Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Day 6 after surgery

Dad was moved to a step down room today. It's between ICU and the regular floor in terms of nursing care.

He had a lot of visitors today including a serenade by an old friend Karl, and amazing homemade arepas from Diego. Some of you may remember Diego as one of the cellists that performed at the house when mom and dad hosted a "concert potluck" so to speak.

Dad also had another visit from PT, which included a walk around the floor with a cane (dad explicitly requested a wooden cane, and the PT produced one), and ended in dad showing off some tai chi with alternating balancing on each leg unassisted.

We also found out that dad's neurosurgeon, Dr. Sorensen, is in a band with a few other doctors at the hospital and they decided to keep their day jobs, but are supposedly pretty good. You know dad loves a good musician. 😄

Overall, dad is doing great. His mind is in tact and he has no trouble recalling information about the most random things that he tactfully segways in to in conversation; such as the fact that original arepas were probably made with sheep cheese because there were no cows in Venezuela until Spanish settlers brought them over. Always a social studies methodology lesson somewhere.

Mark and Wendy were able to come by and spend some awake time with dad today, which I'm sure he loved. Of course mom and Katherine were by his side most of the day as well. I want to say thank you to Uday for, again, selflessly staying with dad tonight. He is doing this knowing that he will probably get no sleep due to the constant checks from nurses, but eagerly volunteered because of the love he has for dad.
Dad and the littles about a month ago (Adelyn and Annabelle)

I forgot to mention yesterday that Dr. Friedman from Duke returned my call, and requested dad's MRIs. This is great as a second opinion, but they may also have clinical trials, or be able to refer us to clinical trials that will be helpful for dad after the 30/42 (30 days of radiation/42 days of chemo).

I also spoke with UCLA today, and there is promising information on trials using DCVax there under Dr. Linda Liau. Always good to have a back up just in case!

We are still so moved by your prayers and thoughts for our family and dad. We get strength knowing we have an army of prayer warriors behind us.

Please also pray for my girls.

Mia is 9, and loves her Opa. She has been with him the longest of the granddaughters and spends the most time with him. Dad used to pick her up from school or the house almost every day and they would eat ice cream or hang out at my parents' house and listen to music and read.

Annabelle ("Boo") is 2. She knows Opa has a "boo boo" on his head and he has to stay with the doctors for a little bit. Every night, she asks me to give her "scratchy beard kisses from Opa," when I am putting her to bed. She gets upset when Omi (my mom) comes over without her Opa. Of course when we FaceTimed him, she wanted to be silly and bounce around, but just before calling, she ran in to the room giggling with excitement about calling Opa.

Adelyn ("CoCo") is only 1. She is a cuddle baby and normally loves to just climb in to dad's lap, put her head on his chest, and pat him. I can only imagine how much she will squeal, and how quickly she will toddle over to dad when she sees him again.

The girls are used to seeing my mom almost daily, and my dad, on average 5-6days a week. This is the 8th day in a row now that they haven't seen him and they are looking for him. Mom has also been gone, and I'm sure it's a little strange to them to not see my parents.

Family is everything to me. My parents have always been supportive and encouraging to all of their children. They love us unconditionally, and have always showed us. I've always wanted my girls to be around their grandparents because I want them to have vivid and fond memories of them, to learn from them, to be loved by them. Now, it's more important than ever to me...

Thank you for lifting us up in this journey.

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