Dr. Pluhar just finished Rilley's surgery and stepped out to give us an update. She let us know that the surgery went really well, however it wasn't a simple as originally thought. Even though we've been calling Rilley's meningioma a "brain tumour", it technically is not.
It is a tumour of the brain lining called the meninges and a grade 1 meningioma simply pushes the brain tissue out of the way as it grows. Don't misunderstand, because the brain cavity is a sealed camber, any invading tissue will put increased pressure on the brain itself and as it grows larger it will begin to cause brain cells become damaged.
What was discovered during surgery today was that the meningioma was deeper into Rilley's brain had begun to attach itself brain to his brain cells. It is still classified as a meningioma, but will most likely be a grade 2 or 3 tumour and as the numbers suggest a more severe one at that. What this all means is that the surgical team could not simply go in and lift it out. They had to be careful to remove as much of the tumour cells as possible.
Rilley has now been taken to the MRI suite to have a scan in order to check if the surgeons were successful in removing all of his tumour cells. Fortunately, his specific tumour responds well to the contrast agent that they use and any remaining tumour cells will glow a bright white on the scan. If there is a small amount of remaining tumour cells, Dr. Pluhar is not concerned as the vaccine that Dr. Ohlfests team will produce enables Rilley's immune system to attack the remaining cells and kill them off.
We will get a chance to see Rilley as they wheel him from MRI to the Intensive Care Unit and the blog will be updated once we hear what the MRI shows.
Roy and Sara.