Ahhh! I'm so excited for your babies to be here TOMORROW, Cananny! It doesn't seem that we could POSSIBLY be having babies!.... well, even though your's are a few weeks early! hehe
I'm having a really hard time coping with the news that we just received about my little cousin, Sunni. Firstly, because I'm scared for her. And second, because this means that my aunt (that I am EXTREMELY close to) is going to be absent for baby's birth.... and the first month or two of his life!
Sunni was diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis last April. She's 6 years old now. We had gone through three years of extremely painful attacks for her before we even knew what was wrong. Doctors would say that she had strep throat, a stomach virus, this and that. One doctor even told us that it was all in her head and she just wanted attention. Eventually, last April, when she was taken to the ER, they tested her blood and found that her enzymes were skyrocketing. So we knew that it was her pancreas, but we didn't know just how bad it was. (For those of you who aren't familiar with pancreatitis, Sunni's form of the disease is genetic, even though no one has shown symptoms before. Basically, the enzymes produced to digest food never leave the pancreas. They get stuck inside and instead of breaking down food, they destroy her pancreatic tissue.) After spending a week in a children's hospital two and a half hours from home, they placed a stent in the duct of her pancreas to allow enzymes to be released from her pancreas into her intestines. This worked for a few weeks... until we were back at the hospital with another attack. This became an ongoing routine. Because her condition is so severe, her only option is to receive what is called an islet cell transplant. This is where they remove the pancreas, gallbladder, and several other organs, harvest the islet cells from her pancreas and inject them into her liver. If the transplant is successful, her liver will essentially work as both her liver and her pancreas. However, sometimes the liver takes over and becomes the pancreas and stops producing insulin. So there's a chance that she could become diabetic. ANYWAY, in order for this procedure to be successful, there has to be plenty of healthy pancreatic tissue. After the procedure, they have told us to expect her to be in the hospital for at least 8 weeks. Sunni's attacks are starting to get so close together and much worse, and the MRI shows that her pancreas doesn't look good. We can't afford to wait another three months while her pancreas continues to break itself down. She is going to be having this surgery at the beginning of April.... I think there are two hospitals in the country that do this type of transplant. The closest one is in Minnesota. We live in Virginia. I'm not due until the 26th. Therefore, my aunt will miss baby's birth and the beginning of his life.
I don't want to sound selfish. I'm just having a really hard time dealing with this.
Sorry for this GINORMOUS post.*