Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The following section of this post is courtesy of Art Usher, Lisa Marie's lawyer brother:

Lisa Marie is out of surgery. After the surgery was over the surgeon (Dr. Paul Sugarbaker) met with Sean and Art and discussed and wrote up aspects of the surgery. Dr. Sugarbaker reported that Lisa Marie’s color was good and that she was being transferred up to the 3G Surgical ICU while we were speaking.

We attempted to go see Lisa Marie immediately but she was just being admitted to the surgical ICU at the same time as the nurse shift change was occurring. Thus we were informed that it would probably be at least 45 minutes before we could schedule a visit with Lisa Marie.

Overall the surgery went well and the focus is on Lisa Marie surviving and recovering from the lengthy (7+ hour) procedure that she just underwent. Lisa Marie lost an estimated 1200 cc of blood and received three (3) units of blood and six (6) units of platelets. Lisa Marie’s platelet count was not good. Her incoming platelet count was low (90K) as a result of the 10 rounds of chemotherapy that she has already undergone. This number sank to 50K during the surgery, but went back up to 60K with the infusion of platelets. However, with respect to any complications related to embolisms and the like, Lisa Marie’s low platelet count makes the use of any blood thinner such as heparin problematic if not outright prohibited.

In no particular order Lisa Marie’s procedures today included the following:
1) Excision of tissue and walls;
2) Repair of incisional hernia;
3) Lysis and resection of adhesions (scar tissue apparently being a common place for cancer cells to reside);
4) Extensive exploratory for evidence of visible cancer cells;
5) Greater omentectomy;
6) Lesser omentectomy;
7) Oopherectomy;
8) Hysterectomy and bilateral ovaries and tubes;
9) Pelvic peritenectomy
10) Recto-sigmoid colon resectomy and anastomosis;
11) Intraoperative chemotherapy.

Dr. Sugarbaker was guardedly optimistic about Lisa Marie’s long term prospects, but made it clear that this post operative recovery time in the next week is the critical period upon which we need to be focused. Dr. Sugarbaker saw little macroscopic evidence of cancer. While he found (and removed) various nodules in the cul de sac region, such nodules did not appear to be viable cancer cells. Similarly, the tumor in Lisa Marie’s pelvic region appeared to be lifeless. All such tissue, however, was part of that removed. Similarly, the evidence of cancerous tissue on her left ovary was not sent to a pathologist as the ovaries were being removed.

More may be written later but Sean is anxious to go back and schedule a visit in the surgical ICU to see Lisa Marie for himself. We feel blessed by God that Lisa Marie is out of surgery and stable and that there was so little evidence of macroscopic cancer cells during the procedures.

Latest update as of 11:30 pm EDT:
I spent the last 3 hours or so with Lisa Marie in the ICU. Her breathing tube was removed around 10:30 pm which made communicating much easier. The lip reading and scribble on a clipboard was getting frustrating. She is in very good spirits considering everything. She received some Benadryl for itching from the pain medicine and was resting peacefully when I left. This was some day. May none of you or I ever have to go through it again.

Thanks again to all for the prayers, thoughts, well wishes, and general support through this whole ordeal. It has meant a lot to us, more than any of you could ever realize.

Special thanks to Art for being here with me for the whole thing.

And to Sally for the unexpected quick pop-in to the waiting room bearing hamburgers, fries, drinks, chips, double chunk chocolate chip cookies (yes!), and assorted candies. Who was that masked woman?

And also to Renee for the laptop that let me avoid having to do all this blogging on the Blackberry like the first time we did all this colon cancer surgery thing. My eyes thank you.

And now to bed. I've already had my sweet dream. I love you, honey.

23 comments:

Renée said...

That's a lot of ectomies. "Lifeless tumors" sound like fabulous news. Thank God for chemo and targeted therapy. We'll continue to pray that recovery is uneventful.

cuz said...

Great news, praying the recovery process is easy. Sean and Art, you get some good rest, many long days ahead.

Vito said...

Great news and thanks for the updates! We will continue to pray for you all!

