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Update from my mom's surgery on 8/11/04 :)


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Ok~ Sorry this has taken so long for me to update all of you! The surgery itself went very well- her thoracic surgeon was very pleased. He took all of the tumor, 4 ribs total (2 were already pretty eaten away by the cancer anyway) and 2 others to be able to get into the chest wall and take a good part of it. The tissue around the tumor and the ribs were all cancer free! The surgery was to be 3-4 hours but wound up being 6 hours as a neurosurgeon was brought in to work by the nerves in the back/shoulder. This was something we already knew might happen if the thoracic surgeon wasn't comfortable working so close to the nerves. The incision is perfect and all went well w/ the chest tubes draining. As I write this 8/31/04, the staples and chest tubes are gone! She is still on oxygen at home temporarily.

In the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) is where things became dicey. All of the things that happened are not complications of the lung surgery per se but of stress to the body and some human error. The initial breathing tube was kinked because it was too small and that lead to difficulty, she had to have broncoscopies to clear the large mucus plugs that she couldn't get up on her own, she went into atrial fibrilation of the heart where the heart would race for long perionds of time and only medication could clear it up, she developed a pulmunary embolism (blood clot) and pnuemonia. She was given morphine for pain but apparently morphine supresses the respirtory system so it is believed that alot of this junk stemmed from that. She was in SICU for 8 long days and then in a private room for another 8!! Having one or two of these isn't so bad but to have all of them in body already weak from cancer and it's treatments, was really rough. We are greatful she could have surgery! She will being having more chemo just to make sure. The thoracic surgeon said this surgery could be curative- MIRACLE!!! I'll keep you posted. Keep praying!

Kelly :D

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