[Loch-ruadh] FWD: [Elfsea] Fearghus's surgery - very long

Padraig O'Maolagain padraig_ruad at irishbard.com
Sat Dec 1 08:59:58 PST 2001

Greetings to all of you,
I thank you for your well wishes for Fearghus and our family.  This has been
a very stressful year for us... God must have a very definite plan for us
because we're all still here.

Thursday I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life... one
that concerned another's life.

The surgeon called me about 11/2 hour into Fearghus's surgery telling me
there was having a problem.  It seemed that his stomach tissue was
collapsing and falling apart as he progressed into the procedure and
bleeding profusely and more than was expected.  (Score one for Post Polio
Syndrome) "Everything I touch is bleeding," he said.  This was beginning to
cause complication of it's own, the possibility of blood transfusions and
possibility of bleeding to death.  Major arteries do not feed the site of
the incision; it is fed by small veins, which cannot be repaired like
arteries can.

Also the tissue and organs in the area are fused together.  (Score 2 for
Post Polio Syndrome)  The way it was described to me... tissue and different
organs will separate very easily with a small tug much like "de-boning a
chicken."  Fearghus's tissue and organs being fused made it extremely
difficult to separate the prostate from the surrounding tissue and the
surgeon would have to more or less saw the organs apart.  We suspect that
the fact that he is paralyzed and has no muscle movement in the area has
much to do with it.

Because of the above conditions if he had continued it would have made the
surgery up to 4-5 more hours.  (Not good for a decreased lung capacity)
Also he would have not been able to spare the 2 nerves, which go around the
prostate leaving him impotent.  (Awful for him and me) And the surgeon would
have an incredible time repairing the bladder and urethra meaning he would
leak for the rest of his life and have to wear pads and diapers even if he
did replace the sphincter muscle.  (More than embarrassing for him)

We came to the conclusion that in that condition was not the quality of life
Fearghus would want and would still have the possibility of the cancer
returning at a later date.  Not a good combination.

The current plan is specific targeting beams of radiation for 8 weeks and
possibility of what they call hormone therapy.  The hormone therapy is
specifically medication, which stops all hormone production.  He will be
injected with Lupron or another like drug.  (Then we can kid him when he
experiences hot flashes...hehehe)  His doctor did mention he would
experience menopausal symptoms.

But all of this is better than the alternative.  I'm much too young to be a
widow.  I can handle being a grandmother (which I am) but not a widow.

When I left this evening he was feeling much better.  We figured out that
his Morphine pump wasn't working and he didn't have any pain medication last
night.  He didn't complain to the nurses (He's been fussed at already by
both me and the nurses, several of them) and I noticed the morphine syringe
hadn't moved from its position the day before.  We found the problem (a
faulty plastic tubing) and he was finally getting some relief.  I can only
imagine the amount of pain he was in.  (Stomach surgery the first day with
no pain meds sends shivers up my spine.)

Fearghus told me tonight he would be interested in visitors.  He's at
Medical Center in Arlington on Matlock in room 317.  His phone is attached
to the bed and phone calls are welcomed also.  His release date will
probably be Sunday or Monday.  We thank Gilli for the wonderful balloons.
And we thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers.  Hope to see many of
you soon.  Fearghus will definitely be at Yule Revel on the 15th.  Many
people have stepped up to make that happen, and I thank you in advance.  If
someone will forward this to the archery list I would appreciate it.


Sent via the WebMail system at irishbard.com

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