Tony went into surgery Thursday morning. Before the surgery, Dr. Bihrle and his residents went over all of the possible outcomes and complications that could happen during the surgery. At the very end, he went back and looked at the latest scan again and saw that the tumor butted right up to the pubic bone. He came to ask Tony about his pain, and couldn’t believe he wasn’t in more pain. “Maybe it’s shrunk a bit since that scan two weeks ago”. Clearly we weren’t going to know what they would find until they got into the OR. But I was hopeful.
The next 5 hours were torturous. We’d receive updates during the surgery, but for the most part they were something like “He’s doing well”. We heard they were calling an ortho surgeon in, and then soon after, they were finished. We had to wait patiently to meet with Dr. Bihrle. In reality, I think it was about 30 minutes, but it felt like hours. I’m sure my blood pressure was sky high. Then Dr. Bihrle gave us the news:
- The tumor was bigger than he expected: about the size of a baked potato. (eventually we’ll have pictures)
- It was hard as a rock, which made it hard to remove, but they think they got it all with margins.
- They had to call the orthopedist in to shave back part of the pubic bone. This was a bit involved– they had to make an abdominal incision and cut some of his groin muscles, which makes his recovery quite painful.
- In taking out the tumor, there were some arteries and nerves that were taken out as well. This was unavoidable and something we knew about going into the surgery. This will have implications in the short term and long term, and we would appreciate your continued prayer as Tony recovers from the surgery and gets used to a new normal.
- The most exciting moment of the day, for everyone it seems, is that the urethra was completely spared. Dr. Bihrle had thought it was taken up by the tumor. The whole surgery team was amazed to find that they were able to save all of the urethra, and so far it looks healthy. We haven’t gotten a really great explanation about how this was possible, and I am claiming it as a complete miracle! We talked to our oncologist about it and he said, “that has more to do with prayer than anything any surgeon could do”. We agree, and we are so grateful.
It could be a slow road to recovery. Tony’s been hitting great goals of eating and walking, but it will take awhile to get the post-op pain under control. We’re hoping our baby girls hold off a couple more weeks so that he can recover more before their arrival. Please keep praying for us, as this month looks like it will be full of ups, downs, and who knows what else.