Sometimes when the news on Brad's health is disappointing, then it takes me several days to find a way to write about it....this is one of those times. On Wednesday of last week Brad & I went to Methodist to have a CT scan run on his chest. The first sign of the seriousness of the situation was just after the scan was completed when the radiologist nurse came out to get me from the waiting room and brought me in to sit with Brad (he is normally wheeled out to me). The nurse told us that Brad had a very large pulmonary embolism (blood clot) in his right artery and was ready to send Brad immediately to the emergency room. Of course, we already knew about the blood clot...but because of the overwhelming concern from radiology, we waited around for the next several hours to follow up with an appointment with Dr. Lehane.
Lehane took one look at Brad scans and said that things did not look good. The scans showed Brad's right pulmonary artery being completely blocked by both tumor and blood clots. Because the artery was blocked there is no blood going to that lung and it is not functioning at this point. And, Brad's left lung is partially filled with clots and tumors, thus only working at 50% capacity, therefore, causing the shortness of breath. The last scan, taken just 5 weeks before, showed significantly less tumor on the left side. It was unbelievable to us how quickly the condition had changed in such a short period of time.
Lehane said that at this point we have one of two options. One being that he could give Brad oxygen (which we already have) and morphene to make Brad as comfortable as possible...letting come what may. Our second option was to perform radical surgery on Brad's artery to try to clean out the clotting/tumor and cut off the right side. The surgery would again not be a curative procedure but, should he survive it, would possibly give him more time. Dr. Lehane referred us to see a Dr. Shawnda Blackman, a pulmonary/cardiac surgeon so that she could take a look at Brad's case and determine if surgery would be possible for him. When Brad asked if this surgery could wait until after Christmas, Dr. Lehane responded in saying that he wasn't certain that Brad would make it to that point. It turned out that Dr. Blackman was on her way out of town that afternoon, so we have plans to see her on Tuesday to see what insight she may shed on Brad's condition.
We spent this past weekend with family. We decided to go ahead and celebrate Christmas with Brad's mom's side of the family. In case Brad chose surgery this week, we thought it would be best if we had our celebration together prior to that procedure. Our family was blessed on Saturday with a holiday meal cooked by the Hankins/Martin life group from Southeast. It was such a special gift. Following church service this morning, we were also blessed with a special prayer held on our family's behalf. It was so uplifting to hear the prayers of those we are closest to, sent aloud, to the Lord in our presence. The energy in that moment was indescribable and I felt incredibly physically and spiritually uplifted from each of those prayers, hugs, and kisses. I could feel the Holy Spirit's presence in that moment. It was emotionally healing and empowering. Thank you for those special prayers and for so freely expressing your love for our family. We are so blessed by each of you.