Anonymous said...

We are praying for LM's safe passage through the critical post-operative recovery time that you mention. Thank you for the update.

virginia said...

Sean and Art,
Thank you so much for taking the time to update all of us, near and far, who love and care about Lisa. God bless you both, and Lisa, and all who will be giving her care over the next few weeks. Prayers abound.

Ginny

Anonymous said...

Art and Sean,
Thank you so much for such detailed updates. Both of you rest and when possible, give Lisa Marie a hug for all of out here who are with you in spirit. Our thoughts and prayers continue as you begin the recovery phase of this journey, Lisa Marie. We love you. Kim

Leslie said...

Wow. She continues to amaze me(as do you!!) Seriously, she is already communicating?? What a blessing. Certainly not a surprise. She is a trooper. I am glad Art is there with you. Hope to meet him one day. He sounds like a great brother/brother in law. Continued prayers for a easy recovery. Take care. Thanks again for updating.

Mama T said...

Oh man, what a relief to read that this part of the ordeal has happened and it sounds good, although as Renee said, that's a lot of ectomies that i cannot even fathom. What a huge relief to us. Hope, hope, hope that this next week goes well, and then the next 2 months of recovery and then the next 5 years and then the next 50 or so. Thoughts are with you guys constantly. Thanks for posting with news. Tell LM that I said "hey" and that we're still hoping you will all visit one day soon :)

Anonymous said...

The updates are wonderful. Thank you, thank you. I have to ask because I want LM to have her icing on the cake as she mentioned -- does this mean she didn't have the ileostomy she said she didn't want?

Varina said...

Thank God. I hope you all are able to get some peaceful rest. Way to go Lisa!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord. Long day and long night waiting to hear that all went well with surgery. Continue the journey to recovery my friend.

Thanks Sean and Art and many thanks to the doctors and staff at Washington Hospital.

Lisa Marie you are my hero.

babbjs said...

We continue to pray for Lisa Marie's recovery time - I know that can have its major ups and downs. We have friends in DC so please please let me know if there is anything you need.

Love to you all,
Jen

Ragan said...

What great news! Please tell Lisa Marie that we are thinking of her and will continue to pray for quick recovery and return to Houston and the kiddos.

Stephanie said...

What a relief to hear that everything went well and that Lisa Marie is already communicating. Thanks so much for keeping us updated. We're all thinking about you guys and sending lots of prayers your way.

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you continually to bear up from the surgery and to recover speedily. You are also have been on our church prayer list since being diagnosed. You are prayed for each prayer meeting and in each home regularly.

Jon and Donna

PS. When you are ready, just someting to take hospital beds off your mind. You can view Abigail and Chris' wedding pictures at photographybymcnally.com, client gallery, Chris and Abigail galler, password 062709.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lord, for letting the surgery go well.

Lisa Marie, you are truly amazing! Your strength astounds me. We continue to pray for your safe recovery.

Anonymous said...

The sweetest of dreams, Sean. So glad to hear the surgery went well and thank you so much for keeping all of us informed. We will continue to send our love and positive thoughts your way. All our love, Kathryn

Amalah said...

Oh my goodness, what an amazing kick-butt story and woman. Someone emailed your blog to me last night and I am officially in awe of your strength, Lisa Marie. Best wishes and prayers for a speedy, smooth recovery and continued butt-kicking.

Anonymous said...

Jer.29:11 says He has a plan for you. God is Great. Thank you for your loving words to us, Sean and Art. Rest now for she will need you now. Uncle John & I know about this recovery time (17 yrs ago). Prayers and love are with you. Aunt JD

Anonymous said...

Your strength and courage never cease to amaze! We're praying for a smooth, uneventful recovery. - The Gills

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that everything is going so well! Best wishes, love and hugs to all of you. And yes Sean, what a sweet dream!

Sara said...

Thanks for the updates! I'll keep coming to hear the good news. :)

Anonymous said...

The love and courage you both show are inspirational. May God continue to bless you both.