Well to quote Dr. Mattei, Julia’s surgeon, he “could not have hoped for the surgery to go any better”!
We packed up the bags (including some hats as Julia’s hair started to fall out last night) and arrived at CHOP at 6:45 AM. After waiting a short while, they brought us to the OR and began to prep Julia for the surgery (vital signs, etc.). Dr. Mattei came to give Julia a tattoo (just an ink mark on her right side to show which side everything was on – no mistakes wanted) and to review everything with us. Anesthesia came in next and reviewed their plan. They gave Julia some “giggle juice” to relax her and she was able to color and watch a video for a little while. One of her favorite stuffed animals, Kevin went into the OR with her. They even gave him a name bracelet. Julia was a bit nervous, but calmed down when they started to talk to her about Kevin. She told them he had a broken leg for the doctor to fix. Around 8:45 AM they wheeled Julia into the OR. CHOP is amazing and they have someone update you every hour on how things are progressing. They did not start her surgery until about 9:30 AM and we were told about 11:30 that the kidney procedure was over.
Dr. Mattei came out about 12:15 to tell us all was well. He was able to safely remove her kidney and the tumor (without the tumor “spilling”). He also removed all the lymph nodes in the area and half of the adjacent adrenal gland. Once this operation was done, they completed the lung biopsy. They were able to see the suspect spot and remove it for biopsy. Dr. Mattei said he feels it is a lymph node and not any more cancer. We should have the biopsy results early next week.
We were able to go back to the recovery area at about 1:30 PM. It took some time to get Julia back there as once the procedures were completed, anesthesia placed an epidural line in her back for pain management. This will remain in place for several days.
Julia has been sleeping comfortably with Kevin by her side. Kevin also had his legs set and casted! They will both be recuperating together. Julia was brought to a regular room on the surgery floor around 3 PM and will be here for at least 4 days.
Julia is through another big hurdle and is doing so well. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. We will keep you posted through her stay.