For the last 4 years, 4 months and 4 days our sweet Reagan Elizabeth has had a tumor growing in her left ear.
I obscurely referred to the congenital cholesteatoma here and have been meaning to explain that post, but have had trouble putting this whole thing into words. I called a few people (grandparents, of course, and some prayer warriors) on the day we found out. Just a few days ago, I finally told other friends that I hadn't talked to in way too long. Emailing them to say, "Hey, it doesn't seem like I care much about you since I haven't emailed in way too long, but here's what's going on with me..." was hard and a good reminder to take the time to stay in touch better.
The surgery is scheduled for December 29th. Our doctor is pretty certain it will be an "easy" removal since the tumor has remained encapsulated and, even though it is congenital, it was caught early. We are thankful she'll have a nice Christmas before her surgery.
Are you wondering how it was discovered? I'll tell you. On the morning of Reagan's preschool Christmas program she started complaining that her ear hurt. After her nap, she mentioned it again, so I called our pediatrician (who is a wonderful, smart doctor) to make an appointment for the next morning. She wasn't complaining that much, so I wasn't sure she had an ear infection and knew I didn't want to pay for a sick visit just to hear she was perfectly well. So, I figured I'd put her to bed without any Tylenol and see how she slept. She slept well, never waking in pain. The next morning, I called and canceled her appointment. Soon after, I talked to Bryan, who was in Houston and knew about the appointment, and told him she was fine and I'd canceled the appointment. He wisely reminded me Libby doesn't complain unless something is really wrong. Even after his advice and knowing she has a high pain-tolerance, I decided I would wait and take her in the next day, if she complained any more.
We got ready and headed for the door. The van needed an inspection. As I grabbed Levi's bag and watched my kids open the shared door between the laundry room and garage, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I knew I could not leave the house without calling the pediatrician's office again and making another appointment. It wasn't a nagging feeling or a questioning feeling. It was without a doubt a hit-me-over-the-head-so-I-would-stop-thinking-about-what-I-wanted-to-do feeling sent from God. You see, I had a hair appointment that morning and by that time there was no way I would have time to get my car inspected (and that was way over due), take Libs to the doctor and get my hair cut. Without really understanding why I was doing it, I stopped the kids from leaving the house and called the doctor. Then I called and canceled my hair appointment.
We'll have a nice Christmas and a few days after, we'll take our precious child in to have the tumor removed. She'll have frequent check-ups for a while and you better believe I'm turning into one of those moms who drives her pediatrician nuts! This type of cholesteatoma is extremely rare. We have no reason to believe she will face any other problems from them or that either of our other children have them. Of course, I will, at some point, let everyone know how the surgery goes and how Libby does. If I'm not around much it's because I'm soaking up every second of this week with the kids before we have a more subdued week next.