Still Here

Hi, everyone.  It’s Sandi again.  We are still here at the James.  It has been a long 11 days.  On Friday, we had a wonderful conversation with Stefan’s surgeon.  I was then able to talk to him a little more out in the hallway.  He is such an amazing doctor.  It is so wonderful to have a doctor who is so involved in Stefan’s care.  He knows exactly what to do medically, so that makes me feel so comfortable.  But where he is so different from most doctors is that he truly cares about us.  He’s been doing this for over 30 years, but he doesn’t make us feel as though we are just another patient of his.  In fact, the other day, when I talked to him out in the hallway, I asked him several questions about Stefan’s care.  He finally looked at me and told me to continue taking care of Stefan as a wife would do.  He then told me to lean on him and let him make the medical decisions in Stefan’s care.  That was so amazing to me.  It just made me all the more comfortable with him leading Stefan’s care team.  Thank you, Dr. Martin.

Now for an update on Stef.  He was taken off most IV medications in preparation to go home on Monday or Tuesday.  Since then, his pain has gone back up.  The oral medications don’t seem to be help with his pain.  His G-tube is also leaking around the insertion site.  That is frustrating for him because the bandages have to constantly be changed.  He also on Thursday developed a fistula in his bowel.  A fistula in the general definition is an abnormal opening from one cavity to another.  Once they discovered this fistula, they did an emergency CT to see where the fistula was.  After this, they put a bag over his incision where the fistula was draining out in order to collect the drainage.  Stef is also back on TPN because he is not able to absorb the nutrients from food.  He needs nutrition in order for his incision and fistula to heal.  We are not able to start chemo again until these start to heal.  This hospital visit has been one of our most difficult.  Before now, we hadn’t really faced setbacks.  This time we have.  Our kids have really missed having us at home.  However, I do have to thank my mom for so willingly stepping in and taking such amazing care of them.  I know it’s still hard for them to have their mom and dad gone.  They are such phenominal kids.  For those of you who have not met them, you’re really missing something.  I know I’m their mom, but they have really come through a lot for such young children, and they have made me extremely proud.  I also want to thank some special friends who have come and rescued me for lunch or dinner.  That has helped so much.  Thanks, girls.  And also, once again, thanks to my neighbor, Lisa, for watching over our dog, Sprite. 

Please pray for Stef’s pain to be taken away and that things will start improving so that we can safely take him home without having to turn around and come back.  I am going to hopefully talk to Dr. Martin again tomorrow to try to get some more questions answered.  I want to make sure we don’t go home until we’re ready.  I will be taking over all the care of his G-tube, incision and fistula, and TPN.  Thanks so much for continuing to show your concern for us as a family and for Stef’s well-being.  We also greatly appreciate your prayers.


8 Responses

  1. Thanks for sending the update. I was concerned because there hadn’t been a update for awhile. You are definitely in my prayers! I’m so happy to hear that you have a wonderful support system around you! I am helping to coordinate a similar effort for a friend where I live that is desperately battling cancer as well.

    (I met Stef when I was working for Cerner.)

  2. Even though I haven’t seen you both in a long time it feels like I have known you forever. I love getting the blogs from you, although I like it a lot better when Stef is having a better day. Your “diary” displays a family of fighters, your unconditional love for one another, and your strong faith in God. What an admirable family you are! I pray that Stef has a full and fast recovery! You take care of yourself too Sandi and get some rest!
    Thanks for the updates.
    God Bless!

  3. Brian (Megilligan) and I (Janet) are SO thankful for your update! I don’t think there has been a day that has gone by that we haven’t asked each other if we have seen any news on the blog. The night Stef couldn’t talk to you on the phone, because of the pain, I think I prayed for Stef until I fell asleep. We are Cedarville Grads and both of your parents have been instrumental in our lives and I just wanted you to know that we are always in prayer for you, your children, and Stef.

  4. Sandi,
    Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers. We are constantly checking this blog to see how things are going. We have learned so much by your example on how to handle crisis with such faith. I only wish that if the situation was the same for us, we would handle things so well. May God continue to give you strength!

  5. Thanks for posting the update, Sandy. We’re still praying for Stef’s pain relief and for a full recovery, and for you and your family’s sustained strength through it all. Blessings!

  6. Stef & Sandi–
    We’re still praying diligently and the choir prayed some more at our Christmas rehearsal this afternoon. The Lord, our God, is with you and He is mighty to save! (Zeph. 3:17) Thank you for keeping us updated.

  7. You both are a true testament of faith. God bless you. Please let Stef know that his Texas connection is refusing to lose! Praying for you, Stef and your children.

  8. Sandi & Stef, thanks for taking the time to update all of us. You are much in our thoughts and prayers.

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