Sunday, April 7, 2013

Change In Surgery Plan, But Lauren Is Doing Great!

Hi Everyone! I can't keep track of my updates! I am trying to update on Facebook,, and here. It looks like it has been a long time since I wrote anything here, so I apologize. Lauren is doing much better every day. We are at Kristen and Bruce's house right now and hopefully Lauren will feel good enough to go home tomorrow.

Things didn't go as planned for Wo's liver to regenerate quickly. She had a CT last Wed. and it showed not much if any growth as was hoped by Dr. Sonnenday. He was away on a much needed vacation, but kept in touch with his team. They told us that it might have been so much chemo or the Theraspheres that have kept it from regenerating quickly. They assured us it will grow, but may need more time. Dr. Sonnenday called Lauren Thursday night and told her that he had a new plan. No 2nd surgery right now. He wants to wait 2-3 weeks, do another CT and then operate. He said she could live on what would be left right now if he took the other side out, but he would feel better if it were larger. Remember, her whole liver is still inside her, but cut in half. This is supposed to stimulate growth of the good side. Crazy, huh? Lauren is definitely fine with this because she feels it would be so difficult to face another surgery at this point in time.

Lauren was released from the hospital on Thursday. She spent ten days in that joint!! I was fascinated by everything that went on since I was studying to be an RN before I had Ryan and never made it back to complete my degree. The novelty wore off quickly and we were chomping at the bit to get the heck out of there. Too noisy, people interrupting Lauren's sleep, bad food, no privacy, snoring roommates, stinky bathrooms, sleeping in a recliner, etc., etc., etc. I sure do give nurses so much credit. Most of them were so kind and caring and worked so hard. The doctors seem like they live there. They are always there!!! Lauren had a lot of excellent care.

There were many things that stick out in my mind of this experience, but one was extra special. From the time Lauren was in the SICU until the time she was released, she had a surgical team that would come and see her every day when they did rounds. This team was made up of a surgery fellow ( a doctor that has finished his residency and is focusing on a specialty), residents, and medical students. In the morning, at around 6:30 about 10-15 doctors come in the room and stare at you while the fellow asks questions and tells you the game plan. There was a med student named Lizzie, that would come in every day before the rest of them. She would talk to Lauren and try and answer any questions she had. She was the sweetest, kindest, most caring person we had ever met. What an angel. She wants to be a pediatrician and will be the best doctor. We will never forget her.

Wo is free of all her tubes and hoses. Yay!! The surgical resident that put stitches in her drain site with no anesthetic also took her drain out. Did I tell you about that? His name was Sharriff and he was from England. He had the coolest accent. Well, anyway, Lauren's drain was leaking and he needed to put some stitches in it to make it quit leaking. He said the lidocaine shot hurts worse than the stitches, so we stupidly agreed to let him stitch her up with no anesthetic. Lauren almost passed out from the pain it hurt so bad!! So when he came to take the drain out and had to put in a few more stitches, we said lidocaine, please!! The shot did sting and Wo said it felt so creepy when he pulled the drain out. But, the stitches didn't hurt. He was kind of an aloof type of guy, but I bombarded him with questions. I told him I liked his voice and he said he finds American voices kind of annoying. He doesn't understand why we draw out our words. That cracked me up. He also said in England when studying medicine, you must practice techniques on each other. He has had a tube put down his nose to his stomach. He said it was awful. Maybe they need to do this kind of stuff in the states so doctors know what things feel like!! He also thought keeping animals as pets was inhumane. He thinks they should be able to live in their natural habitats. I agree, but think dogs and cats love to be pets if they are treated right.

We have been at Sis and Bruce's house in Ypsilanti since Wo was released. They have been so great through all of this. Sis came to see how Wo was doing every morning before starting work. They both came to see her after work too and questioned Lauren's doctors if they felt something needed to be done. How great is that? Mark and Gio came up for the weekend and Grandma Tommie and Papa Ron came for a visit yesterday.Mark and Gio stopped at their house on the way up and picked up a recliner for Wo to use while she is up here. She is very comfortable sitting in it. Everything feels pretty good on her except she still has shoulder and neck pain. Her incision site is healing nicely. She has to take lasix every day because she is still holding a lot of fluid and I must give her a Lovenox shot in her belly once a day to prevent blood clots. She numbs it with lidocaine before I give it to her and she doesn't even feel it. We are so excited to get back home. We miss our dogs so much, we can hardly stand it. We also miss Ryan, who is taking care of them. Thanks Bub!! We miss you.

Mark and Gio are leaving today because they have to work tomorrow. Sis and Bruce are going to a chief resident dinner tonight!! Fancy!! Lauren and I are hoping to go home tomorrow. It depends on how she feels. The bumps really hurt her, so we may go to my Mom and Dad's, which is about 80 miles away, stay for a night, and then go the rest of the way on Tuesday.

Thanks for all your prayers, cards, and concern. We are lucky to have so many people that care for Lauren and our family. I am leaving you with a picture of Lauren sitting in her recliner with her special guy, Gio. He has really showed Lauren that he will always be there for her and take good care of her. Talk to you later.



  1. Pam,
    I hope Lauren is on the mend, but it's a process. I read Lauren is retaining fluid and the same thing happened to my daughter. She had problems with the cut side of the liver weeping and bile leaks. She also had a "water baby". On one occasion they drained the bile and took out about a gallon and a half of fluid. It's a big surgery and the liver is reduced trying to still do the job it was intended to do. Hang in there and this will pass. Hopefully, sooner then later. Your in my prayers.
    Hugs, Cathy

  2. Thanks for the reassurance, Cathy. That makes me feel so much better hearing from someone who has been through this. I know this is such a slow process, but Lauren will eventually bounce back.