Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009 by Genoa
I am not very good at keeping this up to date but here's the latest on Caleb....
We went back to GUH last Saturday to have the upper packing taken out and Caleb had taken some pain meds and his antibiotic with only a piece of toast so between that and the "extraction" he got sick when we got home and had a bit of a rough day. Recovered from that and went to church on Sunday then to see Star Trek with some friends (and Mark) after church.

On Tuesday we (Caleb & Genoa) drove back to GUH and Dr. Newkirk cleaned out the surgical site, we will go back once a week for the next 4 weeks to have that done and then that will be followed by a CT scan in 2-3 months to see where things stand. A part of the tumor close to Caleb's eye was left because it was so close to his eye, the pathology report came back as an ossified fibroma, which is what we thought and is BENIGN!!!
Caleb is allowed to return to work in the After School Program at Tiger Claw (his Taekwondo school) but is not allowed to "rough house" ! :-) Also it will be a while before he can resume his own TKD training.
We have had many wonderful friends providing meals for us almost every evening and what a tremendous blessing that has been!!! Thanks so much everyone!

Daniel has played varsity baseball with the Leesburg Christian School Lions for 3 years and this past Friday his team won the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in O.D.A.C.S. (the League of Christian Schools they are in) for the 2nd straight year!!
I was able to go and watch both games and even go watch Star Trek on an IMAX screen between games (now that was fun!)

John turned 13 last Sunday and we now have 4 teen-age boys.....18, 17, 15 and 13!! What fun!

Thanks to everyone for praying, GOD IS SO GOOD!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

5-13-09, 2:50PM, by Mark
I'm leaving in a couple on minutes to pick up Genoa and Caleb from Georgetown University Hospital. CAT scan looked good. They'll be going back Saturday for an office visit to remove the remaining packing. We're on the road to being done - till the next thing :)
Thanks, Mark.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

5-12-09, 4:30 PM by Mark
Caleb is in his GUH room, resting and comfortable. They did NOT need to do a craniotomy, but removed the mass nasally. They'll do a CAT scan in the morning to make sure what they got was satisfactory, but he could go home as early as tomorrow afternoon! :)

The Details:
We arrived at 6:AM, went thru pre-op questions and exams by the three teams, ENT(ear, nose and throat), neurosurgery, and anesthesiology. Each team asking their own, often redundant set of questions. It was here that they first mentioned they could be proceeding either of the three ways again [thru the nostril; straight in past the nose, thru the face; or thru the scull past the brain]. We had mistakenly understood that the craniotomy was the only option left, but Dr. Newkirk (ENT) was hopeful that his new stronger tools (broke 4 last time and it was slow going) would help him get the job done. Dr. Douglas (neurosurgeon) would be by his side and very possibly would need to approach from above if Dr. N. couldn't access the whole tumor from below(thru the nose). Then we said our good-bys and they carted him off at about 7:30; we headed to 2nd floor surgical waiting. Our first report from the liaison lady was about 10:AM - she had just come from his operating room. They had begun about 8:30 and things were progressing just fine. Then at 11:30 she reported again that Dr. Douglas was not involved and would not be needed, Dr. Newkirk was able to get access to the whole tumor from below. It would be about another hour. We were guardedly ecstatic! Then about 1:00 Dr. Newkirk came up and beckoned us to the consultation room. He said he had good news and bad news. the good was that he was able to get all the tumor except for a small, hopefully insignificant part close to the eye. The bad was that they hadn't needed (the neurosurgeon) Dr. Douglass. :) :) Even with his better tools he still broke 3 bits, but was able to accomplish in 15 minutes what had taken him 3 - 4 hours last time. He would check in on us later this evening, do a CAT scan in the morning and if that looked good, and there was no spinal fluid leaking and Caleb was otherwise doing well, we could go home as early as tomorrow (probably later in the day).

He is receiving antibiotics and some pain meds for mild discomfort. Genoa is also resting in the lounge chair beside his bed. We are again in GUH's Pediatric ward, 5th floor, CCC building - this time in room 5205. They are watching him to make sure he's comfortable, keeps food down, tolerates the meds and continues to improve. He's tired but able to answer questions and maintains a mild sense of humor.

