Dear Family and Friends,
We’ve made it through the first day after surgery. Zac has been in a lot of pain. He has been very reluctant to move, as pretty much everywhere in his body hurts. He is feeling overwhelming soreness. After a very rough morning, he was able to treat his pain using a self-dosing machine. After a few hours of being reluctant to give himself medication, he understood that he was better off using more of the medicine than less. He’s been far more comfortable this afternoon. He has been nauseous with any movement. The nurses have been turning him from side to side to keep his skin from getting pressure points. I’ve been gently encouraging him to do his pulmonary hygiene. His incision is much larger than I expected, approximately 8-10 cm! It’s also higher on his back than I expected, from about his mid back downward. Fortunately, he has been cleared to move out of ICU tomorrow.
I spoke with the surgeon at 5:30am, just after I got back from the hospital. He was unable to remove the entire tumor, as several nerves were too involved with the tumor tissue. Therefore, he is 90% confident that Zac will require radiation. On the good side, preliminary pathology results found no cancerous cells. The surgeon feels that we are almost definitely dealing with a benign ependymoma. Thank God! In other good news, Zac has already regained sensation to his left foot which has been numb for several months. I hope his symptoms continue to improve as his back heals.
Last night, not 30 minutes went by without my receiving a text, email or message of encouragement. It was as if I could feel all of you waiting with me. Your words helped those 12 hours pass just a little bit quicker. Thank you for taking the time to care about Zac and our family. You continue to humble us!
Even with the news that Zac will likely require radiation, I continue to pray that he will defy the odds and that the tumor will not require that treatment. I pray that each day Zac becomes more comfortable and more mobile. I pray for our children who are desperately missing their parents. I pray for our families who are feeling the emotional strain. I pray that soon we will be home and recovering from this time in our lives. I thank God for this amazing support system that He has built for us.
Believe in Miracles,
The Bollinger Family