Our time at St. Mary's was never boring. Here are some details. 

  • Blake's heart suffered some damage from one of his chemos. We've known about this for a while, but haven't had a lot of details. Blake saw his cardiologist right before surgery. Dr. Marais is an amazing, encouraging heart doctor. He is also Jen's cardiologist. He assured us that while his heart will need monitoring, it is going to be fine. It is odd to be in that office. There are people there my age... with their parents. 
  • After surgery Blake's heart was at a high rate (140 to 160) for many hours. Devin had a cardiologist named Dr. Ahmed consult. He put Blake on a beta-blocker. Apparently the type of high rate that Blake was on is not dangerous and is common after a procedure like this. Devin described his heart as "irritable". The cool news was that when they did an echo, his heart was actually better than it was before surgery. His ejection fraction was 25% to 40% pre-surgery, but was actually a normal 60% for Dr. Ahmed. We'll be curious to hear what Dr. Marais thinks of this. Blake will see him in a month.
  • Another part of the adventure was pain meds. Blake was itchy with his post-surgery drug, so Devin called in a pain specialist. She was a great problem solver. She used a fentanyl pump and steroids to help get Blake's pain under control. Turns out he has a codeine allergy. Now at home he is using fentanyl, except in a lollipop format! The nurses were all fascinated by this delivery method as they were not familiar with it. They look plain but taste ok. And they have done a great job at maintaining Blake's comfort.  
  • Blake's walking and strength continue to progress. We are so happy when we see him walking around the house with nothing to help him it all! He uses his cane most of the time, but even the stairs have not been a problem post-surgery.