A cancer journey – recovery from surgery

Rick is now in recovery mode 15 days after having his left kidney and cancerous tumor removed. We just finished his longest walk ever … probably one-quarter of a mile … around the block! Things are looking up!

In the beginning, most of his recovery days were a challenge. Had to help him get into a sitting position from the bed … he slept most of the day … eating not so much … requests for pain meds. None of those things are happening now.

Of course I’ve had lots of help. Rick’s awesome sister, Bonnie, has been staying with us for nearly two weeks. We are great at tag-teaming between caring for Rick and Mimi, our daughter in a wheelchair. We can’t even talk about Bonnie leaving on Saturday. Getting the Kleenex ready!

I’m getting pretty good at giving Rick the heparin (prevents blood clots) injections three times a day. Think I only performed one really sorry-excuse- for-a-needle-stick once … maybe twice. Today is “day 11” of 28 days. The bowl of heparin doesn’t appear to be shrinking.

This week Dr. Karam, the kidney surgeon, called to let us know about the pathology report of the removed tumor. It was stunning news. The margins were good and ALL the cancer cells in the tumor were dead.

I didn’t know what great news this was until I spoke with Dr. Campbell, the oncologist, the next day. He told me he had never had a patient have the primary tumor completely killed by immunotherapy drugs. He had one patient come close. I remember Rick telling Dr. Campbell when we first started this journey he was going to be Dr. Campbell’s “star pupil.” Obviously, Rick does not disappoint.

The end of this month we travel back to MDA for post-op appointments and start back up with infusions! We have more tumors to destroy!

10 thoughts on “A cancer journey – recovery from surgery

  1. OMG!! Dixie, this is the MOST fantastic news!! I am so happy for y’all!

    You are doing a fabulous job as wife & caregiver. I do hope that you have some time built in – even just a little bit – for yourself. You need it as much as Rick & Mimi need you.

    Hope to see you soon.

  2. Way to go Rick! I got goose bumps when I read that all of the cancer cells in that tumor were eradicated! Dixie, you may have to change your name to Florence! I can just see you giving the heparin with confidence. You are amazing! My prayers will continue.

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