Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Medical Updates

Our family (extended as well as our own) had a fun (if you could call it that) April when it came to medical issues. It started with my dad going in for surgery to remove a tumor that the doctor found on his right kidney. To make a long story short, he went in for a routine physical in order to be able to go to Scout Camp this summer. As the doctor was feeling around on his stomach during the physical she felt that his liver felt larger than normal and sent him to get an ultrasound on it. During the ultrasound they found that his liver looked great, but he had a growth on his kidney that they felt should be removed, saying there was an 80% chance that it was cancer. After 5 hours of surgery and a 9 inch incision, the pathology report came back positive for renal cell carcinoma, meaning cancer. To stay the least, this was a slap in the face of how fragile life is. But of all the cancer it could have been, this was a great kind to have because along with the diagnosis came the cure, meaning since they had taken the cancer out to find out what it was they had cured him. No chemotherapy. No other cancer treatments. Just a great scar and story to tell. The chances of it returning are slim, but he will have routine x-rays from here on out. He did spend three days in the hospital and we were able to go visit him one of the days. The first thing he asked the kids when we walked in the room was if they wanted to see his scar. I think this scared the kids a little (except for Natalie who was more than excited to see it), but grandpa was able to break the ice a little by blowing up "hand" balloons for them.It has now been two and a half weeks since his surgery and each day he is getting stronger. Mom is taking good card of him and making sure that he doesn't push himself too hard.

The night after my dad got home from the hospital, I decided that I wanted to join in the fun and create a little excitement of my own. We went to bed that night around 10:30, and although Brett fell to sleep rather quickly, I was uncomfortable and couldn't fall to sleep. Within about a 1/2 hour I was in pretty good pain and began pacing the floor in our room trying to "walk it off". My chest and upper back were hurting and I had some pain in my upper right stomach (I had the same thing for a few weeks about a year ago and a couple episodes since and was told it was reflux, but I didn't believe it). After about an hour and a half of pretty intense pain I finally woke Brett up and asked for a blessing. Of course he obliged and then proceeded to get dressed. I took that as my sign that he was going to take me to the doctor whether I liked it or not. To make another long story short, by the time that I saw the doctor in the ER my pain had pretty much subsided (I knew that was going to happen. I hate going to the doctor!). Fortunately the doctor didn't have to see me in pain to know what was going on. He told me that he thought I had just had a gall bladder attack which is caused by gallstones, so he ordered an ultrasound to confirm. Sure enough, the ultrasound tech found what she called sludge balls in my gall bladder. The ER doctor gave me a referral for a specialist and told me I would most likely need to get my gall bladder removed. So that was Saturday night/Sunday morning. By Wednesday afternoon I had my appointment with the specialist and by Friday morning I was heading to the hospital for my out-patient surgery. Everything is done laparoscopically using four small incisions, three in my upper right stomach and the fourth in my belly button. I guess it is a pretty routine surgery, much like an appendectomy (removal of the appendix). While I was in surgery they found that I had an umbilical hernia, so they went ahead and took care of that while they were in there. The pathology report came back saying the I had four black gallstones and other sludge, whatever that means. Brett was a trooper through the weekend, taking care of me and the kids and my mom has been awesome in helping out since Brett went back to work. It has been a week and a half since the surgery and I am feeling almost 100%. Still some lingering pain, but nothing to stop me from doing day to day activities (although still not up for exercising yet, but that may be more psychological than physical.) Bailey and Tanner are enthralled with my incisions and come up to me and lift my shirt up multiple times a day to see my "owies".

The night before my surgery we got a call from Brett's mom informing us that our nephew Grayden was in the hospital getting ready for surgery of his own. He was playing at the park and fell off the monkey bars. He ended up breaking his arm in three places, two bones right above the wrist and his elbow. From our understanding the surgery went well and he now has two pins in his arm for the next 6 weeks. Poor boy!
And the final medical issue of April was pink eye. I know pink eye isn't a big deal, but after everything else, I felt like saying "honestly!?!". Luckily we were able to get the kids into the doctor and get an ointment to take care of it. Three times a day we have been laying all the kids down in a row and giving them their "dose". The girls really don't seem to mind it at all, but it is like pulling teeth with the boys. I think we should be done in the next day or two with that. Keep your fingers crossed for me. And now hopefully our family is done with medical issues for a long time. . .

11 comments:

Brooke and Aaron said...

Wow. Those are crazy updates. Glad everyone is on the road to recovery. Good thing you have some family close by to help out now and then. Brett helped us with another computer issue this week....we appreciate him so much! Miss you all.

Ali said...

Seriously?! I had no idea...I am so sorry. When it rains, it literally POURS! I am so glad everyone is in the recovery process and we'll pray for your family and no other issues!

Ruth said...

Man, you have been busy! Pink Eye isn't fun either! It may not be as serious but it still causes frustration! Maybe you guys will be healthy for the next six months straight now!? I hope all is well now!

Megan Bruschke said...

SERIOUSLY!? :-) I am so glad that you and your dad are going to be ok! What a month! We are sending our love and hoping that things settle down at your house - for real! :-)

Jennifer Dyal said...

Holy nonsense! I'm glad everything's turned out better in the end. I love that I get to spy on you guys, but I so wish we lived closer. Catch ya later...

Michelle said...

Oh my gosh, your poor family! Stuff seems to happen in waves, so this had to have been it for quite a while.

Cynthia said...

Oh my goodness! What a crazy month. Glad to hear everyone is on the mend now.

Cami Bruschke said...

Funny - we've been doing the eye drops all week too (Bryant and Alexa). On the other side - sorry you had to go thru the rest of that. Hope all is well now. Glad you recovered quickly and glad everything worked out ok with your dad.

Nicole said...

That is a lot of medical updates, wow! I am glad that everything is turning out to be ok and that you are feeling better. I hope nothing else comes your way, I'll keep my fingers crossed...

Aimee said...

Good times. :)

Anya Gilbert said...

Sorry to hear about all the drama. Non of that is fun even the pink eye. Please give your dad a hello and glad he is feeling better for me. And I'm happy you are doing well too. You are a trooper. It was great seeing you and Sarah at the bridal shower too.