Saturday, August 16, 2014

But wait...there's more!

This post is coming from about 20 feet from the Atlantic ocean while we are on a short getaway at a resort in Maine (just Tiffany and I.)  After two unsuccessful attempts at a 10 year anniversary vacation, we finally made it.  Despite everything that has happened this year, life is good and we are incredibly blessed.  I had actually planned for this post to be about what I've learned and how my outlook has changed for the better after going through this, but that will have to wait a little longer as life continues to be interesting.

Room with a view

If you've ever seen an infomercial, you're familiar with the phrase in the title.  The host will excitedly talk about the benefits of his or her revolutionary new product that you can not live without and the ridiculously low price that you can have it for.  And just when you think it can not possibly get any better, he or she drops the phrase "but wait...there's more!" and reveals that if you call in the next hour, you will get double the amount/ a Snuggie/ etc. for free.

As I've been sharing my story over the last five months, I feel like any one of the things that has happened is pretty unusual and/ or unlucky standing alone.  Getting blood cancer at 34.  With two toddlers at home.  While my wife is pregnant.  Losing half of my blood and almost dying during the biopsy surgery. Going back in the hospital for blood transfusions.  Going back in the hospital a third time with an infection and high fever toward the end of chemo.  When combined together it's pretty incredible although I still haven't taken the time to sit down and fully reflect on everything.

After my last chemo treatment on July 22nd, I was eager to close this chapter of hardship and start the longer term recovery process.  Unfortunately that will have to wait a little bit longer as I found out this week that I'll need to go back for another surgery.  It turns out that the stent that was inserted into my iliac artery to repair it when it was damaged during the biopsy surgery has collapsed.  So instead of keeping the artery open, it is creating a bottleneck and slowing down blood flow to my left leg.  In order to fix it, I'll need to have a procedure called angioplasty where the surgeon inserts a wire into the artery and inflates a balloon that will open the stent (hopefully permanently.)  If everything goes well it should only require one night in the hospital.

I first noticed there was a problem a few weeks ago when my left leg would start getting numb after about 2 minutes of running.  I've mentioned before that after I was healed up from my initial surgery, I tried to run as often as I could during chemo in order to keep my energy and strength up.  I assumed the numbness was due to loss of muscle or possibly some other damage from the surgery and would heal with time.  When it didn't, I made an appointment with my surgeon after I was finished with chemo.  They had me run on a treadmill for 5 minutes and then tested the blood pressure in both ankles.  The blood pressure in my left leg was less than half of what it was in my right leg, so the next step was to do an ultrasound of the area where the stent is placed.  The ultrasound clearly showed that it was collapsed and obstructing the blood flow, so here we are.

My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, August 19th.  It will be my third surgery and fourth hospitalization in the past 6 months, and hopefully the last of both for a very long time. The clock is ticking for me to get better before Baby Boy is due on 9/4, so I'm praying for a smooth operation and appreciate your prayers as well.  I continue to be optimistic about the future and I'm still very eager for things to get back to normal.  Until then, I'm working on being patient.

1 comment:

  1. God has you cradled in the palm of his hand and you guys have been such a blessing that countless prayers and hearts are with you on this obstacle course of a journey!!! I love you nephew!!! You are a "WARRIOR" Bruce Willis only plays one.... he's still cute though!