Greetings to all! Well, we arrived home from our appointments at Texas Children's hospital yesterday evening and I promised you guys an update. First and foremost, thank you all for the prayers and support, our family could not do it without yall. It is truly overwhelming to Ali and I the way that our family and friends have rallied with wagons around us during this difficult journey.
We got to the hospital about 8:30am and we're quickly brought to the back where Cate would be sedated for her testing. She was a little cranky because she hadn't eaten since 4:30am, you know us Cantrell's, you can take alot away from us, but don't mess with our food. She took the medicine like a champ and within minutes was sleeping like a baby, haha, cause she IS A BABY! We were then taken to the room where the Echocardiogram would be performed, the gentleman who did the testing was very nice and explained everything we were looking at, and somehow we still didn't always understand his medical lingo, but we definitely had a better idea of what was going on. Cate was originally diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot and an Incomplete AV canal. After the echo yesterday they were able to determine that she did not have Incomplete AV canal and the her Tetraology was a mild form, all good news for which we thank and praise God, who is so faithful!!! After about an hour of taking pictures of her heart they finished up the Echo and quickly did an EKG on her. By this time the sedation was starting to wear off and she was waking up. We brought her back to the room where they gave her medicine originally and she was able to eat. She quickly sucked down a cold bottle, bless her heart and went back to sleep. They then took a couple of chest X-rays and ushered us into and examination room where we were going to meet with the Cardiologist. He came in and sat down with us and began explaining all the results of Cate's tests. He was very clear about what was going on and like any good cardiologist drew us some pictures on a napkin. He then said we could begin the process of scheduling Cate for surgery. Because she is doing so well there is no immediate rush to surgery, which we were grateful to hear. We asked what surgery would entail and he began explaining the process. Since, Cate's birth we have always "known" that she would have to have surgery. It was just alot different yesterday hearing the seriousness of the surgery. It’s hard to hear the stark reality of what will happen to your child and what she will have to go through at such a young age.
We felt good as we left that we had a plan and that things were going to get rolling to get baby Cate's heart working better. But, it was a quiet ride home for Ali and I. It is just so much to rap your head around that it truly seems overwhelming at moments. We learned yesterday that Cate will spend 3 to 4 weeks in the hospital in Texas and that is if everything goes smoothly. That the shock on her body will take longer to get over than we had originally thought, realized, or allowed ourselves to think about. We have sheltered Ella and Dude from Cate's condition because we did not feel that it was something that they needed to worry their 4 and 3 year old minds about, right now. Well, now we have to let them in, age appropriately, because Mommy, Daddy, and Cate, will not be around everyday, as they have been. Questions began to fill my mind, Where will we stay, what will I do about my job, what about our other two children, how will they deal with this, how will Cate's little heart and body handle the surgery? All questions that have to be answered in due time. Ali and I sat in the quiet of trying to process all of this as we drove home yesterday. We know that the answers will come in their right time. We know that God will give us the wisdom to make the right decisions for Cate, for Ella and Dude, and for each other. It is a gift that we are not having to make these decisions in an emergency situation, but we have time to seek the face of God and what His plan is for our family. We have time to seek counsel, from people who work with children whose families are in difficult situations. We have time to talk to our parents about how the logistics will work with Ella and Dude. All in God's time the questions will be answered. He has brought us and Cate this far, our Faith and Hope are in Him who strengthens us and makes all things possible. The path was laid out for us yesterday, know it is time to start coming up with a strategy.
We ask of you, our family and friends, to pray for Ali and I, that we may seek God's desires for our family first and not act on emotion or pressure. That we may seek His wisdom and the wisdom of others that He puts into our life to aid us on this journey. I ask that you pray for Ella and Dude, that they can wrap their little heads and hearts around what our little family will endure as we journey together through this. And finally I ask that you especially pray for Baby Cate, that this surgery go well, with no complications, and that she can return to our family quickly and healthy. We know that we have a tough road to travel ahead of us, but we know that no matter what, God's grace is enough. We love you and thank you for your support and encouragement of our family!