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Ron - Finally had surgery for pericardial window


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We had quite a weekend to say the least. Ron never did get to see the surgeon on Friday. On Friday night the lung specialist was called in and he bleakly told Ron and the rest of the family that things were not good at all and that is prognosis was poor. Ron, at that point, was placed on 100% oxygen and still couldn't breathe. The lungs were determined to be fine since the 1000 ml of fluid was drained on Thursday. He asked Ron to make the decision as to whether he wanted to be hooked up to a respirator should things continue to deteriorate. We were all in shock and crying uncontrollably - Ron wasn't crying - he just kept staring at the doctor as if to say "four-letter-word you." He's thinking - don't you know that I'm heading back into chemo to take care of this??

He spent a horrendous night on Friday and still no surgeon to drain the fluid that the oncologist wanted gone since Thursday. On Saturday morning, Ron's niece Carol (RN, CCU), was able to grab the best cardiologist from her unit to come up to the medical floor to see her "favorite" uncle. The cardiologist came down the hall within minutes with the portable cardiac ultrasound in tow. Within 5 minutes he determined that Ron had approximately 2800ccs of fluid in his pericardial sac. Boy, was he angry - first he told the Ron's nurse to get the surgeon on call now. Then he began flailing his arms telling Carol to get him to ICU - that Ron was too sick to be on this floor. This guy is incredible - He was really p>>>>>d off that Ron was left in this state without intervention. It was also determined that Ron was in renal failure by this time.

Within two hours the pericardial window was in place and 1800ccs of fluid were drained. His kidneys began to function almost immediately after the procedure began. They kept him on the ventilator overnight (Saturday) to give his body a rest. He's sitting up today, still tired from the meds they've been zapping him with and cranky. Cranky is a good sign. He says the nurses are "mean" and that he doesn't love any of us. He's got tubes coming from his chest and a catheter in and IV with antibiotics. I'm heading back up to see him now. He's such a strong guy. All medical staff are pleased with his progress - hard to think that he would have died through the night Saturday had the procedure not been done.

God was with us on Saturday - we had the best cardiolgist, the best surgeon and the best oncologist. His oncologist popped in to see him early Sunday morning - he was so upset that he had been away for two days. He thought that Ron would have had the procedure over and done with long before we reached the danger zone.

Ron will be kept in ICU for the remainder of the week. The hope is that he will be strong enough to start chemo next week. The fat lady is really trying to sing the blues Ron's still trying to shut her up.

Thanks again and again and again for the good vibes and prayers.


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All I can say is "WOW".. thank God for that favorite niece and for the cardiologist. Ron is a good fighter. I am soooo glad that there are certain angels looking out for him!

Is that other doctor going to have his *ss in a sling?

I just posted a pm to you asking about Ron and this post popped up. So very glad that he is "pinking" up.

love, Cindi o'h

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I am so happy to hear that someone decided to help your husband.

Those of us with Lung Cancer are at the mercy of our medical providers. And we are at risk if the medical provider's personal agenda re treating Lung Cancer differs from our own.

This is not an attack on all medical personnel. It is a honest statement. Some people are going to take the position that we have a terminal illness so why waste the time, resources, etc. to treat us. And the ones that put us at greatest risk are those who feel this way and do not disclose it to us.

Thankfully, your husband has a niece who could help him, and Doctors who cared enough to help your husband live on.

Best wishes for a full recovery from the Pericardial Effusion. And hopefully the chemo will knock the cancer into oblivion.

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Oh my goodness! I'm sitting here with my mouth open :o ! I can't believe all that Ron has been through. He is a strong and brave warrior. Tell him to keep shhhing that fat lady. Like Cindi said, I hope that doc has his *ss in a sling over this.

May Ron continue to heal and feel better. I bet he feels so much better with all that fluid gone, wow!


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Ron is lucky to have such loving family as such powerful advocates. I firmly believe that every patient needs to have at least one strong advocate by their side at all times. Things falls through the cracks and only you and your spouse/partner/lover whoever the advocate is REALLY knows that is going on with you.

Dave had a pericardial window in November. He wasn't anywhere near as SICK, but was so much better afterwards and it is a fairly simply procedure and very simple to diagnose. it makes me mad that Ron was overlooked like that.

His niece is an angel and so is that cardiologist. He is what being a caring physician is all about. Good for him.

This post really touched me.

God Bless,


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