Israel, who loves to be called "Super Yael" (he believes he's a superhero and he is!), was diagnosed with a brain tumor and hydrocephalus. He underwent 2 surgeries—one on August 25 to try to remove the tumor and another on September 6, a shunt surgery to drain the excess fluid in his brain.
We knew from the beginning the tumor and the surgeries Israel had to go through will have physical, emotional, and psychological consequences on him. But still, when the Doctor of Occupational Therapy told us our little boy was “handicapped & disabled”, we were shocked and in tears. We were not angry that he used those words, it was not his job to sugarcoat things after all.
The past few weeks came by so fast. We brought Israel in the ER, we got a diagnosis, 2 days later was the first surgery, a week recovery in PICU, another surgery. Our focus was just to keep him alive. Now we have to focus on getting him functioning again as normal as possible.
One of the things affected is the use of his arms and legs. We have started working with an occupational therapist for that. We also need to get him off the NGT, which can only be done if he can swallow properly again. He will also need to be checked regularly by his endocrinologist, since the tumor was located close to the pituitary gland, which controls growth, metabolism, blood pressure, and other vital physical functions. We will also need to consult a doctor for his eyesight. He currently has strabismus. These on top of the radiotherapy sessions to reduce the size of the remaining tumor.
No one dreams for their children to be on such a difficult journey and I think that’s the most heartbreaking part. Again, we have to remember to take this one day at a time, to rejoice in little victories. This is the fate we have been given, we have to deal with it with it the best that we can. At least we know we are not alone. We have a great healthcare team, we have a support system, and a very brave boy.