As with a lot of online groups, there is a great mix of people in some of our nevus support groups. People from all different countries, all walks of life, with contrasting attitudes, different upbringings, diverse outlooks on life. We all parent different to one another and we all have individual personalities. So it probably doesn't come as a surprise to tell you that sometimes there can be big disagreements on some of those forums. The most common argument is removal versus non-removal. As you can imagine, this is an incredibly difficult decision for any parent to make. First you are given a baby who isn't as we expected (and ALL babies are different! We all know they don't come with a handbook!), and you have to deal with that in itself. Then, most people are given the option of choosing to either leave the nevus and monitor it, or to use a removal process - generally either using skin expanders (implanting an expander under the 'good' skin, expanding it over time then taking the expander out, removing nevus skin and replacing with the new skin), curettage (scraping of the skin), laser, or sometimes grafts.
None of these are an easy option. Every option we choose comes with it's negatives and positives. I don't think any parent makes the decision lightly, and I believe we are each making what we consider to be the best choice for our child. As I said at the start of this post, we are all different. I think we make our choices based on many factors - our country where we live and our society, our support system, our doctor's recommendations, our beliefs, our own confidence and fears, where on the body the nevus is and the size of it, and our doctor's reactions when our babies are born, amongst other things.
We are all different people (sorry, there's that word again! :P) and need to respect each other accordingly. Our nevus community is so small in this huge world and it always saddens me to see others arguing over the 'best choice' - there IS no best choice. There is no clear cut of what to do. Sometimes I am still unsure if we made the right choice by not pursuing removal processes more with the doctors. One day Olive might tell me she wishes we had removed it when she was younger, or she may wish to go down that route as she gets older. For now, as her parents, we are just doing the best we can....I hope others can see that, and to also recognise it in all the other parents who have been placed on this similar path.
On a brighter note, is that because of Olive, I have met a whole new world of people, most of whom are just amazing. They are inspirational and positive and have provided me with so much support and information and smiles over the last two years. Thank you, my 'nevus family'!!
And another bright note, we have hit our fundraising goal!! Thanks to the wonderful generosity of friends, family, and members of the public (all with beautiful hearts!) we are so stoked to announce WE'RE GOING TO ADELAIDE BABY!!
The kids are super excited and we have concreted the milestone by paying the deposit on our accommodation. Can. Not. Wait.
We have a few fundraising events coming up to try to raise the rest of the funds necessary - a bowlathon in May and a karaoke night in June. If anyone is keen on either of these, please get in touch with me through here.
Donations are still going, even though the target has been met (target was for the basics - flights, accommodation and passports) so if anybody still wants to donate, you can do so here: