Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Update on M

Update for family and friends; thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers.

If you are new to M's diagnosis, backstory is here. The quick summary is he was diagnosed with a pre-cancerous condition of the esophagus last March. One minute we were having Sunday dinner at my parents' house, and the next, we'd won a trip to the ER from our county's finest paramedics. After emergency surgery, we learned of M's diagnosis. We've not lost our sense of humor though; we all still joke that M's mother-in-law/my mom may have been trying to knock him off with the pot roast.

Today was surgery #4 and we're not much further ahead than when we started. #1 was the emergency last March, #2 was last October that confirmed high-dysplasia Barrett's, which won us a referral to a univerity medical center. Thankfully, one of the top docs for this condition is within a 1.5 hour drive, so we feel blessed we're not traveling beyond that. We met with this team in November and surgery #3 was in January. That surgery was supposed to be the first radiofrequency ablation of the dysplastic cells, but they did not use the BARRX HALO that day. Due to the high level of dysplasia, they ended up re-mapping the esophagus during that surgery, setting us up for surgery #4. M was a bit frustrated when he came to after #3, to learn that treatment had not begun.

So, today was the BIG day, surgery #4 and the first round of BARRX...and today we hit another barrier. While these are surgical procedures, they are done under very heavy sedation instead of general anesthesia. Even with the maximum "drug cocktail" today, and permission to go sligtly beyond the max, they could not get M sedated enough to complete the procedure. In technical terms it was, "M became combative and we finally had to abort the procedure." Simply put, though heavily sedated on quite the drug cocktail, M ended up trying to remove the scope and block the procedure. He, of course, has no memory of it thanks to a little thing called Versed®. Note to self: if ever shooting him with a tranq. dart, he's not going down easily. See, we still have a sense of humor around here. And he's quite funny when he comes to in the recovery room, always asking for the car keys and today I even got to hear, "He doesn't even have his license Lisa. Gimme da keys!" in perfect Weird Science pitch. You never know what he is going to come up with.

Now M's won a trip to the preoperative anesthesia center, to be cleared for general anesthesia and all future surgeries will be under general. This appointment should take place in the next 2-3 weeks, and surgery within the next 4 weeks. They are eager to get the first surgery down, as the longer the pre-cancerous cells remain untreated, the longer the greater threat remains and grows. We are thankful for such skilled care being nearby, but it makes for an exhausting day full of travel, navigating the downtown area, navigating the hospital system, and just waiting...waiting for surgical prep, procedure, recovery, discharge. I've learned I'm not a very good "waiter." We were both spent by the time we got home, and so thankful my parents offered to watch C a little later. M and I came home and crashed- he woke up for dinner and is back to resting comfortably.

Thank you for all of the prayers and well wishes! More to come over the next 2-4 weeks.

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