Friday, November 25, 2011

The Road to Recovery

Phenomenal, excellent, and successful are the words being used to describe William's recovery and surgery. We are truly thankful.

Wednesday morning, a little after 12 hours post surgery, William's ventilator was removed. The surgeon had anticipated he would be on the ventilator for at least 24 hours, if not more. He was assigned 2 nurses during the night after surgery and during the middle of the night, one of the nurses had to go find something else to do since he was doing so great!

Thursday was a day of tubes. They removed all arterial I.V. lines, his chest tube, and foley catheter. He was a champ---especially since line placements and removals are his least favorite things. He'd pick a shot over any of those. He still has an NG tube up his nose to drain his stomach since his bowels and stomach are still asleep after such a long and action-packed surgery. He also continues to be on oxygen, but at a low rate. Last night he was started on TPN (I.V. nutrition). His pain and breathing exercises are the main items of attention. His pain is controlled with a constant baseline dose and a PCA button he can push any time he needs a little extra boost. His lungs are showing a little fluid build up, but that can be expected after all the fluids he received during surgery.

Surgery tidbits:
  • lost 4000mls of blood. That's 4 liters.
  • received 12 adult-sized units of blood
  • received 4 units of platelets
  • received 5 units of FFP (fresh frozen plasma)
  • received 1 jumbo cryoprecipitate
  • received 1 unit of factor VII
The above mentioned blood products that sound foreign to most of you are all to aid in the clotting process. I did a little googling of the vocabulary and got a better sense of how severe the bleeding was during surgery and now understand a little better why the surgeon and anesthesiologist looked particularly harried after surgery. Ryan and I saw it in their eyes after surgery when they told us how it all went. We are grateful we didn't get periodic updates during the surgery because we would have been worried sick if we had know what was happening.

Today we also learned the pathology on William's tumor. It showed most of the tissue in the tumor was removed was dead, or necrotic, in response to the last 2 rounds of chemotherapy. As soon as he recovers from surgery, which could be as soon as the middle of next week, he will start radiation on his abdomen and ankle 5 days a week for 3 weeks and will also continue to get chemotherapy at the same time. We'll see how the details unfold. In the meantime, William continues to improve a bit each day. It has been quite a week and we are extremely grateful for his progress and good spirits.


  1. Wonderful news! Sounds like we have much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. That's an amazingly strong child you've got there : ) Lots of love, Suzanne

  2. Thanks for your commitment to keeping us posted so regularly, Julie. William has been on my mind a lot, and I'm glad to find out how he is doing -- and especially when the news is this good!

  3. What a champ William is! I'm really happy to hear he's recovering so well from the surgery. We have been thinking about you all lots! Hope they've had a nice, bug-free chair bed for you. :)

  4. Thinking about you, Julie, and so pleased that the surgery went well. What a little trooper you have in William! I'll continue to pray for you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  5. It sounds like William is a real fighter! This is great news. I've been thinking of you all and hoping he was recovering well.

  6. What fabulous news! William has an amazing strength, as do you and Ryan. Thinking of you all. Hugs to the kids!

  7. While we were away I missed keeping up with the blog. We're glad that
    Ryan kept us posted, though. Our prayers are with you and Will. Grandpa is on his way to Folsom, and I am so sad I'm not with him. Maybe next time...

  8. Wonderful news! So glad that he is recovering so quickly. Thinking of your family all the time. Continued prayers for you, and I hope you were able to relax some for Thanksgiving.

  9. thanks for keeping us all posted! yay for a successful surgery and recovery!!