The last time we updated Clint’s story, it was in August and he was getting ready for surgery in Omaha on August 23rd. His bowels had quit working and he was throwing up everything he ate or drank. Dr. Mercer was confident that he could get everything working again, and help him gain back his weight.
On August 23rd, the surgery started at 7:30 and finished by 1:30. Dr. Mercer removed scar tissue and all of the compromised intestines. He was able to reconnect Clint's bowels with no leaks or constrictions. When he finished, he stated that Clint’s bowels should start working the following week. They did! Our prayers had been answered and Clint was one happy guy.
Clint was in the hospital, at Nebraska Medical Center, for over 2 weeks. He had a few complications with an infection(which required another surgery) and pain control, but the doctors and nurses were able to get everything under control. Dr. Mercer and his team wanted to monitor Clint's overall progress with eating solid foods and getting his body to work properly again. With just a few set backs here and there, Clint continued to get better and stronger with each passing day.
Marie, Clint's Mom, brought his girls up to visit over Labor Day weekend, so they could see their parents and give Savanna a break from the hospital. This was a much needed visit for the whole family. The girls definitely missed their parents and Clint and Savanna needed some much needed hugs and kisses from their girls. Clint getting to see his kids is the best medicine for him. Seeing them definitely helped speed up the healing process.
Clint was released from the hospital on Monday, September 9th. He moved into Jill’s house for the next 3 to 4 weeks so he could continue to heal and attend his numerous doctor appts. Savanna, who had spent almost 3 weeks in Omaha, then returned to Hays on the 10th, as she was scheduled for a hysterectomy on the 12th. Her Dad took care of her that weekend, and Marie took the girls back up to Omaha to visit their Dad at Jill’s house.
For the next 4 weeks, Clint rested, healed, and attended his doctor's appointments. Jill was his nurse, cheerleader, chauffeur and second set of ears at his appointments. Dr. Mercer was amazed at how quickly he was healing. After several appointments, Dr. Mercer realized how extremely well Clint was doing and knew he could handle everything on his own. He finally released Clint and told him he could go home.
On October 2nd, exactly 6 weeks from when Clint went to Omaha for his surgery, Marie met Clint and Jill in Belleville, KS and brought him home. Over the next month, Clint gained weight and continued to heal. He met with his oncologist who wanted to start chemo treatments as soon as he was released from Dr. Mercer.
Before chemo could start, another problem had to be fixed. Clint was having an issue with his right kidney. Nebraska Medical discovered, while Clint was recovering from surgery, that he had a blockage in his ureter that needed to be fixed. Instead of extending his stay in Omaha, Clint opted to do this procedure in Hays. On October 28th, he had surgery to install a stent into his kidney. Unfortunately, the Dr. was unable to get it thru the blockages and he put a nephrostomy tube in to drain that kidney out of his back. Not exactly what we had hoped for, but at least the problem was fixed.
On November 11th, Clint went back to Omaha for a follow up appt with Dr Mercer. Again, he was amazed at his healing progress and he scheduled a small surgery to repair a hole from a G tube that had been leaking. The surgery was that Friday and, although we worried about complications as he always seemed to have something go wrong, the surgery took 20 minutes and Clint was back at Jill’s by 9:30 that morning. He returned to Hays the next day. Now he figured he would be ready for chemo....but another problem arose.
Clint started retaining fluid and last Monday his creatine levels increase. The doctors suspected his other kidney was not draining properly. After a CAT scan, they discovered that his other kidney was enlarged and they decided that he would need surgery that day to insert a stent in the other kidney. After the fail the month before, we worried that he would end up with another tube out of his body. Fortunately, the blockage was smaller and the Dr was able to insert a tube. Clint spent the night in the hospital so they could monitor the creatine levels to make sure that his kidney was working. His creatine levels did decrease and he was released the next afternoon.
Yesterday, Clint had another blood test to make sure his levels looked good. His blood work looked excellent, so he was given the thumbs up to start chemo today. Clint will have a pump on for 48 hours at a time. Although this is a scary and uncertain process, he did get some good news about the treatment available for his cancer. While he was at UNMC, they did some genetic testing on his cancer. The doctors discovered that Clint has a gene inside the cancer that will enable him have amino therapy along with the chemo, which will help his treatment immensely. This is a new procedure that was not available last year. So, we will see what happens over the next couple of months. We are all very grateful for this positive news.
Again, we would like to thank everyone for their continued thoughts, prayers, and concerns. Please continue to pray that Clint can heal and get back to a normal life. We are positive that prayers work, as evidenced by finding Dr. Mercer and this better cancer treatment. We love you all!!