Thursday, January 17, 2008

In recovery

Steve is resting after his long ordeal. He's in room P803 in a special neuro unit that is a step down from ICU.

It seems as if all of his motor skills and functions are intact. There is significantly more drooping on the left side of his face. I'm not sure if that's permanent or temporary. It's certainly an insignificant side effect. His double vision is significantly worse. He's asked for a patch to make having his eyes open more tolerable.

The procedure was the longest biopsy Dr. L has ever done, he said. Once again, Steve is showing us how unique he is.

Everything began well. They entered his skull from the back right as expected. The wire was going in and was about 15 mm from the lesion when Steve began screaming in pain, saying that he felt something in his head. (He was sedated but not completely under.) Dr. L said that has never happened to him in thousands of biopsies. The brain itself has no pain receptors.

So, they backed out. They studied the MRI scans. They saw nothing that was blocking the path -- no blood vessels, no membrane, no nerves. They tried again. He cried out at the exact same spot. They made a different incision site in the same area and followed the same trajectory. He experienced the same pain.

They stopped altogether and sedated him more. They took him back to imaging for another MRI. They wanted to be sure that he hadn't moved within the halo or that they hadn't missed something. They found nothing remarkable on the MRI.

They returned to the OR and worked on a different trajectory. They considered coming in from the front, as we'd discussed last week, but the doctors couldn't get a good path. They instead decided on the back left as an entry point.

That was the way to go. They found a pain-free path and removed three tissue samples.

The whole experience lasted about five hours.

Because of the multiple incisions and complications, they'll probably keep him for two days instead of the standard one.

Steve is eating dinner now -- his first meal since last night. His dad and I are in his room. Betty and Jim have left for dinner. We're taking shifts so he's never alone.

I am relieved beyond description that he came out of the biopsy in such good shape. I am broken hearted that he experienced such excruciating pain. I am further convinced, though I didn't need convincing, that I am married to the bravest, strongest, most amazing man.


jhuckaby said...

Oh, goodness. I'm so grateful he's out of surgery now. I will second your sentiment on Steve's incredible bravery, as well as yours. We will continue to pray for you both, and a speedy recovery.
Please know that you're both deeply cared for and loved. All my love. jamie

Anonymous said...

You do not know me but I am a friend of Mary Jacobs and she told me your story and sent me to your blog. I have just read the majority of it and want to tell you that I went through the same type experience back 13 years ago. My doctor is Dr. Mickey, and I think he is so awesome. I have been living with a mid-grade glioma for over 15 years now, and am still doing very well. I will pray for your husband's continued health.
You may always contact me if you have any questions for me.
Ronda Kalka

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness it's all over! Everyone I know has been keeping a watchful eye all day on your blog, and our prayers are with you both for a quick recovery. May God continue to be with you.
Sarah Jenkins

Denna said...

So glad to hear the biopsy is over and successful. We're lifting you up in prayer and hope you know how much you guys are loved and prayed for!

Jackie and Sydney said...

I'm so glad that the biopsy was a success and that Steve is recovering well. You both have held up so amazingly well under the circumstances. Sydney and I continue to pray for your entire family.

Love, Jackie and Sydney Nguyen

Sasha said...

I'm glad to hear everything went okay, I was really worried after my mum called this morning to tell me the update.
I made an update on my own lj asking my friends to keep him in mind as well. Every little bit helps, I think.

Anonymous said...

We are so thankful to hear Steve is out of surgery and even eating tonight. That is a good sign.

We are still praying for all of you. Don't forget to breath. God's miracles surround us daily and you are one of them.
Melissa Marsh and clan

Anonymous said...

I am so glad Steve is out of surgery and that the biopsy was successful! You both remains in my thoughts and prayers. May you continue to find strength in the love that surrounds you.

Vicki Davis

Anonymous said...

Wow, Steve

Looking at this, I'd say you are one popular guy!

There's no new way to say we love you and we are praying for you, but it's true. We know you will be better and home soon. Can't wait for that!

Tyra, thanks so much for keeping us all informed. The whole family has been checking the blog all day. I have to say that my Mom and Ryan both practically obsess over the blog and its updates. You and Steve sure are lucky to have each other.

Jennifer & Amy

Sweet Whimsy said...

Steve, you are amazing. I'm so sorry there was such pain, repeatedly, during the procedure. We've been thinking of you all day and haunting the blog for updates. We love and pray for you all.


Anonymous said...

Our God is truly an awesome God, isn't He? We have never met before, but we are family in Christ Jesus. I know God is smothering you in only the peace He can give, the peace that passes all understanding. Continue to lift Him up and ask that His will be done, and it will. He is a faithful God. I will continue to pray for the same. Your family is blessed because of the faith God has in you; He brought you to it, He'll bring you through it.

You're in my daily prayers,

Anonymous said...


Isn't it time for you to get some rest, dear? Take some time for rejuvination, please!!! Rest assured that Steve is covered in a blanket of prayer that will keep him comfortable while you recover.

Anonymous said...

We're thinking about you both and keeping you in our prayers. You are a Superman, Steve!
Jackie and Byron

bpchesney said...

Thankfully, the biopsy is over. Steve, you are truly brave and strong to make it through such a painful procedure. You and your family are in our positive thoughts and prayers.


Anonymous said...

Goodness, I'm glad to hear that part is over! Steve is indeed an amazing guy -- and he has an amazing wife. I'm praying for you both and sending you my best vibes.
Love, Linda Swift

Anonymous said...

Please know that our love, thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family, and we're sending you big bear hugs through the Internet.

Holly, Will & Conor

ltpepper said...

Tyra, I just wanted to thank you for your time and emotion in reference to this blog. Louis and I check it each day with great concern. You and Steve are amazingly strong. Please know how much you both are in our prayers and concerns. God bless you all and again, thank you. You are amazing. God bless - Jan & Louis

Anonymous said...

The Domhoff's (next door neighbors to your parents) and all of your Schreiber UMC friends are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Your strength, faith, and the miracle workers "upstairs" and at MD Anderson WILL heal you - keep the faith!

Laura said...

I'm so sorry for all of the pain you experienced, Steve, but I am grateful you have the biopsy behind you now. I hope everyone is able to relax and rest before your journey home.