We are with Pablo in the PICU (pediatric intensive care unit). He is doing fine-sleeping soundly. The surgery went very well. So well, in fact, that Dr Stein was able to save one-third of his right kidney!!!!!!! THAT IS THE BEST NEWS EVERRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!
That means we are going into next Monday's surgery with a huge advantage. We always knew that the CT scans could only display a two-dimensional picture of the tumors. This meant that Drs Stein and Hardy would get the best view of the growth while Pablo was on the table. We hadn't counted on a n y of the right kidney surviving. It wasn't like we were casting a negative vibe-it just appeared that the tumor had taken over the entire kidney. A cancerous nephrecta-squatter.
What the surgeons found with their first-hand view-and this is a huuuuuuge lesson for all of us-is that the majority of the tumor was behind the kidney, and had grown up and over the top, toward Pablo's front side.
When Dr Stein described this to me and Jo Ann, we both had the same thought: THAT explains why Pablo's distended baby belly had NEVER gone away! We are thinking that we could have been seeing the effects of this tumor for many many years and had NO IDEA that IT could be the cause of his distended tummy.
I mean, we wouldn't have ever GUESSED that there was a tumor in there. His doctors never suspected it either. We did talk about his tummy a lot. It was curious that, even though his limbs were growing and lanking out, and his general musculature was getting stronger-including his tummy-there was still something pushing his belly outward.
Anyway, back to the play-by-play: the tumor was massive-the size of a cantaloupe–and behaved very nicely during the procedure. There's no evidence of spillage. Dr Stein says the blood supply to the kidney is great; he was able to reconstruct the kidney and and the collecting systems; he believes there will be no problems with the kidney. On Thursday, an ultrasound test give the doctors a view of urine leakage if there is any.
Pablo is still asleep. His mini Lego Batman and Robber figures are in his hand. He is under the influence of two different pain meds, and has no less than nine drips, oxygen in his nose, and machines connected to his frail little frame. Two of these bags are blood drips from his faithful and loving teachers, Gloria and Laryl.
We will be in PICU for at least a total of 24 hours-which means at least 2:30 p.m. tomorrow. From here we will transfer to another area of the hospital. Although this is a seriously dated area of CHLA (giant chrome fixtures and first generation digital readouts on the wall) we have a nurse who sits right outside the door, logging Pablo's charts into a computer and dashing in any time a machine starts to beep. Pablo's room is looming right above the corner of Sunset and Vermont. We can see the Hollyhock house from here-the mansion at Barnsdall Art Park, where we saw Shakespeare in the Park two weeks ago.
When we were up there, Pablo and I stood at the edge of the estate and looked down on CHLA, which sits direcly below. We may have looked right at this room. Funny how these things come full circle...