Monday, November 28, 2005

Hemangioma Birthmarks-Lexi's Story

One thing I wanted to talk about on my blog was Lexi's birthmarks. They were very pronounced when she was younger and now the one left is shrinking. When they started to come to the surface of her skin I was so surprised. They were not there at birth and when she was about 1- 2 months old started to show. Her Aunt Karen called them her special rubies. She had about 6-7 of the BRIGHT red strawberry marks on her hands, head, leg, tummy. The description of those are:

Strawberry Hemangioma Vascular malformation. Red, soft, raised appearance. Size varies. May be present at birth or first few weeks thereafter. Will grow, but start to fade (involute), turn grey in color. Usually disappear between ages 5-10. Surgery might be necessary to remove – depending on size and location of lesion. Other treatments - compression and massage, steroids, X-ray therapy, laser therapy, cryotherapy, or injection of hardening agents.

She also had a big and very noticable one under the skin on her
cheek/neck area. It's called a:

Cavernous Hemangioma Bluish or bluish-red in color. Lumpy mass. Borders not visible as with other hemangiomas. Grows fast during first 6 months- then slows 95% disappear
by 10-12 years of age.
Treatments are the same as for strawberry hemangioma.

People used to stop me and ask me what was wrong with my baby. It made me feel so self conscious because on a daily basis I had really forgot how big it had gotten. One day at Wal Mart I had a lady come up to me with tears in her eyes. She placed her hand on my arm and said she wanted to pray for my baby with me. Even though it sounds INSANE I bowed my head and prayed with her.

We took Lexi to the doctor for an ultrasound of her internal organs making sure there were not any growing inside and thankfully there were none. Although I love and trust her Pediatrician I asked for referralal to a specialist. We took a trip to Oakland Kaiser and saw a very nice doctor who measured her cheek/neck and really gave us hope that it would shrink and if it didn't plastic surgery when she got older would be acceptable.
It continued to grow and her strawberry's stayed bright red for the first 2 years of her life. When she was sick her cheek/neck would be so hot to the touch. It would also get bigger when she was sick and that was a sure sign she didn't have just a cold but a flu or other sickness. The worst time was when she had the chicken pox. She looked miserable. I will be posting photos as soon as I get them all together. Everytime we took her to the doctor the check in nurse would ask "What's the growth on her neck?" UMMM Hello we have been here numerous times and your still asking? :-)

Now that she's 5 they have all but faded. There is still some loose skin on her cheek/neck but it's hardly noticeable anymore. It's amazing that she had BRIGHT red spots on her and now you can't even see them. The one on her tummy is still there but not nearly as pronounced.

This isn't the biggest and most horrible thing that could of happened to one of my children. We are extremely thankful for that. When I was researching this health topic I would get online and try to find all the before/after photos that I could. It gave me hope. I want to post Lexi's photos for parents that are just beginning the journey.

Be sure to bookmark this blog and check back soon!!! Thanks for reading if
you got this far!!!

1 comment:

The Farley Family said...

Thanks for sharing your story. My son has a decent sized hemangioma on his forehead and we have decided to wait and see until he is 5. I am glad to know someone else that did not rush to surgery or laser if it wasn't medically necessary.