Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Beginning

Well I said that I would never blog, but I also never thought we would be in this situation. We will use this blog as a way to update everyone on the latest status of Carly's health. We are visualizing her with a healthy brain and are surrounding her with positive thoughts and energy. All we ask of you is to do the same.

Here is how we got to where we are today:
On Friday September 12 we went to a last minute appointment with a developmental specialist at UCSF to make sure Carly was on track. We had a few concerns about her gross motor development and thought we might need a few exercises to help her in that area. While we were there they recommended an ultrasound of her brain to make sure all was good there. What they found, and what was later verified with an MRI, was a tumor about the size of a plum in the center part of her brain. This is a very large tumor for anyone, particularly a little girl.

We were admitted to the hospital that day and on Tuesday the 16th they performed a biopsy to get a small piece of the tumor to determine exactly what it is. The surgery took about one hour, and Carly recovered really well afterward. Blood labs have shown that all of her hormone levels are normal which means that she has normal pituitary function at this time (the tumor is right on top of this important gland.) Yesterday, Wednesday the 17th, we were discharged from the hospital and allowed to go home to rest and recover. In times like this you become thankful for little things, and we are thankful to be home.

The good news:
Carly is not in pain, and is acting like her cute little self. The fontanelle on her head has not closed yet, which means that the pressure on the brain from the tumor is being released. She has not suffered any brain damage (the brain is squished, but not damaged or bleeding). UCSF Children's Hospital is one of the 8 Pediatric Brain Tumor Centers in the US. Carly's doctor is the Chief of Pediatric Neurological Surgery and a renowned expert in pediatric brain tumors. The hospital is within walking distance of our home and we are surrounded by loving friends and family. In all, Carly couldn't be receiving better care or love.

What's next:
We are now waiting for final pathology results from the biopsy. They gave us immediate feedback on Tuesday, but will not be 100% certain of the tumor type until they finish additional tests. These tests will most likely be completed by this Friday, and they will meet with us to discuss the results. The results will determine whether Carly will have surgery next, or whether she will have chemotherapy to attempt to shrink the tumor prior to surgery. Either way, one of these treatments will begin in 2-4 weeks. In the meantime we will continue to fill Carly with loving energy, envision her brain healthy and take it day by day. Thanks to everyone for your love and support, we are grateful to have such an amazing group of family and friends.

Love, Brad


Michele said...

Brad, Christy, and especially Carly,

We are sending all the positive vibes we can muster your way.

Michele, Bill & kai

carrie said...

Brad,Christa and Cutey little Carly-
All of my love, light and energy will be focused on you two and your beautiful little girl.

Take care and huge hugs!

Catherine said...

Love you guys and thinking positive thoughts for you and Carly!

Love, Catherine

Betsy said...

B, C and c,

Thinking good thoughts for the whole fam!

Love and hugs,

kdogluv said...

We're sending all of our love to sweet little Carly. Please let us know if you need anything...

Jill said...

Thinking of you all constantly with kind, loving, healing thoughts.


SAHM said...

Much love and many prayers coming from us in Oklahoma and we will be spreading the word. What a sweetie she is! Thanks for sharing the news with us. Love, Rob, Krista, and Family

yertle said...

Much love and positive energy for you all.

Julia F said...

Sending all my love and positivity over to Carly

Love you all

Robin said...

Hey Brad, Christa, and l'il Carly...

Just wanted to send you all my love. I'm keeping you guys and sweet little Carley in my thoughts.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

Darlings, Brad and Christa and precious Carly, You don't know me, but I am praying for you each day. We heard about you through Ashley's mom and dad. I like the idea of visualizing a healthy brain, I have been picturing God's arm around Carly with his aura healing her.

Our babies are our most precious gifts from Him. We send you the most loving and healing prayers. You are doing all the best things for your baby girl and trusting God is the best of all.

God Bless you, Tina and George McFarlin

Abbey said...

We will continue to think about your little girl daily and send her every ounce of strength and positive thoughts that we have.


mayav said...

Brad and Christa,
Your beautiful daughter, Carly, is definitely a fighter; I could see it in her face. She will come out of this even stronger and with more love surrounding her than ever before.
Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make this time easier for you.
Maya and Paulo and the V11 family

Janis said...

Caring and positive thoughts are coming your way from Janis!

Sarah said...

we love you three so much! all of our positive energy and vibes are being sent to little *~carly~*

love sarah & matt

Jason said...

Sending tremendous amount of love, prayers, positive thoughts and support to Carly, Brad, Christa and family.

Love, Karen and Jason

Jen Stull said...

Brad, Christa and Carly,

Tim and I are keeping your sweet family in our constant thoughts and prayers. She sounds like she is in good hands and surrounded with loving parents and family! Much positive energy coming your way from us!

Jen (Buchweitz) and Tim Stull

srinka said...

Brad, Christa & darling Carly,

All our love, positive energy and health to all 3 of you.
srinka, jack & kiri

Patricia P said...

