Well, today was suppose to be a big day for Mark, but instead it proved to be unproductive and frustrating. I'll quickly post what happened.
1. The doctor who was suppose to order the stomach tube forgot! So, even though there were orders in his chart to not let him eat or drink she had forgotten to put the orders into the department that performs the procedure. Needless to say, it didn't happen today and hopefully it'll get done tomorrow. They did go ahead and put a tube in his nose going to his stomach hoping to drain a lot of the fluid out before the procedure.
2. Radiation didn't happen either. It turns out that they need him to lay down on his back for radiation. He hasn't laid down since he was diagnosed last fall! He usually sleeps in a chair. When he went to lay down it caused him so much pain it was impossible. The radiation team wasn't prepared with pain medication and had to send him back to his room. After looking at his scans they realized the tumor on his back is in between 2 vertebrates. When he moves, specifically to lay down the tumor presses on the vertebrates causing intense pain. They hope to go in tomorrow and hit both his back and neck with radiation and plan on having him heavily drugged while doing so.
3. The stint in his kidney didn't happen either. The urology team decided to hold off on the procedure thinking that maybe once his stomach is drained his kidney may start functioning properly. Hopefully his kidney function does improve without the procedure because if not and they have to do the procedure later it worries me that it'll postpone chemo even further. I'm not a doctor, but I assume a non-fuctioning kidney could affect your blood work.
4. All of these procedures are happening not only to reduce his pain but hopefully enable him to receive chemo. Without chemo the outcome will not be good because his cancer is so aggressive. Since he did not have any procedures done today chemo was inevitably pushed back. For example, without his stomach drained, he can't eat and improve his nutrition levels. Also, without radiation the tumor in his neck can't shrink and allow him to eat.
5. They increased his pain meds today and haven't been able to give him medication for his belly rubin because it only comes in pill form (as a reminder, he can't swallow pills because of the tumor). The good news is his belly rubin has stayed within the normal range even without the pills.
6. As a side note, he has a new found love for popsicles and sprite! Luckily both settle in his stomach well.
Obviously, there are tons of prayer requests that come with this scenario including healing, comfort, God's peace, no pain, chemo, etc. I thought I'd also ask you to pray for the doctor's wisdom in his treatment and my family's patience while we wait for treatment. MDA is one of the best hospitals in the world and we know he is getting great care, but sometimes it's hard to remember when the doctors continue to change their minds, back track on decisions and never discuss treatment plans with one another. Each day a new doctor (sometimes several new doctors) comes in and reverses the medication choices and treatment plans the doctor the day before set into motion. I'm not sure how well you know my family, but we are a feisty bunch! We are definitely in a situation where we are not in control and have to trust God and the doctors at MDA. God is always faithful though and I feel comfort in the fact that He hears our prayers.