June 12, 2021
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Todd's surgery today went good. We arrived around 11:00 and we were home around 3:00. Todd was under a light sedation as they removed the couple growths in his urethra and since we've been home he has been resting, napping and watching Hockey (he is so pump with a couple different games every night). The doctor was not worried about these growths but they are doing a biopsy on them to make sure they were not cancer. We won't find out the results of the biopsy for about a week. So we are hoping to get the results on Todd's "My Chart" medical on-line account versus a telephone call from his Doctor. (post on his on-line account - good news, a phone call from his doctor - eeeek not so good news). Todd's doctor also said he is amazed at how well Todd has been doing from the beginning of this whole neobladder surgery and hope this is his only bump in the road to have to deal with. His doctor also said it would be fine for Todd to go to Florida - so bright and early this Friday morning (yep in 2 days) Todd is headed down to Florida with 3 buddies to go do some off shore fishing (good thing for our hot hot weather to prep him for Florida weather this time of year hehehe). Todd is so happy he is still able to go. Him and his buddies have been planning this trip for a long time. I will check back once we have the biopsy results and hopefully some good pictures of his big fish. Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers - they worked for a good surgery - now to keep them working for the biopsy results. Until next time everyone!!!!! Stay COOL!!!!
Todd, DeeDee, Rebekah & Alayna
It has been a VERY long time since my last update and Todd has been doing pretty good (so to speak), life has been busy busy busy. So here it goes……. Todd was anxious to go back to work - he was feeling so good and getting bored at home. Tempted and wanting to do a lot more than he should at home, He went back to work May 10 with the doctor’s approval and work has been going good. Right now he has a bump in the road of healing. You see, his neobladder and urinating was going great and working awesome and he was voiding by himself great until about a week before going back to work (so a month ago now). He couldn’t void on his own anymore and had to catheter every time he need to go to the bathroom. He called his doctor, had some tests run to make sure there was nothing major going on (infection, neobladder issues etc.). The urine test and blood work test came back normal range and nothing alerted his doctor. “Nothing concerning, nothing alerting???” Well in medical terms nothing ---- in Todd terms this is HUGE – he can’t go to the bathroom except by cathetering. Anyhow, his doctor did not seem to worried that he had to cath all the time (at least he can still empty his bladder – which sucks – but had to be done). The doctor wanted to do a scope to see exactly what is going on and the first time he could get in was May 27 (now this is approximately 4 weeks to wait and continue to catheter every time). At this appointment they performed a scope of his neobladder and looked around at how things were healing. As the doctor started the scope – he saw right away why Todd stopped voiding on his own. The Doctor saw a few growths in his urethra that caused a blockage but did make the comment that his neobladder looks great, and was healing great. As to the size of these growths – no clue but doesn’t take much to plug a urethra. These growths will need to be surgically removed. This is a day surgery and set for June 9th. His doctor didn’t seem too worried or rushed about taking these growths out since Todd’s pet-scan before his major surgery showed NOTHING anywhere else and Todd’s pathology report after surgery came back clean. The doctor assumes they are nothing but “growths” of some sort. Of course they will perform a biopsy and find out what they are and if for sure they are not cancer. So naturally and as you can guess I have been saying a lot of extra prayers and talking to my new angel – my dad (who passed in April) to pull a few strings up above so the tests come back negative to cancer and all heals good. Ups and downs, good days, bad days and bumps in the road are expected so we take them head on, deal with them and continue life as it is handed to us. Until next week and after his surgery stay cool – going to be HOT HOT HOT these next couple of days!!!! Thank you all for continued thoughts, prayers, inquiries and support. We really appreciate each and every one of you!
Todd, DeeDee, Bekah & Alayna
Another great doctor appointment for Todd. OK maybe more details than some want but again – we are dealing with bladder cancer. SO here it goes – hehehe - Todd was able to get his Foley Catheter removed this morning – YEEE HAAAA HE IS TUBE FREEEEEEE and peeing like a man!!! Now before the Physician’s Assistant took out his catheter, she filled his bladder with saline for him to urinate out – they measured what they put in and what he voids to make sure he gets it all out. She removed his catheter, he had to pee, on his own, to see how much he emptied his new bladder with his stomach muscles, then he learned to self catheter the rest to make sure he emptied his bladder completely. Well he did AWESOME. He completely emptied his new bladder by himself as nothing more came out when he used the catheter. He has to continue this process every 3 hours (even through the night) for the next week at least (maybe two) making sure he empties out each time and journal the amounts for his Doctors. The P.A. was impressed he was able to completely empty his new bladder on his own the very first time. She mentioned if he continues to get zero out of the cath each time, he should call her and she will probably let him stop self cathetering – he is shooting/hoping working towards being done cathetering in one week. Now he is doing GREAT but not over doing - nor is he pushing himself too much. I am so proud of him and how well he is doing it is just amazing. We went for our first “tube free” walk this afternoon and he was reminded that his body is still healing because he tired easily with walking a few blocks. So as he heals we will walk more and more to build up his strength again as well. Oh yea and he is not shaving until he goes back to work either.
Thanks again for all your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, meals, gift cards, calls, cards etc etc etc – they truly were a huge help during this process. We appreciate each and every gesture no matter what it was. Until next time – Stay healthy.
