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Healing in the hospital

By: Richard Roozen

Hi all. Ashley is doing GREAT.  She is walking around, eating solids, going to the bathroom on her own, and mostly not feeling nauseous. They were able to remove her IVs and also the epidural she had for pain management.  She still is very sore and has pain which they are now managing with pills and Tylenol. But... she is a real trooper.  Normally after surgery, the family can see the patient after 2 hours. With Ashley, we had to wait for 5 hours because she was very sick and in extreme pain. It took them a little while to get everything under control. Luckily, Ashley doesn't remember any of that. Ashley seems to be a very good healer, so keep up the good work Ash. She is in her own private room and should be able to go home (to the Rotary House Hotel) tomorrow or the next day. That will be several days ahead of schedule.

I'd like to give a little more info about the surgery.  Last year around September, Ashley's left side of her liver (which should be about 1/3 of the liver) was totally involved with cancer and had grown from 1/3 of the liver to about 3/4 of the liver. It was totally not functioning as part of the liver. Her right 2/3 of her liver was also riddled with small tumors. She also had tumors on her lungs and a few small spots on her stomach. After 1 year of therapy, all the tumors on her lungs and stomach were gone. The many small tumors on the right side of her liver were all reduced to small specks. You will recall that I mentioned that they tested several of those and they were found to be just scar tissue at the time of surgery. We asked the doctor why they couldn't remove all of those spots and he said that they would have to remove the whole liver to do that because there were so many spots. But, he felt pretty good that they would all probably be just scar tissue. The liver is made up of several distinct sections. They removed the whole left section in the surgery. That left section had shrunk down from about 3/4 of the liver to about 1/6 of the liver. That is the section that we are now waiting on results back from the pathology lab. Again, we are all feeling pretty positive at this time. Ashley is also using all of her positive thinking to help her heal herself. Go get em Ash, you have come a loooong way.

I wouldn't feel right without thanking some pretty special people.  I’d first like to thank Dr. Fogelman, Ashley's oncologist in Houston. He has been fantastic. I'd also like to thank Dr. Vauthey and Dr. Stark who operated on Ashley. They are the A Team and are regarded as the best of the best. Their attention to detail and skill are amazing. Ashley has a scar that looks like a reverse L and it is around 15" long. They stitched it up with cosmetic surgery precision and the scar will most likely be almost invisible (or at least barely visible). I am sure that their work on the inside is every bit as amazing. Then, I'd like to thank Ashley's oncologist at Skagit Regional Health. His name is Dr. Jafari and he is quite frankly, brilliant. Ashley would not be where she is without his help and knowledge. Skagit Valley is lucky to have an oncologist with his skill. And last but not least, I would like to thank all the advisors (most of whom don't want to be mentioned) that contributed to our voodoo therapy team. You guys are the greatest and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Ashley is using her phone and is back in communication a little, so I think you can start to text her in a day or two. Ash, you will have to let us know if the texting is getting to be too much, but my guess is that it will help in your healing. Ashley is very strong and a powerful healer. We will wait for more good news toward the end of next week when the pathology reports come back. And Ash, we need you to heal fast and get back to Mount Vernon to see your girls and start drinking your John Ellis water again!!!!!

All of our love to our family and friends out there everywhere!!!!!


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