Thursday, July 16, 2009

Surgery Update

Nick and I were up early and checked in the hospital by 6:00 a.m. Fairy Godmother, Jennie, actually beat us there and sat with us until they wheeled him off at 7:15. Nick's dad and I sent him away with kisses and love. We received two phone calls over the next few hours from the operating room until finally Dr. Mulvihill arrived to give us the update at 12:30.

The surgery took well over four hours. He successfully removed about half of his pancreas intact, with the tumor appearing to be mostly comprised of scar tissue. This means Nick responded extremely well to the chemo. The spleen was a little more difficult to remove because of all the blood vessels attached to it. He also had to remove a portion of the lining of Nick's colon (upper intestines). He was able to obtain an inch of clean margins around the tumor, which is also great news. He is concerned with several enlarged lymph nodes surrounding the tumor (which were also removed). May be cancerous, but also may be due to the activity in the pancreas. We should have the pathology report back on Tuesday. Once Jennie knew Nick's surgery was successful, she had to leave while the other Fairy Godmother, Denise, stayed for the rest of the afternoon, along with Lee, Carly & Kelsey.

Nick is now on the 5th floor and will probably be here for two nights. They wheeled him in to his new room (#5509) and he was obviously in pain. As I watched the nurses unplug and plug in several lines and tubes, I couldn't hold back the tears any longer. Thankfully, Carly joined me and then Nick was emotional as well. I stood by his side, holding his arm. As the nurse checked out his incisions, I began to sweat. The nurse asked Nick if he felt nauseous and I said "yes". Many of you may not know this about me, but if I see anyone in pain or if I see blood or a wound, I faint. I know. Ridiculous. Lee could see that my knees were buckling as I leaned heavily on the bed rail. He stood beside me and gently suggested I sit for a bit. I did and I felt much better - what a wuss. Meanwhile, Nick's pain is still a 5 out of 10; Carly is by his side practicing her nursing skills handing Nick little sponges on a stick dipped in ice water. He can't drink anything for two days!

On a humorous note, Carly wanted to see Nick's incision (I stepped into the hallway). His dad, Lee, Kelsey & Denise all stood around the bed to see, too. His dad folded his hospital gown down, but got a little too close for Nick's comfort, as his eyes flew open wide and he said, "Hey, easy, easy, easy!" They almost got to know Nick in a very uncomfortable anatomical way.

That's it for now. Thanks for all the prayers!



Bo said...

Glad to hear the surgery went well. Bo

Jay Paterson said...

Thanks for the update.
We're with Bo, glad to hear the surgery went well.
Love and hugs from up North...,
and Nick, when you are back up here, you really don't have to lift you gown to show us the scars!
Jay and Anne and Family

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Nick
I was curious to learn what my study Bible would say about modesty. It directed me to 1 Corinthians 12:21-26 which talks about the parts of the body. Anyway - it made me reflect on the different members (parts) of your family and how everyone serves an important role in your journey as a rhabdo fighter. Please give each of them a hug from me - they are God's hands in your hospital room - and I'm glad your dad stopped before revealing "parts that are unpresentable".
Love, aunt Chris