Thursday, January 14, 2010

Explanation of Brady's Spine

Oh bloggy friends! You sure know how to pick me up when I am down. Thank you for all of your kind words, encouragement, perspective, promises to pray, and emails. We obviously aren't alone in our disappointment, but greater than that, we aren't alone in our hope and trust that God still reigns and will see us through.
Today was a down day for me. I woke up and the stress and sadness hit me like a ton of bricks, along with a killer headache. I was glad to have Grandma Sandy here to help keep us all going:) Our home improvement trend continued today with a very necessary repair. We had our sewer and water lines from the house to the street replaced. This involved heavy machinery, a 10-12 foot massive hole in our front yard, a lovely dirt and snow mound, and several burly men (1 with a cigar) in the yard. The kids were almost as excited about all of this as they were on Christmas. Hopefully our plumbing problems are a thing of the past. Can't wait to see the yard in the spring!
One reader asked me to explain how Brady's surgery has caused the spinal deformity which is a very good, and often asked question. I tried to have Matt (Mr. Very-Wise-in-Regards-to-Human-Anatomy) explain it to me (Mrs. Very-Clueless-As-I-Barely-Passed-All-Science-Classes). Needless to say, I have turned to Google to share what I've learned:
Here is a diagram of the thoracic spine. Brady's surgery on Jan21st, 2009 was on T2-T7. The tumor started in his right chest wall and had grown into his spinal column. It was intertwining itself around his spinal cord and compressing it almost completely.

The surgery that was performed was called a laminectomy. The surgeon made an incision directly over the spine, and entered the spinal column by removing the lamina from each of the vertebrae from T2-T7. This is not a terribly uncommon surgery for adults with spine problems, but usually one or two levels are removed, not 5. Here is a diagram of the lamina. I think of lamina as the walls around the spine that keep it straight and supported as it grows.

So, with five of these "supports" missing from Brady's spine, as it grows, it is bending and curving without a structure to keep it straight. Here is a picture of a kyphotic spine. Brady's "hump" is more on the right side, the side where his surgery was performed.

That is my version of Brady's spinal issues. He is also at risk for a significant scoliosis, but so far, that curve is not as severe. Matt and I are diving into research and scouring the internet for information. It won't surprise you that we aren't just accepting the "there is nothing we can do" response. This may turn out to be true, but with a ton of prayer, lots of reading, and consulting as many other professionals as we can, we are trusting that God will lead us to an answer if there is one out there!

There is just one week to go until Brady's 1 year anniversary. I didn't realize this when I started it, but the January 21st project has given me so much encouragement, beyond what I thought I needed. Imagine how all of the amazing stories, testimonies, and pictures will help Brady stay strong and never to give up hope when he reads them some day!


  1. Talk to the Little People of America. This is a problem common in dwarfism. They should be refer you to a doctor that can help. I am 100% sure there is something they can do.

  2. About to start writing my January 21st project letter for you now. This is my FIRST day of having a childless house since school and kindy finished in early December and writing for Brady is how I am going to spend the next little while :)

    Prayers are continuing to come your way.

    M x

  3. What a great suggestion from kdliberty! There is a person out there somewhere who will know who you should contact.

    The pile of dirt in your front yard was impressive. No wonder the cherubs loved it. They must have had funny comments about the cigar, too. The Lord sent entertainment when it was needed.

    Lots of prayers for all,

  4. HUgs!

    While I lived in Oakfield, my parents had to do the same thing in our front yard...but it was much warmer out.

  5. Megan, don't give up on hope! Sometimes our prayers aren't answered in our time, but in God's time. He hears our heart and I have learned it is about letting go and taking the leap of faith! Prayerful thoughts are with you!


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