Surgery Is Thursday
The following updates were posted to Facebook on 12/14/15 and 12/15/15.
Posted: 12/14/15 @ 4:30 p.m.
I think it went well today. The surgeon seemed confident he could remove the tumors without a colostomy. He showed us the tumors on the CT scan and they are huge. The one that’s causing pain is easily the size of my cell phone. Surgery is Thursday. She’ll be in the hospital at least a week. Surgery could be complex and he couldn’t estimate how long it would take except to say not as long as a transplant (her transplant took ten hours). He’s going to try to remove the tumor near her liver too, so that’s all the big ones except the lung tumor. More details later.
Posted: 12/15/15 @ 11:30 p.m. EST
Ana’s surgery is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, but we have to have her at the hospital by 9 a.m. so they can draw labs and give her an EKG (a standard pre-surgical test). It’s all moving so quickly, I’m a little worried we’re going to run into an insurance road block. Fingers, toes and everything in between crossed that everything moves forward as planned. Ana is having a hard time functioning with the pain in her abdomen, so this needs to happen now.
Dr. Kato was very reassuring yesterday. He feels the tumor in Ana’s pelvis that’s causing her pain is superficial (e.g., close to the surface) and will be easy to remove. The other tumors deep in her pelvis and abdomen will be more challenging, but he still seemed very confident he’d be able to remove them without compromising her bowel. Since his specialty is abdominal surgery (crazy, complex, nobody’s-ever-done-this-before abdominal surgery), I trust him. When he looks at a scan like Ana’s, I believe he sees it differently than a surgeon like Dr. Middlesworth because he’s done the impossible – operated on organs outside of the body (this is not the procedure Ana’s getting).
I don’t have many details on what to expect on Thursday. Dr. Kato said he’d reopen her transplant incision (when I expressed concern that it would worsen the scar, he said it wouldn’t look any worse and could actually look better because he could refine it to compensate for her growth since the surgery). He couldn’t tell us how long this would take, or how long she’d be in the hospital. Ana’s scared. This is a terrifying surgery and it will be a huge incision. She doesn’t want more pain, obviously, but she’s also developed a phobia of the process of being prepped for surgery (this will be her 11th or 12th time under general anesthesia). She particularly doesn’t like that the medicine that relaxes her, also erases her memory from just before she goes under and just after she wakes up. I told her that all she’d be forgetting was the long wait before they bring her into surgery, the anxiety of the surgery itself, and her hunger since she needs to fast.
Emily will stay with Amy and Stefan starting tomorrow night through Friday. She’s singing in her school’s winter concert on Friday – I’ll miss that because I plan to stay with Ana at least the first five days. Jim will be there for Emily though and hopefully they can both come visit Ana over the weekend.
I can’t believe this is all happening the week before Christmas. I feel completely unprepared for pretty much everything – the surgery, the holiday, the end of year wrap up with work…everything. I have bought a lot of gifts for the girls and wrapped a bunch of them, but it all feels haphazard and I’m worried I’m going to get one kid way more presents than the other. You know that would be a disaster…but at least our tree loos great and so does our front door thanks to Brandi Gabriele Ascione who surprised us with this GORGEOUS wreath which was waiting for us when we returned home yesterday. Thank you, Brandi, and thank you everyone for your well wishes, support, love and prayers.