Love – Todd, DeeDee, Rebekah & Alayna
Well another successful doctor’s trip today. We started the day with an 8:00am CT scan at Regions to make sure Todd's new bladder was healing good, sealed up and not leaking. Then from that appointment we went to his surgeons office to see dr Lavien's assistant (dr Lavien is the neobladder surgeon who built Todd's new bladder).. At this appointment we had a few questions. Can he get a Covid shot? Yes....... Can you take out a couple missed stitches from his JP drain......yes. Why do you think his abdomen seems distended and firm? May be some swelling and healing from surgery yet ..... which makes sense.....
Anyhow, the Assistant said Todd was healing great, the CT scan looked great (all sealed, healing and most important - no leaks). Todd all around still doing great. With that news she said we will take out his super pubic catheter. Now before this happened, he mentioned he/we were a little apprehensive about taking out his Super Pubic Catheter since that was the one that seemed to be draining/working best. His Foley (main catheter) didn’t seem to drain much. She mentioned that it could be in the positioning of the catheter. She decided to change out his Foley first and make sure it was working properly before removing the Super Pubic. So she changed it and BAM what a difference. It was working and draining properly. (big sigh of relief). Now we felt more comfortable about removing the super pubic cath. When she removed the super pubic catheter there was a lot of fluids that drained out that spot - I mean A LOT – we think it surprised the Assistant as well. She kept grabbing bed pads (chucks) to absorb the draining, put pressure on his stomach area to keep draining it as best she could until it slowed down. She said it was not urine (which was a good thing) but fluids from his abdominal scraping, removal of all his lymph nodes, surgery etc. She said his body would have eventually absorbed the fluids but we were glad they drained out. With these extra fluids drained out, his distended hard stomach felt much better, looked better and a lot less pressure which caused a lot of uncomfortable pain when sitting in a chair up right or bending. We could actually see his stomach area loosen up and relax from being distended. Amazing!!.
So he is on the good track of healing and healing as expected. One more tube down, one final tube to go. I get they can’t remove both at the same time as they are making sure he continues to heal before removing his Foley Catheter. We now need to wait a week or so to let the area from his Super Pubic Catheter heal, then we get his Foley catheter out. Once that happens he will be FREEEEEEEEE and not have his little buddy bags to carry around BUT he will be working hard at adjusting to his new way of life - getting used to working, using and emptying his new bladder. What seems like small steps each day, end up huge leaps once you look back! He is post surgery of 4 weeks already.
With continued THANK YOUS to everyone for everything - Have a very blessed and Happy Easter – we sure will!
Love Todd, DeeDee, Rebekah & Alayna!!
Well I know I have not written in a while but the saying goes “no news ---is good news”. That is how everything is going – actually great. He only has a little nerve healing pain and that is getting better every day. He has walked more and more on the treadmill and had his Midline I.V. taken out of his arm this past Wednesday – yea one less “tube” coming out of his body. We have a Doctor appointment March 30 with his neobladder surgeon Dr. Lavien and are hoping the tests will tell the doctors that his neobladder is healing or healed good enough to take out at least one catheter but praying for both to be removed. Stay tuned – I will update after his doctor appointment.
Thanks again for all your thoughts, prayers, cards, texts, calls etc etc etc of good wishes. Until next week!!!!!
Love Todd, DeeDee, Rebekah & Alayna
BEST DAY EVER!!!!
Todd and I went to his post-op appointment for a checkup – he is doing awesome to say the least! The doctors said they are just amazed that he is doing so good and was able to go home 5 days after this major surgery. They admitted that hardly ever happens – well????? that is his attitude to do whatever he needs to do to get the hell out of the hospital. Besides his little ER trip the day after he got home, he has really been doing great. I see him getting stronger and stronger every day and less and less sore as well.
Now back to his post-op: The doctor he saw said he looked great, asked a few more questions to make sure all was good and then took out his 50+++ staples all over his stomach - there were a few he winced with when she tried to take them out but they are all out. He still has both catheters in until March 30. So we still continue to irrigate both caths 3 – 4 times a day. Still an I.V. bag of fluids every other day – to make sure he is not dehydrating. Still a shot in the tummy every morning (a blood thinner so to speak) to not block the catheters. Then continue to get plenty of rest and walking for exercise.
Also at this post-op appointment we received the results of his pathology report - wait for it …… - YEEEEEEHAAAAAAA the report came back negative to cancer – SO here are the details (sorry no sugar coating – and details for my medical family and friends). They took a little bit of each ureter (drains from kidneys) for testing to make sure nothing starting going to the kidneys – those came back negative. They removed all his lymph nodes around his pelvic area – all came back negative. They removed a tiny bit of his urethra – that came back negative. The cancer stayed contained in his bladder and never broke through his bladder wall which is awesome AND (with Todd’s permission to post) – they removed his prostate (you can remove the prostate and leave the bladder but you cannot remove the bladder and leave the prostate – so they told us). The prostate had a very small margin of cancer which the doctors say may or may not have caused problems as he got older. This is now out so we don’t have to worry about it later in life. So he is considered CANCER FREE – best news ever!! They will still monitor him and test him for the next 5 years to make sure. We will find out how often later in this healing process. Now we keep praying that nothing happens and his Neobladder continues to heal and work properly.
To celebrate all this – We stopped at McDonald’s for a Shamrock Shake!!! Hahahaha. Cheap thrills but wanted one before they were gone!.
A HUGE thank you thank you thank you to all of you for your thoughts and prayers – they worked and will continue to work!!! I will update again in a few days to a week – but with his healing going so good and him being a good patient, there is not much to report. Just know he is healing GREAT, doing GREAT and will continue to do so!!.
Love Todd, DeeDee, Rebekah & Alayna..