Saturday, July 31, 2010

This is kind of how Dan feels on percocet...

We're home now!

Lots of people have been asking about the pathology of the nodules they took out. As far as the Timpanogos Regional pathologists could find... there was no live cancer!!!! Dan wants to hold off celebrating until the Huntsman pathologists look at them. They have more experience with sarcoma than community pathologists so we will hold off celebrating until then.

Dan is feeling better everyday. When he lays down he gets relief, but sitting up and standing up are a different story. He has been dealing with this spinal headache because of the CSF leak from his spine. This is slowly getting better, but the nausea and pain are almost unbearable if he's doing anything but laying down. Good thing we don't have any plans for the next couple of days :)

So... does anyone have any good ideas for things Dan can do laying down? Maybe some of you mothers who were bedridden during pregnancy?

We will continue to keep you posted on pathology and Dan's status. Love you all.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BIG Picture: Great News .... Small Picture: The Jury's Still Out

Hello Everyone

Things are looking good here at Timpanogos Regional. It has been up and down, but now we are definitely on an up.

Dr. K was able to find and remove 5 nodules. That's right... he only found FIVE! When you compare that to the 25 he took our the first time in this lung, then you can see we are definitely making some progress. Better still, the surgeon is pretty sure that only one of them was cancer. He thinks the rest of them might just be scar tissue from the last surgery. We don't want to get our hopes up too high for this, but it's hard not to be thrilled at the prospect. We will find out for sure when the pathology report comes in (probably about 3 days).

Okay, so before you say to yourself "lung surgery? piece of cake!" .. let me tell you about yesterday.

Dan decided to get an epidural. Now, he has already had 2 epidurals with both of his previous lung surgeries and they worked great. So, it was a no-brainer deciding to do it again. We are told that the epidural was placed correctly at the beginning of the surgery and the narcotics and numbing meds did great. But sometime during the surgery the epidural punctured the sack that holds the spinal cord. When the anesthesiologist gave Dan his dose of morphine through the epidural to get him through the first couple hours after surgery, it went straight to his spinal cord. So what does this mean? Dan got TEN TIMES the amount of morphine he was supposed to get. Dan stopped breathing so they gave him a syringe of narcan (a drug given to people who overdose on narcotics).

Needless to say, he was a little bit out of it when we saw him. It was quite a show. He was awake, but not at all coherent. When this stage wore off he became extremely tired. But everytime he would drift off to sleep, he would stop breathing. The slow drip of narcan was doing it's best, but he was still extremely overdosed on morphine. For hours and hours yesterday we sat by his bedside watching his chest to make sure it was going up and down. Dan and I had a code. When he would stop breathing, I would squeeze his hand and he would know that he needed to take a breath. This was pretty exhausting for everyone, especially Dan.

Eventually the morphine wore off enough so he could get some rest. Occasionally he still needs reminding, but he is now sleeping well on his own. On the plus side, he was in absolutely no pain yesterday! I'm pretty sure he's not going to feel pain for the next five years!!

Thank you for your prayers. I know that there were angels around him yesterday to protect him from all of the scary things that could have happened. All of his previous surgeries went so perfectly, we were beginning to take that for granted. I'm so grateful to Heavenly Father for hearing all of our prayers. They really worked: Dan is safe, the news of the nodules appears to be fantastic, all is well now.

We love you all. Thank you, thank you for your love and concern.

PS - Maybe later I'll post some of the funny things Dan said yesterday... I'd better get his permission first :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Here We Go!

Surgery #6 is fast-approaching. I can already say that it is tomorrow! Tomorrow, July 26th Dan goes in for a right thoracotomy with metastesis resection. What does that mean? Basically the doctor will deflate his lung, cut him open below his shoulder blades, and spread apart his ribs so that the surgeon can feel every inch of his right lung and take out any cancer nodules that he feels. It's a pretty intense surgery. Dan will wake up with tubes coming out of every part of his body and looking something like this....

With intense pain that requires an epidural, and probably extremely nauseous, with a cut that will eventually look like this...

but he will have a CANCER FREE RIGHT LUNG! So in the end, it will be worth it.

Dan is a stud. I've said that before, but it's so true. I asked him yesterday if he was scared. He said "I'm not scared, I'm ready". Wow. So many times I wish it was me going in for surgery and not him, but then I realize there is now way I could be as brave as him.

So once again we ask for your prayers. I really do feel the power of all your prayers lifting us. Especially on surgery days. The comfort that comes is from Heavenly Father, and it's because you are asking Him on our behalf. I will never be able to say enough thank you's to you for that.