Day 5 we are still in the ICU unit and I have no idea when we are leaving it at this point in time. Today we had many events happen and one bit of miracle news that I will save to the end. I guess I will go in chronological order. Early this morning Louise had her barium test which disclosed that there did not appear to be any leaks in her new esopha/stomach connection. That meant that she was sort of cleared to start drinking water. Dr. Perry told her that she could have her nose tube taken out and that she could drink after the speech therapist came in to see how she was swallowing. He said that after this type of surgery, patients lose their ability to swallow and they wanted to make sure she could. They did give her a little water after the barium and she loved it. We have been begging all day for the speech therapist but no one showed so she has to wait till tomorrow to start drinking. Poor Louise is still begging for a drink from anyone. She is mumbling right now that Sharie would give her a drink if she were here.
She did get her nose tube taken out. That tube was such a bother. It went all the way down to her stomach and was there to remove bile from her stomach. Her voice went down an octave after they took it out. She is sounding more and more like the old Louise.
Then comes the bad news for the day. they were still concerned how swollen her left arm and hand are and they ordered another ultra sound. If you remember that two days ago they found no blood clots. Today, however they did find one right around her picc line that she has had in her arm since August 5th. That line has been used for chemo, hydration and blood draws for all those months. they have been using it for IV.s for this operation also. So they have taken that picc line out and have immediately put her on blood thinners as well as coumadin. She will need to stay on the coumadin for at least 3 months. They are concerned about it because they don't want it breaking lose and going to the lungs. They feel like they have caught it and can watch it while she is in the hospital and she should be okay. I wondered if the blood thinners would hinder the healing and clotting of the blood where the blood should be clotting around wounds. The doctor said she is 5 days into the healing and so there is no problem with that.
So then, this afternoon, she got out of bed easier than yesterday and did a marathon walk around the ICU pod not once but three times. She walked well and was in no pain as she did it. It gave her a lot of confidence. Then she sat in a chair without her legs up for over an hour. That was great progress. Her breathing is much better. Her blood pressure in not having a good day though. It is too high.
And now the miracle news for the day. This is the result of Priesthood blessings, great faith, all of your fasting and all of the prayers. We got the results of the pathology report on all tissue taken out of Louise. That includes the old esophagus, the 1/3 stomach and all of the lymph nodes that were taken out. They tested every area of all tissue and didn't find one cancer cell in any of it. We immediately asked them why in her endoscopy before her operation they had dusted the area and found some cancer cells. The doctor says that she doesn't know about that but she did know that there were none found at the time of surgery. Maybe they died in between. Or maybe the first endoscopy path test was wrong. And I ask myself, maybe that last test cinched the fact that that we were going to have this surgery. I asked the doctor. Were we right to have this surgery? She said absolutely. Like Dr. Lewkowitz said, this insures that the cancer would never come back from the esophagus. That is the main thing. We are trying to insure that cancer never comes back. So we are so thrilled to get this news. The doctor is now a big believer in the chemo/radiation treatment before surgery. Both doctors were so impressed with how it eliminated an inch and a half tumor and affected lymph node to no cancer anywhere. We know also, that there was another great power involved in this miracle, that power from God!
So that's the mostly good news from ICU for now. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers. Can we ask for no visitors still until she at least leaves the ICU. It is hard for her to do much socializing still.
Thanks again, Spence