Saturday, February 9, 2013

Down To The Nitty Gritty

Hi Everyone. We just arrived home from Michigan after a 3-day stay. Lauren had labs, saw Dr. Zalupski, her oncologist, and met with Dr. Sonnenday, her surgeon, and a nutritionist named Patti.The plan for surgery is set and in motion. No exact dates yet, but we should find that out on her next appointment which is March 5, the day before Lauren and Mark's birthday!!

We saw Dr. Zalupski for the last time for awhile on Wed. He has turned Lauren's care over to her surgeon, Dr. Sonnenday. This is kind of scary to think the next time we will see Dr. Z is after Lauren has surgery. We have seen him every 2-3 weeks for 16 months. It is going to be hard not seeing him for so long.We have come to love him so much. He has helped Lauren more than you could imagine and is a very special doctor.

Wo had chemo on Wed. after seeing Dr. Z. This was her last chemo for who knows how long. That is really scary because the first thought that comes to mind with no chemo is tumor growth. Dr. Sonnenday wants Lauren's liver chemo free for surgery so I guess this is normal to do. Very scary. Sis got off work and came and sat with us. She was in her scrubs and little flowery surgical cap looking so cute. While at work, her hat is her fashion statement. She loves bright colors, so you can always tell it is her with her bright cap and neon green shoes!! We were in the big semi circle room which we are not fond of, but it was ok because we were on the end. Sis left right before Lauren was done to get food for home. We had salads and garlic bread from a pizza place near their house.

Thursday, Wo had no appointments so we thought we would make dinner for Sis and Bruce. We went to Meijer and walked up and down every aisle for some exercise. They have so much of a variety to choose from. We made breaded pork chops over scalloped potatoes and green beans. Lauren also made a peanut butter chocolate dessert and chocolate chip cookies for them. You gotta understand their house. No junk food whatsoever. Cut up fruit in the fridge. Everything whole grain, low fat,or fat free. They work out practically every day!!! This is what happens when you work with sick people and see the effects of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. I guess it scares you into being healthy. I have been on the receiving end of many lectures by my lovely daughter. They did enjoy the dinner and do enjoy eating what they want in moderation occassionally. I am very proud of them.

Lauren had an appointment with Dr. Sonnenday Friday afternoon. We were sitting in the exam room and a lady named Patti came in. We had some small talk and then Dr. Sonnenday came busting in the room. He ran in so fast that he scared Lauren. He said he had to see another patient, but that Patti would talk to Lauren and he would be back. Patti told us that she was a nutritionist and that Dr. S wanted her to help Lauren get in shape for surgery. She was so nice and the thing she said that we really loved was that she didn't believe in "diets" because they aren't realistic. She gave Lauren guidelines to follow and said that if you are ever craving something, eat it. She said you will try to squash the craving by eating healthy things which won't work. You will usually eat healthy and then eat what you are craving too. So, just give in and try to eat a smaller amount. No food is bad. They mostly want Lauren to exercise every day to get her heart really healthy. I told Patti that I will do everything with Lauren. I know this won't be easy, but we are really excited for this. I will let you know our progress. So, our kitchen will soon look just like Sis and Bruce's. Dr. S came back in and said he had to run to surgery, but he mostly wanted Lauren to talk with Patti. He wanted to see Lauren in 3-4 weeks to see her progress and to give us exact surgery dates. He said the first surgery will probably be around the end of March.

Lauren has explained the surgeries on Facebook, but for those of you who don't have Facebook, I will explain. She will have two surgeries. The first one, Dr. S will go in laparascopically and look around to make sure there is no cancer anywhere outside her liver. If there is not, he will make an incision and remove the small tumors from her left side. He will also cut off the blood supply to the right side of her liver. This will be a 2-4 hour surgery. After 6-8 weeks, if all goes well, he will do the huge surgery. This will last 8-12 hours. He will remove 2/3 of her liver which includes the large tumor. There will be a lot of intricate work involved because her large tumor is leaning on many major arteries and veins. This is such a miracle that she can have this surgery. We have 100% faith in Dr. S. Each surgery will take about 6 weeks to recover from. Lauren is young and strong. She is also in the right mindset for this. So, continue with prayers, prayers, and more prayers. They really have worked for Lauren.

On a sad note, our friend, Cindy passed away last week from this cancer and is being laid to rest today. Please say a prayer for her family. This happens all too often with this cancer and it is just not fair. Rest in peace, sweet lady.

Thanks so much for your continued support. A special thanks to Mark for working so hard to support us and taking care of our pups while we are gone. We love you very much and I know it is so hard for you not to be with us every time in Michigan. Lauren will beat this!!

Love, -Pam

Wo and Gio in Mexico.

This is where you will find us every day. Geez, I think I need to dust off that treadmill!!

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