Today wasn’t as good as yesterday was for Brandon. Being in the hospital isn’t conducive to good sleep, and last night was one of those nights where he couldn’t get enough hours of continuous sleep. The morning started out equally frustrating. The halls were crowded with delivery carts, medical equipment and other patients walking when he tried to take his walks, which made it hard to maneuver the IV stand he has to walk with. He tried to nap early in the day and was interrupted by medical staff five times in one hour. Every time he dozed off, someone else would come in. It’s hard to imagine the disappointment he felt when he felt worse physically today than he did yesterday. We are hoping he gets some good sleep tonight and rebounds.
There were a couple of bright spots in the day though. He was transitioned to a “real food” diet. He can order anything he wants from the hospital menu now. And Kristen took him for a walk to the lobby so he could step outside and breath the fresh air for a minute. It’s been almost a week since he’s been able to do that.
His kidney values are still going up, but the increase today wasn’t as much as the increases of the last two days, so we hope that means they will level off and then go back down soon. That’s what the nephrologist is expecting.
Please hold good thoughts that tomorrow will be a better day! We appreciate all of you continuing to check in on Brandon. He does read your comments and is very moved that so many care so much about him!
We didn’t get much news today from the medical team. They are still keeping an eye on the kidney function numbers and waiting for them to level off and stabilize. They did remove the epidural today, so he has moved on to pain medication by mouth. He also progressed to a full liquid diet. He didn’t really eat/drink much, but it’s a step closer to “real” food.
Brandon was awake through the whole day today. He did 13 laps on each of his walks, and he was up in the chair for longer periods of time. He is really working hard on his physical therapy/breathing therapy because he wants more than anything to be home with his family. Your continued thoughts and prayers are fueling his determination.
We were cruising right along, then we hit a bump in the road. The drug they used for the chemo during surgery has affected Brandon’s kidney function. His surgeon asked a nephrologist to join his care team, and that doctor agreed with the surgeon that increasing his fluids and keeping a close eye on it for the next few days would be the best plan for now.
For the good news of the day, we’re happy to say that Brandon passed gas! While usually not something to celebrate, in this case it means that he has graduated on to clear liquids by mouth. As his organs continue to “wake up” from the surgery, food could soon follow. This is the first day we’ve heard Brandon even hint at wanting to eat again. He also walked 13 continuous laps around his floor this evening. 13 laps = 1/2 mile! And he was walking at a pretty good pace!
We had a couple of conversations today where Brandon almost seemed like himself. But those moments were short-lived, and he’s still very tired and overwhelmed by this whole experience. Thoughts, prayers and love are very much needed this week as we wait for the pathology results and for the kidney function to return to a good level.
Still not feeling very well, but know that your thoughts and prayers are working. This has been the most difficult and draining thing I have endured in my life to date. It honestly does push me to do my therapy knowing so many people are wishing me well. I ask that you continue to send your love and prayers, as it does lift my spirits more than you know. I love each and every one of you and thank you so much.
Each day we see a little improvement. Brandon got more sleep last night, being in his own room. He was more alert and talkative this morning. He got up and walked laps around his unit multiple times today. He actually walked his final laps this evening without a walker! Still just having ice chips by mouth, but we’re hoping for more soon. Brandon is determined to do what it takes to recover and come home. We are so proud of him! He is definitely participating in his own recovery. After Facetiming with her daddy yesterday evening, Avery finally got to see him in person today (although very briefly)! He still gets tired very quickly, and it was a huge step for him to have a visit from Avery! We know you all care about him and want to see him, and we’re hopeful that he will feel up to that sometime this week.
Brandon said he had some good hours and some not so good hours today. But hearing him say he had good hours was encouraging! He looked much better today, and he was moving himself around in the bed more than he did yesterday. They got him out of bed to sit in the chair for a while, and he also took a short walk down the hall (with help). He’s still very tired, and he was in a little more pain today, but that’s understandable after being up and about. The doctors were all pleased with his progress, and they decided to move him out of the surgery ICU unit and into a room on the post-op floor. While we were sorry to leave the great team of caregivers he had in ICU, we are happy that he is doing well enough to do so after just two days. Hopefully, he will get better rest and get stronger over the next couple of days so he will be ready for visitors. He’s just not up to that yet, but we will definitely let everyone know when he’s ready. Our whole family appreciates your continued positive thoughts and prayers!
The nurses said this morning that Brandon had an uneventful night last night, which is good. The surgeon came in first thing and was able to tell Brandon what he told us yesterday about accomplishing what he set out to do with the surgery. Brandon’s still very tired, and they started “picking on” him this morning. They brought the breathing machine for him to blow into to clear his lungs, and that makes him cough. Although that’s what he needs to do to clear the fluid from his lungs, it’s definitely not comfortable for him. Physical therapy came in this afternoon and sat him up at the side of the bed for about 10 minutes. After that, he did stand and took 2 steps. All the movement caused his blood pressure to drop, and he was pretty dizzy. They expected pressure would drop like that the first time getting up. So all in all, not the most fun day for Brandon, but he’s making progress. We were told he will feel better in 3 days than he did in 3 hours. And he will feel better in 3 weeks than he did in 3 days. It’s a slow process, but every hour and every day is a step in the right direction.
We want to take a moment and say thank you to those of you who prayed, checked in by phone/text/email, watched for updates online and were with us in spirit yesterday. It was truly appreciated, and we could feel the power. Special thanks to Brandon’s good friends who came to keep us company during the long day – Ricky, Jared, Josh and Rachel. And a huge thanks to the Teva co-workers/friends who came by to bring us lunch and a goodie basket for the family- Maureen, Vickie and Shawn. Whether with us in person or in thought, you all made a difference!
Brandon finished the HIPEC procedure around 1:30 this afternoon. We were able to talk to the surgeon an hour later, and he said, “At the end of the day, in terms of the surgical part of getting it all out, he had a very nice operation.” He’s sent the cells and tissues he removed to pathology, and we should know more on that next week as far as what our next steps will be after he recovers from surgery. Continue reading “Post op update.”
We don’t know any results yet, but we wanted to let you all know that Brandon went back for surgery at 7:19 this morning. By the time the prep was completed, it was 8:09 when the surgery began. A nurse just came out to tell us that the tissue/tumor removal portion (the CRS) was just completed, and they are prepping the heated chemo (HIPEC) portion. That will take another 90 minutes, then they will need to close the incision, so we could be looking at another two to three hours. The nurse said she’d update us again by 3:00. We hope this entire procedure will be complete at that point. We will keep you posted but wanted to give you an update of what we know now.