Today finds us in a familiar place, we're gearing-up to head back to New York after having an almost 2-year break from surgeries. When I last posted over a year ago, I was so completely disappointed/deflated/mad that Josie's surgery had been postponed that I couldn't see the light through the tunnel. But now, looking back I can see very clearly that it was a blessing that we didn't know we needed. Our whole family has benefited from the time away from surgeries and have enjoyed just being "normal". With a surgery scheduled for early June, it's been really hard to get back into the swing of things. In fact, Josie was pretty disappointed when I first told her she was going to have another surgery. I had to sell her (and myself) on all the fun things there are to do in the big city. Now she seems content to go. She has always been better at this stuff than me.
Since our last trip in 2012, Dr. Waner has moved his practice to a completely different hospital in Manhattan; so with this trip we'll be learning a new neighborhood, hospital, and housing. It feels a little like starting from scratch, but we've been reassured that with the change in hospitals there are perks; like access to other amazing doctors. When Josie goes in for surgery it has never been just Dr. Waner in the operating room, there has always been a team of specialty doctors contributing. Its very reassuring to know that Dr. Waner can pull a dream team together if he needs to for Josie. We know that she is in the best possible care.
So what to expect for Josie's June surgery. . . Dr. Waner will continue to remove tumor from around her lower jaw and begin the facial reanimation process. Facial reanimation is the process of surgically correcting facial paralysis. In Josie's situation, her facial nerve and muscle stopped working because they were buried in fatty tumor (causing her mouth to droop). During this surgery, Dr. Waner will graft a nerve from Josie's leg and place it in her face. After this procedure we'll come home and let the nerve rest and then go back for a second procedure to graft a muscle from her leg to place in her face. When all of this is said and done Josie's facial symmetry should be improved and she'll be able to smile, pucker, and basically have control of all her facial expressions.
Truthfully, I dread every single surgery for Josie. But, the outcome has always far outweighed the gray hairs I've gained. Her sweet smile is the reason we push forward. We appreciate your prayers and as always, I'll do my best to post as surgery time comes closer. God bless!