Monday, February 27, 2012

Back from Iowa

  I got back yesterday from my trip to see my parents. Everything is going very well and we have some answers and some plans. To re-cap, my dad had kidney stones, and in the process of looking at them with ultrasound, they found a large abdominal aortic aneurysm. Then, while doing a CT scan to see the aneurysm, they found a mass in his bladder. So off I went to be 'helpful' (read: bossy) and see them through some of this.

  So last week after I got there he had further scans to get a really high resolution image of the aneurysm and then we met his cardiologist. We were hoping the repair would be a simple and straight forward catheterization procedure done on an out-patient basis. One look at his scan and each of us instantly knew this was no 'straight forward' fix. The aorta is supposed to descend directly down from the heart and then split into two branches, becoming the right and left femoral veins. His looked like someone had attempted, poorly, to make a balloon animal out of his. It kinked this way and that, folded over on itself and then ballooned grotesquely before once again folding back on itself. It isn't so much an artery as a giant knotted puzzle. So, no simple fix. This will require a big surgery that will last approximately 6 hours and require a week in the hospital. The good news, though, is that he is considered low risk. His heart is strong and healthy. He will see a pulmonologist this week to get his lungs stronger and breathing deeper so that there is less risk from being intubated for so long. The surgery is scheduled for later this month and I will be returning for that as well.

  We also followed up on the bladder tumor and on Friday we checked him into the hospital for a resection of the tumor. The surgery went very well and fast. The tumor was three times as large as they thought, but it was only connected to the bladder wall by a thin stalk. He went in, dug out the end of the stalk, removed the 2 1/2 inch growth and sent my Dad home with just a urine catheter and meds. He called is a 'low-level cancer' which means slow growing and because he thinks he got it all, that this procedure was 'curative'. If the margins of what he removed are not clean, they will just go in and take a little more and call it done.

  So, although kidney stones are awfully painful and I wouldn't wish them on anyone, in this case they led to us finding two very dangerous issues that were caught in sufficient time to be completely fixed. My new motto is: God Bless the Stones! (I think that would make a very nice cross-stitched pillow)


Reba said...

Been wondering about you. Glad y'all got some answers. How did the boys do without you?

Anonymous said...

I've been watching and waiting for an update. What great news.