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Wed. 5/14/03 - Surgery

Wednesday 5/14/03
We showed up on time – 7:20am – for Les’ check-in. All went well, except Les didn’t want to change into the hospital pajamas. They were accommodating and allowed him to wear his clothes until he went under anesthesia. Then they changed them for him while he was sleeping. Les surgery was for a port placement and while he was sleeping, the nurse practitioner came over from Hem/Onc and performed the bone marrow aspirate and spinal tap. Les was in the OR for about an hour and 45 minutes.

His new port is in his left upper chest area. It is a small round metal cup with a plastic membrane on top and a catheter that leads to a main vein that goes directly to his heart. It is under the skin and will be accessed by poking a special needle into it. Les will get ELMA cream to put on the port prior to the poke so he won’t feel anything. At the end of the needle is an IV hook-up. From this port they will be able to take blood samples, give anesthesia and also medicines including chemotherapy.

When Les went to bed tonight (Sunday 5-18) he showed me his bump on his chest. I told him that was where his port was and that because he had it he wouldn’t need to get IV’s in his hands anymore. He went to bed with a huge smile on his face!!!

Les went through the surgery well. He does great under anesthesia and coming out of it. I was right in the recovery room when he woke up and gave him his blue blanket. After they determined he was stable, they moved him to a second recovery room that had a TV and snacks. Les downed two Popsicles and some crackers. When the nurse came to remove his IV from his hand, Les was not happy. You see Les really doesn’t like the tape to be removed. This is as bad as having the needle pokes for him. Well we persuaded Les to eat one more Popsicle and have a race with the nurse to see who would be done first. This worked fairly well and the nurse was skilled at tape removal so the process was rather painless. And anyway, there were three flavors of Popsicles and Les was able to try them all. They even let mommy have one :).

After we left the surgery center it was downstairs to McDonalds for more chicken nuggets. Les was still under the heavy medications, so the activity didn’t bother him. We sat in front of the “ball machine” while we ate. The “ball machine” is one of those that have many different tracks for small balls to follow and depending on which track they go down there are different elements that they encounter. Some activate the lever for gonging a chime. Some go down a long spiral. Some fly through a loop and land in a basket, etc. When they get to the bottom (about 6 feet) they get in line to go up an elevator that takes them back to the top to start all over again. It’s fascinating to watch for children and adults.

When we got to Grandma’s I tucked Les and Grandma in for a nap and went to the store for Tylenol. I wasn’t thinking to pack the stuff we had from home, so I had to get some new stuff. Anyway, it was nice to escape the house to shop by myself for an hour or so. Someone had given us a gift card to Target and it went to good use during that trip.

Les was pretty sore on both his bottom (from the bone marrow aspirate) and his chest. He finally found a comfortable position to sleep in thanks to advice from Aunt Joanna who had recently had a C-Section and was familiar with pain on the front and back of your body.

After Les was in bed, I went to bed and read the chapter about radiation therapy in preparation for our consultation on Friday with the Radiation Oncologist. I don’t recommend it as a bedtime story, but it was the only chance I had to do my homework prior to our appointment on Friday.