Ahead for Caleb.
They are biopsying the mass again. Weekly for the next few weeks we'll need to return for Dr. N. to clear out his nose, then every other week for a month or two after that. Then in about 2 - 3 months from now he'll have another CAT scan to make sure all is well in there. By that time he should be back to normal, returning to his regular routines.

Thank you all for your prayers, care, well wishes and meals. God is great and merciful. We love you and are humbled by your love for us.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11, 2009

Well we are packing our bags and preparing to leave Leesburg tomorrow at 4:30 AM.
Caleb is as calm as ever and has begun his "feeding frenzy" before he is cut off at midnight! :-)
His request this morning was to have dinner at Chipotle so after co-op (which he went to today to visit his friends - next Monday is the last day of co-op for the year!!) off we (Caleb & Genoa) went to Chipotle in Sterling (our newest-current favorite!) We stopped at Borders so he could get a couple of books he likes to read (Manga) for after surgery while he is still in the hospital.

Thanks to everyone for your continual prayers on our behalf. I just told a friend that I really feel God's grace each time my mind begins down the road of "anxious thoughts", He turns my thoughts to Him and reminds me how very much He loves and cares for Caleb!
I am taking the lap top so will do my best to keep everyone updated via the blog.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Daniel crossing home plate.

He didn't knock over the catcher!

Caleb showing off his ping pong skills

at his 17th birthday party!!!


A little update.....

Last post we were waiting to hear from Dr. Newkirk on some particulars.

Caleb's surgery should take 5-6 hours and is scheduled to begin at 7:30 AM. We will need to be at GUH at 5:30AM. Leaving Leesburg around 4:30AM but as my Aunt Neysa says: "You never can really sleep that well the night before surgery." Mark and Caleb usually can but not me. :-)
We should expect a 3-7 day stay in the hospital.
Caleb will be "recovering" for a couple of weeks and then within 3-4 weeks after that back to a normal routine (and if you know the Allen Fam, "normal" is anything but NORMAL around here!)
Daniel's high school graduation ceremony is on June 5th and our church's "Family Retreat" is June 25th. Also my niece Heather is having her 2nd baby on June 3rd so I am hoping to be able to help with her precious 14 month old Maddie that morning while Myra is at the hospital with Heather and Dave as "Little Davey" is born!! An event filled exciting summer. This is Caleb's last summer before he graduates next June, he really has plans for a fun-filled summer so please continue to pray that surgery goes well and for a quick recovery! Our God is so good and faithful!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

This is Daniel eating chili when he's a little over 1. We had to get a bunch of photos together for his High School Graduation ceremony on June 5th!! Cute baby!!!

Mark and I decided we should call DR. Newkirk today and before I made the call Jennie from GUH called me to set up Caleb's pre-op appointment which she called back to say he didn't need.
So here's what we know so far; Surgery is scheduled for 7:30 AM on Tuesday May 12th. We need to be there at 5:30 AM. Many questions remain such as how long will the surgery be? How long will the hospital stay be? How long will recovery be once we get home?...and I'm sure some that I can't think of right now.
We met a family in the surgery waiting area when Caleb was in surgery on the 21st, the 27 year old daughter was in the first day of a two day surgery which required a craniotomy due to a tumor on her brain stem. First day was to open the area and was apx. a 10 hour surgery and the next day was even longer to remove the tumor. I am able to follow her progress via the blog and also correspond with Bev her Mom via email. I know God covers every detail of our lives because in meeting this family some of my fears have been lessened and seeing the effect prayer has on Kristin and seeing all involved trust God is truly an inspiration to me. Thank you Kristin, family and friends!!

Please continue to pray for Caleb and the upcoming surgery, he continues to be so brave and doesn't seem fearful at all.

When we were first in the hospital for the meningitis I was doing my devotions the 3rd morning we were there and this is what I read: John 9:1-3
"As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him,"Rabbi, who sinned this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him."
My ESV study Bible explains vs. 3: That the works of God might be displayed in him indicates that God in his mysterious and wise providence sometimes allows his children to go through hardship and suffering so that they can experience God's mercy and power in delivering them. - this was such a comfort to me knowing our God is so good even in our suffering!!

Well that's it for now as soon as we know more I'll post again.