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Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 Summary (so far) and 2nd Surgery update

Wow, it has been a while since I have done an update. Perhaps no news is good news? It's been so long I'll do a brief summary of 2011 with regards to Carl's medical journey. I'll start with December, just 'cause.

Dec 27-Dec 30, 2011 Carl had inpatient Chemotherapy at Froedtert. They let him out one day early so that he could enjoy New Years Eve and Day with his family.

Carl had the hardest time recovering from this particular chemotherapy, and pain increased in his neck. The Doctors decided to operate on his neck to stabilize his neck and debulk the tumor, and the neck surgery was done on Jan 24, 2011. Carl was sent home from the hospital wearing a neck brace, which he wore for 23 plus hours a day, except in the shower, for weeks, and instructions not to drive.

After the surgery Carl was recovering (sort-of) but then the pain in his neck was getting worse. The surgeon saw Carl, took an X-ray, and determined that Carl's spinal fusion had failed, and included a screw pulling out. Carl had an emergency surgery on Feb 14, 2011 to repair the failed hardware. On this surgery they pulled out the screws and put in larger screws, used acrylic glue and more hardware, and fused Carl's neck from the base of his skull to C7.

Carl was released from the hospital on Wednesday, February 16, 2011. After a week or so, Carl felt good enough to start working again, although with reduced hours. Again, Carl was sent home from the hospital wearing a neck brace, which he wore for 23 plus hours a day, except in the shower, for weeks. He won't be able to drive a car for at least six weeks.

Life with the children, of course, continued, and the weekend of Feb 25-27, 2011 was particularily busy. Anthony (a freshman) was in a great musical for 4 days, Miranda (6th grade) was in forensics, and the three younger children had a piano recital, and poor weather made some things more difficult. We survived the activity, but Carl overdid it that weekend. The funny thing about overdoing things is that "hindsight is 20-20". After you overdo something, you know that hey - you overdid it, you shouldn't do that. But by then it is too late. Fortunately, Carl survived, with no ill effects.

The 2nd surgery's spinal fusion has lasted longer and worked better then the first surgery, so far. On Thursday, March 10, 2011 I took Carl to see the surgeon for a post-op appointment. Carl had an X-ray and the surgeon said things look great. He even said Carl could start wearing the neck brace less (an hour or two each day), and that Carl should start PT (Physical Therapy) next week.

This week, later today, in fact, Carl will meet with the radiation Doctor, and 'the doctors' will start planning the next link in the chain of treatment.

1 comment:

NolanCohen255 said...

Again, thanks for the update and glad the second surgery has been much more successful. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers:) Amy Cohen