Thursday, April 3, 2008


Lee here, Nick's Step Dad...Nick is a stud. Lori and Nick were up at 5:30 this morning after a mostly sleepless night to be at the hospital at 6:30. Unfortunately, they ended up waiting because there weren't any beds in Intensive Care. The hospital was even considering postponing surgery! Bummer. Finally about 9 a.m. they came to take him away. That was o.k. with me because I just arrived from the airport and I was very happy to give him some bones before he kissed his mom. The last view of him as they rolled him off to surgery was with a big smile, a determined look and a "bring it on" attitude.

I have to say that everyone affiliated with the hospital has been exceptional- the doctors, nurses and staff. They keep it pleasant and are very professional. About every 90 minutes they would give us an update. The actual surgery began at 10:15 a.m. and every report was positive. They made an incision from the center of his upper lip up to the nose and then around the right side of his nose up to his eye then along the lower eyelid to the corner of his eye. The optometrist stopped by to let us know that his eye was just fine and she had inserted a small stint (tube) into his right tear duct that drains into his sinus to keep that area clear while it heals. I am sure Nick will be excited when they take it out in about six months.

Five hours to the minute, the surgeon, Dr. Rahbar, shows up to give us his report. I have to say he appeared to be very cautiosly optimistic. He said they took out a bunch of dead gunk and they actually created some windows through the cheek bone so they could clean things out and gather some tissue for biopsies. He also scraped several of the bones to get bone samples for biopsy as well. He said that because of the cancer and/or the radiation there was significant deterioration. The good news was that every thing was consistent. There were no particular areas that differed from other areas. He did say that could be really good or really bad. But, both Lori and I felt that he considered that a very good sign.

He actually remarked that Nick was a good healer and he felt he could be released perhaps as early as this coming Saturday- at least 3-4 days sooner than predicted. He would like to have a post-op on Tuesday and assuming Lori can win the battle with Delta Airlines, and Nick feels up to it, they could actually come home the middle of next week.

Of course we are anxious to see the lab results, but we will probably have to wait at least 7-10 days for the results. Keep your fingeres crossed. When we finally got to see Nick- we certainly expected to see more outside damage. Actually, we were surprised to see how good Nick looks. He was quite groggy- but quickly recovered and they sent him directly to a room without even having to go to ICU. (They had told us earlier he would be in ICU over night).

We knew Nick was coming around when he suddenly asked, "What happened to my underwear? I know I had underwear on when I went into surgery- so who took them off?"

It is obvious to all of us that the power of prayer and positive intentions continues to play a very influential role in Nick's progress. His positive attitude his amplified from the love and support of so many of you. We all feel the strength that comes from literally hundereds of prayers offered in his behalf. For that we are enormously and forever grateful.

Lori is here now and I am sure has some good words and photos to post.

Good night!
Nick - at our pre-op appointment - 6:30 a.m. EASTERN time!

The "rock star" meds are starting to kick in...

4 hours after surgery...

Nothing much more to add except to thank Lee for being here with us. What a day! What a great kid Nick is!
With love,


Chris Ulvin said...

Wow - what an emotional roller coaster 24 hours can hold. I agree with Lee - prayers have been answered. I also appreciated "Obsessed With Life's" perspective of being proud of your scars - It is easy for us to know the outside of a person. Scars let us know a little bit about the inside of a person. Nick, your spirit is shining and your new facial scars will just let the rest of us see the inside Nick better. Love, aunt Chris

Laura A. said...

Nick--you don't know me, but my son, Jacob, is being treated at Primary Children's for ARMS. I've been following your blog and emailed your mom a couple times. I've been praying today and so glad that all went well with the surgery. You look wonderful! Hope you can come home quickly and of course praying that the news will be all good.

Laura Andersen

Jennie said...

So much for having a great story to tell on your scar!! You won't even be able to see it!!! Maybe you can buy a fake one! Soooooo glad things went well. Sounds very positive and you must be very happy that the op is over. May you continue to heal quickly and may you get good results from the biopsy. Chat soon - with love Jennie xx

Blogger Mike said...


I've just read your blog for the first time and the wonderful energy jumps out of the words. Lee told our Strategic Coach class about you and I am glad he did (he's a really neat guy, eh?).

Heal well and quickly! I admire your spirit and the people surrounding you are amazing.

As I read your blog I am reminded of this quote:

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) American Essayist & Poet

We will continue to send you good thoughts.

Take care!

Mike Whitaker
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Caroline said...

Hi Nick,
You look awesome!! So great to get the update so quickly from Lee. We were thinking about you all day yesterday here at the Coach. Here's to the quick recovery :-)
Caroline & Sandra
PS: Are you brave enough to wear your Leafs jersey in the land of the Bruins??

Jay Paterson said...

Hey Skinny!
Nice Scar. The ladies are gonna be beating a path to your door, if they ever get past Lori.

Keep up the great healing and we'll see you soon.

Water temperature in Owen Sound right now, just over 32 Fahrenheit. By Mid July it'll get as high as 66 F. (I just wanted to give you something ELSE to look forward to.)
Love from
Jay and Anne