Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Finally home...

After 9 days in the hospital I finally got home this afternoon. These past few days have been hell for me (I guess I'm difficult!) and I'm still in a tremendous amount of pain from where the chest tube was pulled out today. I am currently neutropenic (extremley low white blood cell count) and my doctors basically ordered me out of the hospital because of this (it's much more risky to be there than to be at home). I guess this is the only time I will be happy to be neutropenic (of course I can't leave the house without a mask or have visitors until my counts come back up which should be a couple of days).

So, I don't even remember the chemo at this point. The surgery, and the issues we had after far overshadow the chemo and I am hoping that the next round (scheduled for August 17th-August 21st) will be an "in and out" in five days sort of thing. We'll see, but as far as I am concerned, after what I went through these past few days, the chemo felt like a walk in the park (that I didn't remember). I have to thank the staff at Crouse Hospital - they were all so wonderful and sympathetic to us. They really make a horrible time better for us.

The surgery I had was called a "pericardial window" and I have to thank Dr. Gorman for his work in getting me into the OR as fast as they did. Because of the chemo cycle this surgery had to be done the day it was, or we would have waited until the next cycle, which could have been very bad for me. Basically Dr. Lutz (the surgeron, who was awesome) went in under my ribs and removed a pretty good sized piece of my pericardium. This allowed for fluid to drain (which hadn't been happening) and amazingly, I'm told that over 1.2 litres of fluid came out. I kept imagining a litre sized gatoraide bottle just sitting in my chest cavity putting pressure on my heart. It's hard to say right now if theres a difference because I am in EXTREME pain from the surgery, but I can say that my airways and breathing do feel great.

When I came awake from surgery I was confused and fighting and had to be restrained. In my life I've never felt more pain and I remember begging for relief as they wheeled me to the recovery room. We would spend the entire night like this. I will say that the staff at Upstate (I was transferred there from Crouse for surgery) were great and they tried their hardest, even though it got very tense. I can't even describe how my family must have felt watching me, screaming in pain with nobody really knowing what to do about it. I know it was pretty rough for me...and today was really the first day the pain dropped below a "six out of ten".

I knew this would happen eventually. I've been living with this cancer for near 10 months now and it's been fairly easy on me, with a few bumps here and there. Now that I will be going through this new chemo things are going to get rough (as they have) but I keep telling myself that I know why I am doing this and this is the means to an end.

Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who texted, emailed, called and visited while I was in the hospital. Though I didn't have many opportunities to respond back, those things mean so much to me. Thanks for all the visitors as well, it was really great to see the family, friends and co-workers who stopped in to support me. And finally, thanks again to my family (and Shana's family) who just never stopped being there for parents, in-laws, siblings and other family members were great. I love you all! (and're the best!!).


Anonymous said...

So glad your home! Its right where you need to be. Glad to hear the pain has decreased from the surgery! You are a fighter and you will win this battle! I love you and cant wait to come see you when your counts are up.
Love You!

Jeanette said...

Will, Glad to hear you are home. you are an amazing and strong guy. I will continue to pray for your recovery.


Anonymous said...


Glad to hear you are home. Ethel and I are thinking of you. You are amazing with your strength and determination to beat this. Keep this positive attitude. Our thoughts and prayers are constant and will look forward to seeing you when we get to Syracuse.
Rob and Ethel Schmitt

karen.wilson said...


I continue to send prayers and positive thoughts to you and your family and bless all of you.


Rich P said...

Will I am glad you are home.I will continue to pray for your recovery.Oh bye the way Start looking over your fantasy football because this is the year you might even make it to the playoffs with TO. Glad your home man. Feel better

Andy Wiechmann said...

I check this everyday Will - I'm glad to hear you're home now! I am in awe of your positive outlook - I know you're going to beat this - it's just a matter of time. Lindsay, Olivia, Marty and I are always here if you need anything. Good luck!

- The Wiechmanns

Anonymous said...

You are in my prayers...glad to hear you are home and hope you will be feeling better soon.
Love, Marianne

Anonymous said...

So glad you are home and to hear you are still very upbeat considering what you've gone through. Just to let you know, you are getting the exact same treatment that Ruben received (I barely finished reading all 400 pages of his medical records just to figure out what he went through other than what we witnessed). His scans are still showing he is still cancer-free and the only bump in the road is this upcoming surgery to replace a valve. Like you, this doesn't bring him down and he is looking forward to feeling better after surgery, which is in the process of being scheduled in September. You hang in there and keep up those spirits!
With kindest regards,
Sandra Mendoza-Avila and family

Lindsay said...

Love you Will, so glad you're feeling better XOXO

Anonymous said...

Hi..Will...As I read this, I can only think of what you must be going through. I am glad that you are home. It has to be better than being in the hospital. Also glad to hear that your pain is decreasing. Just remember what you are fighting for. You will win because you are fighting so hard for this! I have been reading a book my daughter-in-law gave me to read. My husband has MS and he has his ups and downs too! But in the book, I read that God wants us to ask for blessings so I have made this my mantra. Every day, if you ask for God's blessings, he will send them to you too! Stay strong!

Anonymous said...

Always thinking about you Will. Miss you.

Laura Cardin said...

Hang in there Will. You can beat this thing. I am part of your AHA family and now part of the cancer club too! Chemo and surgery suck but you can do it!

Laura Cardin
Columbus, GA

Meg Sullivan said...

Hey Will-

Am anxious to hear how this last round of chemo went. I check your blog daily to see how you are doing.

Hang in have so many people behind you.

Still saying prayers EVERY day for you.

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