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John Forrest Douglas - Journal

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Posted 2016-05-11T18:08:36Z

Quick Trip to Texas


Ben and I are on the way back from a quick trip to Houston. We had a follow up with Dr. Sugarbaker, my surgeon. We continue to be impressed with his complete expertise in his field. It has been two months since my surgery and both Dr. Sugarbaker and Dr. Vora, my oncologist, are pleased with what they see on my most recent scans and bloodwork. This is good news. The most important thing now is that I continue with Physical Therapy and stay active. I've lost a significant amount of lung capacity and function. Some of that will return. Dr Sugarbaker says that I will continue gaining capacity for 6-8 months after the surgery and then it will plateau, so it's important to physically push myself now. The right side or my torso is still completely numb; they tell me it could take up to 18 months for those nerves to heal. Dr. Sugarbaker will follow me closely for one year after the surgery, so we will come back and see him in four months.[...]

Posted 2016-03-29T16:42:32Z

Home again home again!

After a day of travel yesterday, we finally made it home! It feels so good to be back in our own space again. My healing process if far from over, but it will be nice to continue down that road at home. We are so very grateful for Ashley, Jordan, Janie, and Jim McPhail, who were our lifelines while we were in TX. Ashley gave us her beautiful apartment for three weeks-- I'm pretty sure that's one of the most Christian things I've ever heard of! We loved spending Easter with their entire extended family.[...]

Posted 2016-03-23T00:38:28Z

Good News!

Well, Ben and I came home from the hospital on Friday evening. We've been taking it easy for the last couple of days. It's taken a little while for my pain to be managed with an effective plan of oral meds. I have been sleeping much better here-- not through the night, but much better than when I was in the hospital.[...]

Posted 2016-03-18T15:18:26Z

Making Progress

Hi friends,

John Forrest here. It's been a good few days with some good forward-moving progress in my healing. I've made it down to one chest tube on my right side. As far as we know, this one will be left on for a little while longer because it's helping to expand my entire right lung. The team will assess later today.[...]

Posted 2016-03-16T14:47:50Z

An Eventful 24 Hour

Much has happened in the past 24 hours.  John Forrest had the central line taken out which he is pictured holding. (They looked like three fountain pens sticking out of his neck!) He also had his arterial line taken out, the removal of both has given him some increased mobility.  They had to place two additional chest tubes to drain a minimal amount of fluid from his left lung.  He was in some pain, but was able to sleep last night for the most since he came to the hospital.[...]

Posted 2016-03-14T23:39:13Z

It's Been a Difficult 24 Hours

John Forrest had to go in for a CT scan last night which caused him a good deal of anxiety.  Later in the evening he did not tolerate some medication well and was up throughout the night and was rather disoriented.  Around 3 AM I was able to get him to sleep for a few hours.  This morning he was able to go for 3 laps around the floor and was doing better, but the results from the scan came back that he has fluid around his left lung (the one that was not operated upon).  The doctors attempted to insert a 5th chest tube, but were able to do so due to a large amount of scar tissue from his procedures in 2014. Currently the plan is to have the procedure done by ultrasound in Interventional Radiology tomorrow morning.  The doctors say it is not uncommon to require this procedure after the type of surgery he had and he is not having severe respiratory distress now.  Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. -Ben[...]

Posted 2016-03-13T22:04:21Z

Lots of Progress Today

John Forrest has made lots of progress today.  He started off with mittens to keep him from pulling out the  NG (nasogastric) tube.  He made it out of bed and into a chair.  Then, he was able to go for a walk around the floor.  Finally, he got the NG tube taken out and made back into he chair.  Hopefully they will start taking out chest tubes tomorrow.  Thanks again for the words of encouragement and prayers. -Ben[...]

Posted 2016-03-12T16:46:30Z

The breathing tube is out!

The doctor removed the breathing tube this morning and he continues to be in stable condition in the ICU.  He is on a epidural and has had his pain pretty well controlled.  The doctors have consulted some specialists due to his low sodium levels but they are actively monitoring his progress.  He is currently resting now.  -Ben[...]

Posted 2016-03-11T14:03:45Z

He's Awake!

John Forrest is awake and is feeling OK.  The picture above shows all the fluids he is on, which is less than when he first came out of surgery.  He is in stable condition and still has a breathing tube and is going to receive some additional blood products today.  The ICU nurses have been, in his words, "rockstars." I have really appreciated all the communication and high standard of care that is present with all of interactions with folks here.  Thanks again for your continued support and love. It means so much. -Ben[...]