What’s that on the horizon

Francis came through the exploratory surgery this morning just fine.  The anesthesia is still wearing off, so we’re resting in our hotel room before returning to Tallahassee and Couper and Riley tomorrow evening.

Thanks to all for your comments, emails, texts, and prayers.  I wish I could respond personally to all the messages, but am a bit overwhelmed by all the news from today and what lies ahead.  Just know that the encouragement and kind words do not go unnoticed, and we cherish our friends and family for continuing to be there for us when we need you.

Now to the details.  The surgeon, Dr. Keith Fournier, met with me following the procedure to let me know that things looked good, all things considered, and that there were no surprises.  He shared pictures of what Francis’s abdomen looks like on the inside, and for the first time I got to see what this horrible beast looks like.

To describe it as best I can, imagine a little ball of white lint about the size of the end of a ball point pen.  There are several of them that cluster around each other, some touching and some not, looking like a bad case of acne.  In places where the cancer is more advanced, it looks more like a thin, narrow piece of elastic that has been stretched out between two points.

All in all, we received a bit of an early Christmas present today.  After getting eyes on the cancer, Dr. Fournier determined that Francis is a good candidate for the tumor debulking and HIPEC procedure.

It isn’t a magic bullet, and there’s still a chance that Dr. Fournier could get into the abdomen and decide it isn’t possible to do the procedure.  However, Dr. Fournier is at least comfortable enough to make the large incision and schedule all the supporting cast (urology and plastic surgery) to perform their various roles to protect necessary organs and functions and to repair areas of the body that will be damaged in an effort to remove all of the cancer.

We’re thankful for the good news about a plan to move forward.  We’re hopeful that this is a great option for us to see the end of this cancer and for Francis to have a long and healthy life after clearing this very large hurdle.

Thank you again for your concern, and for reading this blog.  I’ll continue to update the blog with more information and certainly through Francis’s next surgery and recovery.  Feel free to share with family and friends, and encourage them to sign up to follow the blog if they are interested in getting the latests posts by email as soon as they are posted.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas!


7 responses

  1. As you both know, from our conversation, I am overwhelmed with happiness – in spite of my trepidation about the daunting surgery. Joy to the world! So much love…

  2. God blessings be with you and your family. I will continue to pray for you. Love you Aunt Bev

  3. Dolores Strickland | Reply

    Prayers for Francis here, but he will come through just fine, he’s a strong young healthy man and he will fight!

  4. It appears that prayers are being answered. Pray that everything continues well. We have been and continue with ours for you two. Have been thinking of you so much. Loved the Christmas card.
    Jane and Bob

  5. