It was a long day on Monday as my Mom's surgery was bumped to a later time because her operating room was needed for some other emergency. Despite the delay, in the end it was successful and we are all thankful. Six months ago the plan was for my mom to have a bisection to remove the right lobe of her liver and the two tumors in it. About a six weeks ago though, the CT and PET scan's showed that a third lesion had developed in the left lobe making a bisection impossible. This was very bad news at the time. On monday though, the surgeons were unable to find the third lesion at all. They proceeded and completely removed the larger of the two remaining tumors including a full centimeter of healthy tissue all the way around it (about the size of a baseball in all.) They then used a procedure similar to radiation therapy, but that is administered directly while the surgeons have "access", to "zap" and kill the second tumor. Removing this tumor was too dangerous to remove due to it's proximity to a major vein. I went to see her again tonight and she is doing very well. She is doing her best to break all the recovery time records she can, the over-achiever that she is. Time will tell if the cancer is gone for good, but keep the prayers coming and my mom WILL beat this. Read my Dad's email that he sent to all our family and friends after the jump.
Begin forwarded message:
Dear Family & Friends:
Thanks to all of you so very much for your prayers, thoughts, concerns, etc. for Natalie. The bottom line: they have worked very well. THANK YOU GOD. The surgery went as well as could have been expected or hoped for. Dr. Wayne, the surgeon, was well pleased.
I wanted to write last night, but just needed to get some sleep. Yesterday was a very long day. Left for the hospital at 730 AM and got home at 1130 PM. Natalie's surgery was delayed because of an emergency surgery that needed to be performed. Thus, her surgery started at 245 PM, and we saw Dr. Wayne at 6 PM for a short summary of the operation. We could not visit her in the Recovery Room until 830 PM, and then she was moved to her regular room about 945 PM. We left the hospital at 1030 PM.
Dr. Wayne removed one of the lesions by surgery in the right lobe of the liver. The other lesion was treated with radio frequency ablation therapy because it could not be removed by surgery. Until I became involved with Natalie's situation I had never heard of this procedure. Basically, it is very targeted radiation while she is on the operating table. Both procedures went very well. Dr. Wayne said they got all the cancer they could see with the human eye and detect by ultrasound.
And then there was a surprise! The most recent CT scan and PET scan showed a new lesion in the left lobe of the liver. The ultrasound, done yesterday, and visual inspection by the surgeon could not find or locate any of the cancer in the left lobe. Gone, disappeared, not there. Your prayers certainly worked. I was so excited by that news that I am surprised I did not wet my pants! I am still jumping for joy.
Natalie's address while in the hospital is: Olivia Baker, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, 251 E. Huron, Feinberg Pavilion - Room 1101, Chicago, IL 60611. Phone is 312-926-1101. She should be in the hospital 5 - 10 days. The hospital uses her first name for their records.
I talked with her twice this morning, and once this afternoon. I am leaving about 6 PM to go for a visit. She has already been out of bed and starting to walk, but is having some difficulty with nausea when she stands up. I'm guessing this is just a reaction to all the anesthesia and pain medication. I think it best to let her get her rest today, and only short phone calls or visits tomorrow. Anybody wanting to visit can come Wednesday, Thursday, or later. Visits/calls can be a little longer on Thursday. Based on her last hospital stay, if you are visiting on Saturday or later, call first to make certain she is still in Northwestern Hospital. She was in the hospital for only 5 days after the colon surgery when most people are there for 7 - 10 days.
All in all, things have gone as well as we could have expected and hoped for. Please keep the prayers coming. She is going to need them. I think this road to recovery and being free from cancer is still going to be tough, but Natalie will be just one hell of a lot tougher with the love and support of family and friends. As I said when this whole thing started: these Missouri women are tougher than an old boot! And she is certainly proving that.
Keep the prayers and kind thoughts coming. Thanks again for all your support. God's Speed and God Bless.
Bob Baker & Family
PS We had one other pleasant surprise yesterday. We went to lunch in the hospital cafeteria after we had to leave Natalie so she could go to surgery. Mayor Daley was on the elevator. We got to exchange pleasantries with him for three floors. By the way, the food in the cafeteria is excellent; the best I have ever had in a hospital and this is not a joke. I would eat there anytime.