Brad and Christa,

Wishing you strength during this challenging time. You have wonderful energy and support surrounding you and Carly. I will keep her in my thoughts as I imagine a bright little girl with a healthy growing brain.


Marybeth said...

Brad, Christa & Carly,
We are sending positive energy, healing thoughts and our love to you.
Much love, Marybeth & Matt

Kara Miller-Ketterer said...

Dear Brad, Christa, and Carly,
I am thinking optimistically, and thinking and praying for all 3 of you. I will continue to try to send you as much positive energy as I can.

Kara (Joan and Harold's granddaughter)

Andrea Conklin said...

You are in my thoughts and in my heart. Much love to all of you. xoxo, Andrea

percasey said...

Hi Brad and Christa,
We're sending our best vibes to Carly and both of you from OR.

Did Carly check out the SF Widespread Panic show in August? It doesn't look like they'll be coming back for a while but I'm sure she's planning on hitting Denver for New Year's. Maybe she'd like a Jojo bobblehead for Christmas.

All our love,
Per, Kit, Ana, PO and Wilbur

Anonymous said...

Brad, Christy.Carly and the entire family.
My heart goes out to each of you. But there is no better place than UCSF. I know the waiting and uncertainty are extremely difficult but know that God has each of you in His heart and will accomodate every need. Know also that each of you is being lifted up in prayers regularly by myself and my fellow prayer warriors in Georgia! Love and blessings to all! Ann Hollingsworth

Marina said...

Ryan and I are sending all the SOCAL sunshine your way! You are in our thoughts everyday. Love you!
Marina and Ryan

jenny said...

Brad, Christa and sweet Carly,
We have been thinking about you everyday since we heard the news. We are sending a bundle of positive energy directly from Ann Arbor.We wish we could come and transfer it directly to all of you.
May you have patience and strength in the upcoming weeks.
Hugs to all of you!
Jenny ,Will, Kate,Tess and MC

Margaret said...

Dear Carly,

We are friends of your grandparents from Douglas Lake. We're thinking about you constantly and wishing you our best. We look forward to meeting you sometime.

Margaret and Howie Gilbertson

Rick said...

My heart and prayers are with you all. Please let us know if you need anything.. we're always here for you.

Big hugs to the little c.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brad, Christa and Carly,
You are all in my prayers and all the positive energy and peace are being sent to you. God is with you each moment at this time and giving you the extra strength that is needed. Little Carly is blessed to have a strong and loving family behind her.
Love, Kay Springer

Anonymous said...

Brad, Christa, and Carly,
Sending optimism, strength and love to get you through this difficult time. Our prayers go out to you today and every day...

Much love,
Erika, David, Maya & Evan Nemer

Debby said...

Dear little Carly Grace:

You are in my thoughts and prayers! Sending strength and love to you and your family from Debby in Traverse City, Michigan (back in the 70s I was a student of your grandpa's back at Purdue)

Anonymous said...

I don't want to scare you away with my Berkeley-esque woo-woo-ness but have you heard of "family constellations" or "emotional inheritance"? In Family Constellation work, a... guide... works with what's been coined the "family soul." The goal seems to be to bring any "entanglements" into awareness. This acknowledgement, accompanied by a working out of a "re-solution" is hugely healing, in my experience. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Your girl is gorgeous.
- liz @

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but I read your story and wanted to send all my positive energy , thoughts and prayers to you and your family but mostly specially to your darlin little girl Carly..

From Carolyn in Newfoundland, Canada

Martin said...

Hello Carly,
my name is Martin Schumann and I'm working with your father. My thoughts will be with you for all the next weeks. I hope you get well soon, so that I maybe can meet you one day at a Velocity11 BBQ :-)


Anonymous said...

Brad, Christa, and Carly,

I heard about Carly's condition and I am so sorry your family has to go through all of this. Your family is in my thoughts and I am sending positive energy your way. These things are never easy, but your wonderful, optomistic attitude will help so much. Carly is so lucky to have parents who love her so much and take care of her so well. I wish you only the very best.

Stephanie (your optometrist)

Anonymous said...


perhaps some inspiration.

All the best.

Richard / Germany

Delledera Family said...

Dear Nelson Family,
I have read most of the blog and our family is so grateful that the surgery went well. We have been keeping little Carly in our prayers. The pictures are adorable and she is a very cute baby. We pray that her road to recovery will be fast and all will be well for her in the future. KISSES for the baby, SMILES for the parents, and a HUG and LAUGH to the grandpa for whom I work with. :) Sending more positive energy your way and will continue our prayers!

With love,

The Delledera Family:
Steven, Migdalia, Tatiana, Rebekah, Daniella, and Grandma Olivia

Doug said...

Our thoughts are with you.

Doug, Stacy, Jack, & Alyssa.

William Callahan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meredith Callahan said...

Dear Brad and Christy,

This is Catherine's mom. We met in the hospital when Catherine was there. She sent me the link to your blog. I think about you quite a lot and think you are amazing parents to a beautiful girl. I love all of the photos of your lovely Carly. I'm sending lots of positive thoughts from Boulder.

Take care,
Meredith Callahan