Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chemotherapy begins...

Sorry for the delay between updates, but we have been going non-stop since the last posting.

Sara had her port-a-cath installed last Tuesday. She was "partially sedated" during the operation and was fairly coherent about what occurred during surgery. Prior to the operation, one of the nurses asked the doctor if his resident was going to do the procedure. Sara recalled him saying, "this is MY case...no one else is touching her." In our pre-surgery consult, the doctor kept referring to the surgery as a "simple procedure." However, it did not seem too simple to us...

They cut into her jugular vein on the right side of her neck and ran a tube (the catheter) down through her vascular system and ended up placing the end of it in her superior vena cava, just upstream of the heart. Then, they looped the tube over her collarbone and placed the port about 3 inches below it. She has an upside-down V shaped incision where the port is and a 1/4 inch nick on her neck where the tube was inserted into her jugular. Both were sealed up with Dermabond (i.e. superglue for the skin). If she tilts her head to the left, you can see the tube under her skin. The doctor used a flouro table (special X-ray machine) to make sure the catheter was in the correct veins. He said, "the wire used for directing the catheter will probably go into your heart, but I will see it on the x-ray and make sure we get it into the correct location." She wore a lead apron around her stomach during the procedure so the baby did not get "tronned" with x-rays. Sounds simple, right?

Flouro Table

After surgery, we left the hospital and drove to Houston to pick up our new car. We spent a few days with family and found out while we were there that the lady who owned the house we wanted (pictured in the previous post) was CRAZY!!! It's a long story, but we decided that she really does not want to sell that house. So, we withdrew our offer and walked.

After we got back to San Antonio, it was time for more house hunting. We looked at 10 houses on Thursday afternoon and put in one offer. They accepted and we should close the second week of June. The house is smaller that what we had envisioned, but we are excited about it and looking forward to getting settled. House hunting was a learning experience. We learned a lot about NEEDS vs. WANTS. I am usually the one "helping" Sara realize her needs vs. wants, but the tables were turned when it came to houses. I thought we NEEDED the big, brand new, 4 bedroom house with the view (that was "SLIGHTLY" out of our price range), but Sara helped me to realize that we DID NOT NEED it!

Here are some pics of the new place.


Sara will receive her first dose of chemotherapy on Monday morning. We have to be at the hospital tomorrow morning at 8:00am. They will check her vitals and blood counts prior to having the pharmacy "mix her dose." Then, she'll receive some saline for hydration, an anti-nausea drug, and the 2 chemo drugs. We are expecting to be there for approximately 4 hours. After chemo she is going to meet with a Nutritionist and then on Tuesday, she has an appointment for a "cranial prosthesis" fitting. That is the medical term for a wig. She doesn't think that she is going to wear one, but insurance covers it, so just in case...

We're planning on going to the lake house on Wednesday and staying through Memorial Day weekend.

We have received a great and supportive welcome to San Antonio and my new squadron has been great. Sara has met some of the wives and is looking forward to getting plugged in. I will officially start work on June 17.

Sara is feeling great and is not anxious about starting chemo. We ask for your continued prayers for peace and strength. Thank you again!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. --Phillipians 4:6

7 comments:

sjahn said...

Ha ha! Needs vs. wants...so true, so true! Jesse and I had many a talk in our house hunting experiences. The house you are buying looks so nice as well and you don't have to deal with a seller with issues, which is a blessing when buying a home. I just can't get my mind around all that Sara is going through; all I can say is that I admire you both. You both continue to be in our prayers!

Rhonda said...

My prayer team meets every Monday morning @ 9 AM...you can count on us to be covering you and Sara in prayer as you make your way through that first treatment. Congratulations on your lovely new home. I know you will fill it to the brim with love and joy. Oh, and living beneath your means is a great way to stay financially strong! Praying things go smoothly and Sara tolerates the chemo well.
RH

Jennifer said...

Thinking of you guys and will be praying for you especially tomorrow. The pics of the new house look great! I'm sure it will feel like home once you guys get your stuff! Take care!

mdmd said...

Congrats on the house, you two! It's such a neat/exciting thing - and the new place looks fantastic! What a great deck.:) I am so hopeful and prayer-ful for you both. I am sure you have heard many stories about this stuff already, but as a first year medical student, one of my patients was very similar to you, Sara - breast cancer discovered during her second month of pregnancy; she had chemo during pregnancy followed by radiation and the whole deal - about 5 years out now and doing great - and her daughter Hope is just gorgeous and beautiful as can be. After she had Hope, she used to regularly wear this cute little t-shirt with two daisies on it that read "Tough Titties" - always used to crack me up - she had such a positive attitude and that really carried her through. It seems like the same is true for you both. She's always up for talking about her experience - let me know if you'd want to talk to her. Anyway - just wanted to share that story in case it would offer a little lift to the day. Sounds like the port procedure went well - looking forward to hearing more updates! -Much love, Michelle (Precourt) Debbink

skcExPosed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tam said...

Praying for you guys today. Thanks for keeping us all in the loop! Glad to hear about the new house! It looks great! It also sounds like Sara is getting great medical care. What a blessing for you 3:) We'll check back for updates!
Tamara

UNKYBUNCH said...

Praying for you guys, along with the many others! Congrats on the new house...it looks beautiful!