Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Update, Part II, III, IV ...

So then...

Yesterday morning on our way to the hospital to get Nick's tummy procedure done, Dr. Lambert called again. She asked Nick to call her assistant to give her the insurance info so he can get pre-approval, etc., getting all our little ducks in order. So he did.

The procedure was a breeze, again I did not watch. They only drained 3 litres this time and he felt immediately better. We dropped off coconut bread to all of our favorite nurses on the 2nd floor with everyone wishing Nick good luck in surgery. After a much deserved late breakfast, he was back home in bed sleeping like a baby as I was finally able to go back to work for a few hours.

On my way home, again at 4:45 p.m., Dr. Lambert called. This time she said she was still having concerns with the surgery, even after hearing back from Dr. A, and now wanted to talk to Dr. Gouw, Nick's oncologist. She feels the surgery may be just palliative, not giving Nick enough benefit to offset such a huge surgery. She asked if I would coordinate a phone call between her and Dr. Gouw and I said sure. I also said we are all guessing at this point. She said if we are all equally guessing, she is up to the surgery if Nick is. I called Dr. Gouw's nurse, Katie, and she would arrange the call. But as I walked in the house, Nick called for me from his bedroom and dropped a bomb - he found another lump in his abdomen. He thinks he could feel it now that his tummy had been drained. I felt it, too. He asked me to set up a scan, and off I went to call Katie again. Because Nick is allergic to CT contrast, he has to be premedicated 13 hours in advance. We went ahead and had him start taking his premeds at midnight, being optimistic in getting a CT scheduled for noon Wednesday. Dr. Lambert called again at 7:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. her time) asking if Dr. Gouw was going to call her. I said he was going to call tomorrow and she said that was unfortunate as she would be in a 20 hour surgery Wednesday. 20 hours? But she said he could give her a call on her cell and when she took a break, she'd call him. Hmm. Respect for her growing by the minute.

Sure enough, Nick was scheduled for CT scan at noon today, but we had to be in at 10:30 for him to start the oral contrast. Meeting with Dr. Gouw scheduled for 2:30 to review results which actually turned into 3:30. Lee, Nick and I met with Dr. Gouw and Katie - and I quote Dr. Gouw's words, "The cancer has come back with a vengeance." Dr. Gouw spoke to Dr. Lambert and the surgery is officially canceled and will not be reconsidered, with an exception of emergency complications. Within just 2 weeks, those nasty little "peppercorns" have been growing like crazy throughout his entire abdomen. The good news is that none of his organs, including his lungs, have been infiltrated.

Nick will begin chemo on Monday - the first round taking about 6 hours, out-patient, with 3 different chemos. He'll have his second round Jan 10th with 2 completely different chemos - just like last August & September. Dr. Gouw is also researching a couple of clinical trials to coincide with Nick's treatment.

Shell shocked again, yet so very thankful we'll be home for Christmas and Nick should be feeling ok until the week after Christmas. Nick's biggest concern is not knowing if he'll be able to be a camp director for First Descents this summer. Now he is back trying to make arrangements to ride a bull before Monday's chemo. I'm going to watch "Elf" again. And so to end on a humorous note, here is the cartoon we saw in the radiation waiting room today that Nick thought was hilarious:

Good night, everyone.
Love Lori


Peter said...

Love and prayers are sent your way....Those nurses were lucky to get your coconut bread.....

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how quickly plans change. Nick, you've responded really well to the chemo so Plan B is now in action. Get those tumors back to "peppercorns". Bull riding - Hmmmm! Video & pictures please. Lots of love & light coming your way. GM Jennie xx

Lorin Decker Buck said...

My heart goes out to you. I feel so sad reading about these latest developments. So much for you and your family to absorb and process this close to Christmas.

It's excruciating not knowing from hour to hour what your next move should be. But you are doing everything possible for Nick and intelligently weighing input from many compassionate experts. You're doing a tremendous job, and Nick is so strong.

Keeping you close in thought and prayers,

Anonymous said...

Not a great Christmas season all the way around. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. You all are still the biggest inspiration I've got!!

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Nick
I love your perspective - keep planning and preparing to be a Camp Director for First Descents. That is what Buzz Lightyear would do. That is what our awesome Lord does!
I have a request for those checking Nick's blogspot and reading the comments. Please find a church to attend on Christmas Eve. Please ask for a miracle in Nick. We celebrate the miracle of Christmas these 2000 years later. Asking for 50 more years for Nick is not unreasonable. Thank you. May God bless all who love Nick. Amen.
Love, aunt Chris

Jay Paterson said...

Hey Skinny,
Love your sense of humour!

I suspect the easy part of bull ridin' is getting on the bull. I also suspect that landing, ...softly, is extremely difficult.

I can guarantee you one thing in life, it'll never be me riding the bull. Shooting the bull, probably, but never riding.

Now for some local news, just to keep you informed on the goings on in the rest of the world. We had a particularly wild north wind up here in Canada, that blew southerly across the great lakes, fuelled by the warm water and dumped 7 FEET of fresh snow on our shore last Friday, 2 more feet on Saturday, and a few more feet this last week. Worst hit was a town called LUCAN. Even you with those spider arms couldn't reach the top of the pile.

Santa and all the reindeer are gonna be delayed a while trying to shovel down to the chimneys.

From all of us up here, buried in the snowbanks, we wish you and the entire family a wonderful Christmas, a great experience bull riding, and a wonderful New Year.

Lotsa Love from Canada