Stent removed successfully

The urologist called yesterday, and asked if Rich could make it into the clinic today (Friday) to remove his stent. Of course, we said sure! The stent had been placed in his ureter, between his right kidney and bladder, in early May. It’s a bit uncomfortable, and since it constantly drains the kidneys, it creates a constant urge to use the restroom. It’s like being pregnant…only I think a bit worse!

The stent removal was a quick 2-minute procedure with local anesthetic. We were glad that Rich didn’t need general anesthesia for the procedure, which would have been required if they had to replace the stent.

While we were waiting for the anesthetic to take effect, the doctor showed us the CT scans, and compared what the mass looks like now, versus the original mass. It’s truly a remarkable difference. Amazing. We also saw the residual tumor’s location, and how the vena cava (major artery) is obscured behind the mass.

We talked about Rich’s upcoming CT Scan on August 6th, and the doctor said that if they see any residual tumor, they will want to do surgery. Leaving the mass in would give a 10-15% risk of the cancer spreading or coming back…surgery would minimize this risk.

We’ll find out more in mid-August about this next course of treatment.

Rich is doing really well, considering all he has been through. The urologist today even said he thought Rich was doing really well, considering the intensity of the treatment he’s undergone. Rich has also developed a reputation at the Kaiser Fresno lab as the “bald guy who always has a smile” and apparently is one of the favorite patients in the lab. They see thousands of patients a week there, so that’s quite a compliment! It also shows you how much labwork he’s having done! That’s a lot of pokes with needles!

On Wednesday, Rich stayed up the entire day, with no naps…then did it again Thursday and today. Yesterday, we actually went out to breakfast and it was a real treat to talk again about more than just our current circumstances. Today, his brain was back even more, and he said that if we didn’t have to go to Fresno, that he’d want to head up to Summit Meadow on Glacier Point Road in Yosemite, just to enjoy an afternoon in the high country. This is huge. Rich hasn’t had the energy to even entertain the possibility of going up to the park…so for him to suggest it, means he’s feeling better, every day.

Next week, Rich has an audiology exam on Monday, to see if the chemo as affected his hearing. He’ll also have labs done that day, which will determine whether he’ll need neupogen (which increases his white blood cell count) or not.

This week has been good…lots of rest, and time to catch up on things…and tough, since there has been time to think and begin to digest all that has happened. God continues to teach us new lessons, and reveal new depths of His faithfulness, and we’re thankful (understatement!) for his gentle presence in this time.

Happy Weekend!

Love, Susan

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5 Responses to “Stent removed successfully”

  1. Jeff Grandy Says:

    Rich, It’s just so great to hear that you’re starting to get some of your old self back. That’s got to be a terrific feeling! I’m really, really happy to read about that!!! Good for you!!!!!

  2. Michelle Hagen Says:

    Yay! Glad to hear Rich is feeling better. So funny that my Aunt Nancy was there. She’s a neat lady. We continue to lift you up in our prayers.
    Love, Michelle

  3. Kathy Mohorter Says:

    Oh, the power of prayer! God be with you all. It was great seeing your mom and dad at uncle paul’s . the cousin’s had a great dinner and wonderful coversation. God is indeed good! love, cousin kathy

  4. Colleen Says:

    I am so very glad Rich is regaining his energy. I can picture the “smiling bald guy” quite clearly in my head, and it makes me smile.

    Love you all!

  5. Christine Loberg Says:

    Susan and Rich,

    I pray that the new year to come will bring you joy and comfort. I glad to know that rich is better and will continue to pray for your family.

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