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Post-Surgery Update

Wednesday, January 19, 2005 3:08 PM CST

Dearest Ones,
it's noon on Wednesday. Last night was pretty scary. They finished surgery around 6:00 and we talked to the doctor who said that everything went fine "mechanically" and that we'd have to wait and see when Dave woke up how things were.

We got to see Dave in the recovery room around 7:00 and he was very groggy. Much more so than the other times. Turns out that he was shaking very badly after surgery, from the trauma to his brain/body and the loss of blood so they gave him demerol. This made it much harder for him to wake up. He seemed very out of it, not too responsive and he had great difficulty moving his left side. After very many tries by me and the nurse, he finally did move his left hand and leg a little.

At around 8:00, they took him to ICU. We got to see him around 10:00. He was a little more with it then. He opened his eyes and when I said he had scared me, he said, "Typical Meyer move!" And I knew we were okay then. He was still experiencing a lot of weakness and difficulty on the left side, and with so much bleeding there was a real risk of that being due to a stroke. So they ordered an MRI. I looked at the order and it said "urgent" with really freaked me out. I tell you, I don't think I've ever prayed so hard. They took him to MRI about 10:30 and I asked the doctor to come tell me about the results.

FINALLY, at 2:30 he did. He was not Dave's neurosurgeon, he was an intern or resident of some sort....he was in with Dave during surgery. Anyway, he said that the MRI looked good, that he didn't see any bleeding. He was not able to hazard a guess about how much of the tumor they were able to remove. He did say they checked the margins carefully, which involves removing what they think is tumor, and then taking a small sample of the surrounding tissue and doing a frozen section to see if there are malignant cells in that tissue. He said that the tumor board would meet this after noon to determine a lot of things: 1. Grade of the tumor (how aggressive it is...graded on a I, II, III or IV. Dave's was a III, it may have changed.) 2. How much tumor was removed, how much remains. 3. If they need to do gamma knife on any remaining tumor. 4. The next chemo protocol.

When we saw Dave this morning, he was much better! Praise the Lord for his merciful love and his mighty protection! He is getting stronger on his left side and he is talking to us, just like Dave! He's having less difficulty opening his eyes and the droop on the left side of his face looks better to me.

Dave did have to have another infusion of platelets today. Please pray his body will rebound and heal from the effects of the last chemo (carboplatin) and begin making his own platelets.

He is in some pain, but because they did the MRI so soon, this time he is able to have some morphine. They usually only give tylenol after brain surgery because the narcotics can mask the symptoms of a brain bleed.

They had placed a drain in the surgical cavity to prevent fluid build-up in his brain. That has been removed.

They have given the order for him to move to the medical floor and out of ICU as soon as a bed opens up. That's great news.

The kids were able to see him this morning and are quite reassured after seeing that Dad is still Dad.

Please pray for:

Dave to be able to make his own platelets and for all bleeding to continue to be controlled.

For pain relief for Dave.

For strength and control to return fully to his left side. I mean, he HAS to be able to play his guitar, and that requires a dexterous left hand!

Safe travel for my parents and the kids as they go back to Walla Walla this afternoon.

Peace of mind for the children as they have to be away from Dave and I.

We love you all so much. Thank you for your love and your prayers and your support.

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