Friday, October 21, 2011

Drew walking the hall with physical therapist after scoliosis surgery.

The incision to repair the scoliosis.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spine Surgery

Drew had to be at the hospital at 5:30 the morning of surgery, Monday the 17th. The hardest thing I've ever done is not go to his surgery that morning. I came down with the flu on Saturday and had stayed home from church Sunday hoping that I'd be well enough. But, Monday morning came, and I knew that it wouldn't do Drew any good at all for me to go as sick as I was. And, I didn't want to risk giving the flu to someone else---maybe someone who was already very ill. What a lesson for me. I've always been able to be with him during his surgeries, so not being there was difficult for me. The Lord softly reminded me that He is in control---whether I am there "overseeing" or not. Drew came through surgery wonderfully. The surgeon was very, very pleased with how well things went; Drew didn't even need the blood transfusion that had been prepared.

The days after surgery have been difficult. Because of my flu, Lane stayed with Drew from Monday until Wednesday afternoon. God knew and prepared for what I really hadn't anticipated. Daddy was able to lift Drew and turn him in a non-stop effort to find a comfortable spot. The incision is from his neck to his hip, so his pain level is great, and every movement is agonizing. But, I am not strong like Daddy, and my first night with Drew was tough. Getting him turned over and up and into the chair has been alot harder than I thought it would be, and I know I haven't made it as comfortable has Daddy did. But, Drew is slowly regaining some mobility and able to help a little with turning himself over. He has met every milestone they've set for him: the first day--sit up; the second day--walk; the third day--shower. The only thing he hasn't done yet is eat. He hasn't eaten since Sunday, and he will have to do that before he can go home.

Thank you, dear Lord, for the wonderful grace you've given us, and for Your careful watchcare over us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

More Surgery

Praise the Lord, all the results from August's scans have been really good reports. No cancer cells are showing up anywhere in his body! Thank you, Jesus! We are really thankful for those good reports, but the other reports we've gotten this month haven't been as positive. When the doctors initially removed the pineapple-sized tumor, they also had to remove 4 of his back ribs because of residual cancer cells on those bones. Later on, they had to go in and remove another rib simply because it had become so fragile and brittle that Drew was breaking that rib every month. With a total of 5 ribs removed, there has been no stability for his frame. We began tracking the Scoliosis (curving) of his spine the first part of 2010. Since March of this year, his curvature has quickly climbed to 67%. The doctor was alarmed at the rate and explained that the spine surgery cannot wait. He ordered an MRI to be done as quickly as possible, and barring nothing showing up on the spinal MRI, Drew's spine will be operated within the next couple of weeks. They will place two titanium rods secured by 25-30 screws. The extensive surgery will require months of recovery, but it should correct the problem completely. We are also seeing a nephrologist (kidney specialist). For the past 6 months Drew's creatine has been consistently high indicating definite kidney damage. One of Drew's chemo drugs is known to cause damage, but the puzzling part of the equation is that Drew's high levels did not happen until months after chemo was finished. The damage could be a side-effect of one of the anesthesia medications from past surgeries or it could be simply a totally unrelated condition that is just now showing up.

So, for now we await the scheduling of Drew's spine surgery in prayerful anticipation that the surgery will be a help to Drew and will allow him to live with a little less pain. Thank you for your continued prayers for him.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer, 2011

It doesn't seem possible that 3 months have passed already. We had such a wonderful summer! Drew recuperated very well from his surgery in May, and in June went to youth camp in Georgia. What an awesome time our whole youth group had together---and brought back several trophies from sports competitions, too. We just had a great, great time with our Jr. campers and then the teens the very next week. July brought a special treat for Drew, Clay, and Benji. Some of our most precious friends, Brother Michael and Mrs. Nahid Scahill, invited the boys out to California to spend two weeks with their family. I can't even begin to describe how much fun they had. They went hiking, played basketball everyday, went camping, and swam in the Scahill's pool countless hours. It was a trip that Drew will never forget, and we just thank God and the Scahill's for offering such a priceless treasure to them. Then came August and our Vacation Bible School ministry that our teen group have a VERY active part in. Drew did a great job doing our puppet skits every night and working with the kids in the games department.
We are just so full of gratitude for the things that Drew has enjoyed this summer and for each special milestone in his healing. He's feeling stronger, but he still has quite a bit of pain everyday and usually gets tired very easily. And, we just continue to look forward in the hope that the Lord holds our very lives in His hands and does all things well.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Drew has been out of the hospital a week today. As I write this, I am overcome with praise as I watch my sweet young man outside with his brothers. He's not able to play, but he can watch:-) We are so thankful; so, so thankful.

He is healing well. His stitches have not dissolved yet, and that is causing him some aggravation. We caught him trying to pull them out himself:-( I know it itches like crazy. He is doing great with his pain tolerance. He hasn't needed anything for pain in 4 days. We are in awe of how the Lord has touched his body. The biopsies thus far have been clean. Drew has a follow-up appointment Monday.

We thank each of you for praying for Drew and will keep the blog updated on Drew's progress and potential chest wall reconstruction surgery in the early fall.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Surgery Day, May 11th

Surgery was supposed to begin at 8 a.m. today. Because of an emergency surgery on a 3-week-old baby, Drew's surgery didn't start until 10. We were anticipating a 2-hour surgery, and it was right at 2 hours. The surgeon is very, very encouraged by what he found. The "mass" turned out to be mostly water!! The rib had been broken at least 4 times since last July, and was removed completely. It was, as they thought, totally useless in providing support any longer. Everything was sent to the lab for a complete biopsy, but the doctor is very hopeful that nothing is going to be found! He actually said it was the best he could have hoped for! We are rejoicing and literally ready to have a shouting fit!

Drew will have to have the chest tube for likely 2 days. We are hoping to get labs by Friday.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord! Thank you to all of you sweet friends for praying!