Sunday, September 29, 2013

Making It Thru Kidney Cancer

Cleveland Clinic
Post Surgical Recovery Floor 9, Cleveland Clinic
This was the infamous day of September 18, 2013, followed by recovery and the trip home.

My husband was admitted for surgery at 6:30 a.m. at the Cleveland Clinic. Surgery with the Director of Oncology, Dr. Andrew Stephenson, began at 9:27 a.m. Here is a synopsis of that day as it unfolded:

12:20 p.m.: "At the Cleveland Clinic, surgery is about to end and all has gone well. Will talk to the Dr. soon. Thanks for all your thoughts, prayers, mantras, etc.; this has already been a very long day but we're encouraged. Listening to a beautiful violinist next to a waterfall helps soothe the soul."

1:45 p.m.: "Dr. able to save over 90% of the kidney. Clean margins all around, a very good thing. Rick is sleeping & I can see him soon. 

Joyful! Cannot thank everyone enough for pulling for him!"

September 19, 11:00 a.m.: "Rick is doing great! Rick is now in a regular room and has walked a couple of times today. 

The now-removed tumor on the kidney had been pushed up very close against the inferior medial lung/pleura, and when they removed it the very bottom tip of the lung was "pin-pricked" causing a 10% collapse of the lung, called a pneumothorax. They didn't even know it had happened until after surgery & an x-ray. He was breathing just fine, but was put on oxygen just in case.

When I arrived today the oxygen was removed and Rick was alert and conversational. The lung should quickly heal by itself. He's only in pain when trying to get up, but that's to be expected. Rebuilding the core muscles will take some time, but he's on his way already.

We're heading in again tonight to see him. Had a good cry of relief last night, and a long nap this afternoon. No word yet on when Rick can go home, but possibly Saturday or Sunday. Rick is promising not to over-do it, and at the moment I'm personally controlling his electronics. That is, unless you've already received an e-mail from him from yet another new thingy he'd hidden under the gurney!

Thanks again for your thoughtful and delightful notes; it's hard to describe how much they mean to us."

September 21, 5:00 p.m.: "I'm on my way to pick him up and bring him home. All systems are go, and the Dr. has now given him a 95% cure rate. I have nothing but great things to say about the professionalism, thoughtfulness and service we've gotten from the clinic since Wednesday.

I know Rick is feeling much better because he's now starting to ask for his electronic devices (music & earbuds first), which he'd banned from his sight until he could handle them. I bet he'll be commandeering the TV for football when he gets home, and that (for once) will be music to my ears.

Thank you all for your well wishes, flowers, upbeat messages and positive vibes. You've helped enormously and we will never forget it. Hug the ones you love and tell them that. You never know."

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