Friday, March 6, 2009

Day One-Post Op

First off,
Thank you to everyone for your sweet messages and supportive prayers. As you can imagine, we are all pretty exhausted but cannot seem to get any rest. I will take you from the time we first saw Carson to right now as he finally drifts off to sleepy-land.
Last night around 8:00 p.m. Corinthia (Carson's Momma) and I went to see Carson in recovery and he looked GREAT! As I said in the first post, the doctors were very pleased with the surgery and thankful only the pectoral muscle was needed to help repair the 3-inch hole in his chest. His 5th rib was removed along with the chest wall. Dr. Swisher, the thoracic surgeon placed a piece of mesh over the hole and covered it with concrete-like matter. The plastic surgeon said most of the time they do not go through this much trouble, but since Carson is 24, they wanted him to have a symmetrical chest. The plastic surgeon then took the pectoral muscle and the top of the oblique to seal the hole as added protection. He as three drainage tubes; one for lungs and the other two for the muscle. Hopefully, the lung tube will come out tomorrow and the other two will come home to Waco until next Thursday. This is to ensure the peck muscle is attaching itself correctly to the skin and very little fluid is forming.
In true Carson form, he was charming the UT Longhorn nurses and giving them a hard time. His first words were, " I'm a tough-Red Raider and I want a steak!" Would you expect anything else???
His recovery nurses just loved and doted on him and even allowed us to bring back multiple visitors...especially 4 surprise guests all the way from Dallas, Fraser & Sydney Holmes and Andrew Quijano and his girlfriend Laura! What a wonderful and perfect timing surprise. Carson was so happy they made it and he could not believe they made the long trip. We both are so thankful for our supportive and loving friends.
We were finally in a room and settled around 10:30 pm last night, too bad we were both too wired to the nurses and staff came in every 20 minutes doing this, poking that, asking questions....and they wonder why people hate hospitals. But in complete fairness, everyone here has been amazing and easy to work with. They even let him have water early and at 2:30 this morning he was walking around the hallway...veeerrrryyyy slloooowwwllly. We cat-napped until around 6 and John and Corinthia came in to visit. The plan was for me to go back to our room, which is attached to the hospital, and shower and sleep, but I could not peel myself away from him. We went to X-ray his lungs to make sure they were not collapsing and then returned to continue his breathing/coughing exercises to fight off pneumonia and infection. He is to do these every hour on the hour.
The rest of the day consisted of nurse and family visits and finally the beginning of his "clear liquid diet." Poor thing- his choices were chicken, beef or veggie broth, jello and drinks. So throughout the day he ordered three different plates. He REALLY did want a steak.
So far, the only complications we are seeing is slight nerve damage in his left arm and eye, maybe from the epidural. We are watching certain areas, to make sure it is nothing serious.
As for testing the mass, we spoke with Dr. Swisher and the plastic surgeon today and we will not know what this mass is for almost a month!!!! Since it was mostly bone, they have to allow it to calcify and breakdown. He did say, he feels like it is highly likely to be benign, based generally on seeing it and how it has not attached to the chest wall, lungs or soft tissue...this is good so far. We must still keep praying.
The day closed with my parents leaving for Waco to pick-up our sweet angel, dog-child Belle, whom will be going back to Grand Prairie with them for a while or at least until Carson is a little more stable.

We had some more surprise guests today too! Julie Longoria is doing her pediatric dentistry residency just one block from M.D. Anderson, so she stopped by in her cute scrubs with magazines for us both and then some of Carson's Beta Fraternity brothers made it over to see him and cheer him up! We also received 3 gift bags of goodies--thank you to Taylor and Hayley Shelton, Alice Meek and the UHS Coaching Staff and Alice's sweet mother and the great Beta men: Justin Tucker, Chris Baker, Patrick Lashford, Clayton Ellis, and Adam Lawlis. All of you mean the world and we appreciate your love and support.
Shortly after everyone left, Carson's first meal was a gigantic cheese burger with fries...although he did not dominate this massive meal, I have no doubt in my mind that he will conquer the next. Nevertheless, the pain has begun to really set in and it just doesn't seem like there is enough pain medicine. He is handling it all really well and has been a good patient. Overall, today was good, but now it is time for rest. I finally can hear him slightly snoring off to is actually music to my ears. We hope to be out of here Sunday and back home to Waco for recuperation. Regardless, we'll return Thursday to remove the second tube and check on the remaining tube.

I would like to finally praise God for getting us through this. We all feel as if an elephant has been lifted off our shoulders, but this is just step one to Carson's road to recovery. Although the journey will be trying, we will keep our faith and put Carson's pain into the Lord's hands. I know in my heart this will all go well and has a purpose. Thank you for everyone. We love you all.


Please keep the following people in your prayers as you pray for Carson's healing. Coming to M.D. Anderson has been an eye opening experience and I stop to pray for every single sick person I see on a daily basis.

Chase Mitchell-Fighting melanoma at M.D. Anderson
"Jack"- We met his wife in the surgery waiting area and they were unable to get to his tumors. Please pray for patience and strength
Carson's Papa Jim-Made the trip all the way down to Houston today, while he is also fighting prostate cancer, which has spread to the bones
Carson's Uncle Mike- Fighting colon cancer
Stephen and Nikki Chambers-( Carson's cousins) And their new baby girl
Carson's Papa Jerry- heart problems and currently hospitalized in DFW Brittany Horton-
Andrew Littel-Our Patriot- fighting bravely in Iraq


Kim said...

Carson and Kelsey

Glad to hear the surgery went well. We hope Carson has a speedy recovery and positive test results. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both as well as your families.

Joe and Kim Ylda

beth.rustenhaven said...

Carson, Please know you and Kelsey are in my thoughts and prayers. You were always a strong little boy and have grown into a strong man both emotionally and spiritually. Praying for good results.
Beth Rustenhaven