In an effort to keep everyone updated on Dad’s recovery – we thought it was time to take advantage of this handy little website again. As Dad begins to progress through the next stages in his recovery, Karon will have less time, well, for anything really. SO – as we move forward - she will update us and we will provide you all with the updates here. After all, your thoughts, well wishes & prayers are what get us all through this and Dad on the mend. :-)
I will start with a quick timeline to make sure everyone is on the same page.
· They have been monitoring a spot on his lung for years and years, and it remained unchanged. After 6/7 months of the anti-rejection medications, the tumor had grown significantly enough to raise concern. This is a known risk of the anti-rejection meds, so luckily they were monitoring this very closely, and were able to react quickly. It was determined that removing the lobe in his lung that contained the tumor was the best source of action.
· February 21st: Surgery to remove tumor and area surrounding tumor so that a biopsy could be done. (Lobectomy). Surgery was about 4 hours and is known to be an extremely painful procedure (comparatively I guess worse than heart surgery). He did well through the surgery, and out the gate he confirmed they were right about the painful part.
· 2-3 days post-op, they start bringing him out of sedation and determine that he could be moved out of ICU and then moved in onto a regular floor. 2-3 hours later…they were moving him BACK to ICU and had to put him back under. Breathing tube had to be put back in, and he was back to being sedated. They also discovered at that time that pneumonia had developed in the lung that had the lobe removed.
· February 27th: Dr’s determine at this point the breathing tube via his mouth was not the best route for treatment. So they performed a tracheotomy (small hole at the base of the neck which he can receive air through via a tracheotomy tube rather than the mouth tube) The trach also allows them to test his air intake, strength of his lungs, progress, etc. At this point he is not able to talk – but he will be. As he becomes less dependent of the ventilator, they will start the process of weaning from the tracheotomy tube, and then he can talk. then eventually close off that opening. But they are very adamant that they will take their time with the weaning process
Before they can even start the process of weaning the ventilator and the tube – a series of things have to happen. And we don’t get a timeline of how long each step takes…they want to take as much time as his body needs and are very cautious to jump any steps…Definitely a marathon – not a sprint. :-)
So this basically brings us to where we are today - first, the good news:
* His heart is doing great. * His lungs (even despite the infection) are doing great. * The tumor they removed was Stage 1, and the removal of the tumor is considered the “cure” so he will not need chemotherapy.
The current plan going forward will roughly look like this…
o Stage 1: that is where we are now. getting him off the sedation and out of the “fog”. o Stage 2: Once he is fully awake, they will start evaluating him. This will include tests from all areas – Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, etc. etc. – all to make sure that it is safe to move to the next stage. o Stage 3: Weaning from the trach ventilator. This will also take a while, and requires several levels of testing and assisted therapy. We will share more on that when we get there. (WE ARE HERE) o Stage 4: Rehab rehab rehab o Stage 5: Dad’s planning his next hunting trip. :-)
Couple of reminders/requests… * No visitors for a while * Cards & letters are awesome. Just send them to the house and Karon will take them to him. She has his room decked out with pictures and cards. * No news is good news…we won't have an update every day! When things happen we will update via the journal on this site. * Keep the prayers and good thoughts coming! :-) We really appreciate it!