Let me start off this post by saying that Chris is doing extremely well this morning! A lot of what is below sounds, and was, really scary, but today is a good day already.
After Monday’s immunotherapy treatment Chris was very fatigued. He slept on and off throughout the night and woke up New Year’s Day with some nausea, vomiting, and chills after taking some meds to help with the worsening headache pain. His oncologist recommended we call him with any side effects that he encountered and after a quick call with him that afternoon we came to Brigham and Women’s ER, the hospital attached to Dana-Farber.
They did an MRI and Head CT to see if there was any bleeding or additional growth since Friday’s scans and didn’t see much change but were very worried with his decreasing vision in the right eye. An appointment with the ophthalmologist revealed that the retina cells were still intact, meaning the potential to correct his vision loss was possible; the neurosurgeon and ENT surgeon came up with a plan, along with his medical oncologist and radiation oncologist, to try surgery to remove the primary mass causing those issues, behind his eye. Oddly, the main objective of the surgery wouldn’t be to remove the tumor completely, but to remove enough to relieve pressure on his optic nerve, and if they were able, they’d try to pull additional tumor out to give him the best chance for reducing growth between immuno treatments.
There is this small window of time between immuno treatments to do surgery, radiation, and anything else, that will allow him to recover from that before receiving the immuno so we had to act fast in any of the scenarios.
After 6 hours in the OR, the surgeons came out to let us know the amazing news that they’d removed more than 80% of the tumor. There were no leaks in cerebral spinal fluid, and no complications, including a few things they had cautioned us might be a possibility, including the loss of smell and taste, potentially opening up other parts of his body to borrow healthy tissue, etc. They were both beaming ear to ear and we were ecstatic to say the least.
When they finally let me in to see him late last night, he’d been flirting with all his nurses, joking with them throughout all of his neuro tests, and telling them lots of stories about our life outside these white walls ❤️
He was up and walking less than 6 hours after surgery, and by the time the ENT surgeon came by this morning to check in, was reading the ESPN bottom line to her on the TV - he couldn’t see her face two feet in front of him when we met her on Tuesday.
What an insane couple days it has been. This kid is a fighter, that is for damn sure.
We will be talking with the whole team today about next steps, continued treatment plans, and when we can finally get out of here and home to snuggle our puppies!
I’ll keep writing as we know more - thank you for all the texts and prayers. Keep the PMA coming!!