Today is December 22,2013. We,mike and I are in Houston. Mike had an appt with dr Katz and it did not go so well. Mike has been having some trouble digesting food. You see, he should be on a regular diet by now. He has not been walking like he should and he has had some pain. Tomorrow he will had an flouroscope done and we will find out if anything is medically wrong. We areso anxious and we are sad to be here so close to Christmas but when you give someone your heart and vow in sickness and in health, better or worse I guess there is nowhere else for me to be. I love him. It's not because I'm strong or ok with missing Christmas with my family. I just love him so much there are no words to be able to express how I feel. Prayers, meditation, well wishes, chants, offerings, I will take them all. I just pray the doc says "follow a liquid diet and flipping exercise cuz it's not a medical issue"thanks to all who has followed us. I will update soon! Love to all
My father had surgery on October 31st, 2013. He went under at 8:36am in the MD Anderson Clinic in Houston, Texas. I, my mother Lois, his mother Marion, his brother Ron and my husband Daniel were in the waiting room. Every two hours, a nurse’s liaison would come out and give us updates. Doing well, vital signs are strong, took the gallbladder etc. We played cards to stay occupied. 9 ½ hours we played cards, took walks and munched on food off the “Jolly Trolley” (think the trolley from the Hogwarts Express). There was definitely an interesting moment when while we were in the Café for lunch, my father’s surgeon walked right past my mother. The look on her face was priceless and I almost had to tackle her to stop her from talking to him. I told her he was in a hurry to get food and we don’t want a surgeon with hunger shakes.
Finally we were called in to a consultation with the surgeon himself. He looked exhausted. He looked wiped out, and very serious. He told us it went perfect. The surgeon explained that due to the scar tissue from the previous surgery, it was more of a challenge then he originally thought it would be, but he got it. He got the cancer out. He took the gallbladder, the head of the pancreas, part of the stomach, and the spleen. He used the vein in the spleen to reconstruct the vein in the pancreas that runs to the liver. The surgeon was even able to enter through the previous scar so there wasn’t any additional scarring.
After a while, we were able to see my father in the PACU ward, before he went to overnight recovery. When my mother told him that they got the cancer, his eyes widened to the size of half dollars. It was worth every tear, every fear, every worry and every deep breath to see that moment. It was worth everything. We went to the room and started making calls that night to the people in our immediate surroundings with the good news. There were marks down the side of the call list from the last time that we had to call, which was after the first surgery. And I will tell you this; this time calling was a hell of a lot better!
As the days past, my father has been growing more and more aware and started sitting in the bed, then the chair and then walking. I even captured a video of him dancing a little…jig? Yes, we will call it that ;) I will try and see about uploading it to the Funding Site tonight. He is recovering well. He has had to have a tube up his nose and into his stomach to drain the fluids from it until his system started working again. My mother appropriately named it his Gooey Tube…classic ;) His goal was to walk enough to get his system digesting on its own so that they would take the tube out. My husband and I left out for home on Sunday, November 3rd. My mother and Grandmother are staying with my father for the duration of his stay in Houston.
Because of everyone’s donations and shares of the funding site, enough money was raised so that we were able to stay at the Rotary House attached to MD Anderson. Although the walk around the clinic was a long one (Helllllooooooo out of shape!) we never had to deal with weather, traffic or taxis to go see my father. They also provide a free shuttle to take you to any business within a two mile radius. We could go grocery shopping at the local Super Target and stock the kitchen instead of having to eat in the café every day. There is also a pool and hot tub on site for relaxation and exercise.
As I hugged my mother good bye on Sunday *sniffle*, she looked at me with tears and said that because of the donations, she is able to stay with him. To put it in perspective, my mother and grandmother would have had to drive home with my husband and me three days after the surgery and leave my dad to recover in Houston on his own. But they are able to stay there, due to everyone’s generosity. They are able to keep the bills paid at home and stay in Houston in fair comfort and great security. Our experience with MD Anderson has been nothing short of miraculous. The nurses have been supportive and have just enough hidden steel to deal with my Dad’s wily sense of humor. I mean the man was doing his spirometer (to exercise his lungs), and he proceeded to turn the dang thing upside down, pretend to blow and give us all a thumbs up! I mean, really?! LOL!
Thank you. Thank you for donating. Thank you for caring. Thank you for sharing the video, page and article. Thank you for your prayers, your positive vibes, and your lit candles. Thank you for showing us and the world that there are good people left in this world. Thank you. It means so much that through all the pain and sorrow in this land, that people are able to align together in support of one another. We held a hand out to proverbial darkness and were lifted up by the love and support surrounding us. Thank you. Thank you for being human.
And by the way… He got his gooey tube out Monday, November 4th! :D
Mike had the surgery on the 31 of October. The CANCER IS OUT!. We are expecting good news about the lymph nodes they are having tested also. MDAnderson did what they said they could. Everyone here is so kind and they go out of their way to help. we are so greatful to all of you who gave what you could and for the prayers well wishes and positive vibe sent out our way. may each of you have the happiness that I feel now.
We are in Beaumont TX just outside of Houston TX. I just want to thank everyone for helping this happen! I am able be be with Mike during this time and Will be able to stay with him after the surgery. He is so much more confident knowing I will not have to leave right after the surgery and will be nearby. There are really no words that express your kindness but know how much we truely appriciate your donations, and all the words of encouragement. The surgery is on October 31,13. i will keep all posted here and facebook. thank you
HOOOO we are home. It was a long trip, but worth every second. The surgeon said he believes the cancer CAN be removed. The surgery is scheduled for October 31,13. We are so happy and thankful for all of your help. The gas alone is so expensive, I don"t know how we would have been able to manage the costs. Mike will be going back again, on Sunday, for the final appointments before surgery. EVERYONE at MDAnderson was so kind and helpful,and the hospital is huge! I will post photos soon, I hope. Our love to all and we will keep you posted.
Having a family potluck today at my parents house. Busted out the photo box. Mama and Dad ar headed to Houston Monday morning at 0'Dark Thirty. This will be the surgical consult. We will hopefully get a firm surgery plan and DATE!!!! Earliest surgery date is looking like Monday the 21st of October. I showed Mama how to do the updates on the site, so she will be able to log in and keep everyone posted. We are trying post up top on the update who is posting. I also convinced them to do video updates (...maybe) throughout the trip.
On a different note, THANK YOU!!! Thank you for your donations, your sharing, your comments, positive thoughts and your prayers. I cannot even form words. The difference this has made in the level of viable hope is almost palpable. My father is just floored by the outpouring of support. His exact words were, "I didn't even think most people LIKED me!" LOL!
Thank you. Thank you everyone!!!
So Dad got a call. The Doctors in Texas have reviewed his case and told him to stop the chemo he just started on - THEY WANT TO SCHEDULE HIM FOR SURGERY ASAP! We are so happy to hear that we do not need to wait out the horridly aggressive Chemo plan they had for him, especially because after just a few days it was starting to hand him his backside. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated, shared, commented and especially prayed, hoped and sent positive thoughts our way. It has made such a difference in our ability to get through this.
But we still have so far to go. The doctors say that they do want to do surgery, but they are still not sure whether it will be the full Whipple or not. It also is likely that some type of vascular reconstruction will be involved due to the invasion of the tumor on the main vein in the pancreas. So, you all have done so much, but please remember to share this with as many people as you can!
WE GOT THIS!...With your help! :)