talk of the clinic. We submitted a urine sample for VMA/HVA levels and should have those results in 2 weeks.

Madelyn's surgical incision looks good. Unfortunately, they placed an occlusive dressing on the site that adheres to the steri-strips. We removed them tonight and replaced them with some we have at home. She took a bath tonight and is now officially back to her routine.

Sheila is getting some birthday pictures done at Portait Innovations next week before they depart for PA/NY. We'll post them on Picasa when we get them. Just in case you want to see all of the picture albums, go to this address


Monday, October 1, 2007

The port is out!

Madelyn had surgery today and had her port removed. There is really nothing to speak of about today. We were headed for home by 10:30 AM. We asked for, and received, the port for our keeping. Some would think it's odd, but it's a small symbol of what she has gone through this year. Dr. Adkins said he was going to cut off the flexible catheter part, but he left it on. The tip of this catheter was in the atrium of Madelyn's heart for 7 months. It's weird to think about.

The post-treatment echocardiogram was done last week to determine if there were any ill effects from the chemo on her heart. The preliminary results show nothing, but there is a point of concern. The initial echo we had on February showed that Madelyn has a PFO (patent foramen ovale). This is a hole in her heart between her right and left atrium. Most children have this, but the expectation was that it would close as she continued to develop. It appears that is not the case and she still has it. About 20% of the population walking around today has this and it is not in itself a major issue, but we are seeing a congenital cardiologist on Wednesday. We have now found out how serious this could have been with her having a catheter in her heart. The likelihood of having clots from the catheter tip are greatly increased over a normal person, and if a clot had formed and passed through this opening to her left atrium, the clot could have been forced out the her body, possibly her brain, which could have resulted in a stroke. If forced out of the right atrium, it could go to her lungs which would be a pleural embolism, which is life threatening as well. Without the catheter, her likelihood of having clots for in this space is more significant than a normal atrial wall. We're taking this seriously, but we're not going to stress until we see the cardiologist and hear what the have to say. There is a procedure that offers a repair through a catheter ( no open chest surgery) but she is not automatically a candidate nor is it something we just choose to do. Placing a catheter in her heart and having someone sew the hole shut opens the door for serious complications. I think the degree to which the blood flows between the chambers and the size of the opening will determine what course we take.

Madelyn came home and ignored doctors orders. She was very playful in the early afternoon, but she did get fussy later in the evening. This could be a direct result of not getting her normal bath time. She loves playing in the tub.

Please continue to pray for Madelyn and our family. It works. We know.


The Bell Family

PS - If you can, please visit some of our friends links on the right. There are families still in the thick of their fight. It doesn't matter that you don't know them or they don't know you. We appreciate all of your comments, but one of the truly amazing things about the comments here are the ones from those people we haven't met yet. We are all children of God and that's what binds us. We'll meet sometime, either here on Earth or later in Eternity. It makes sense to introduce yourself now. Thanks!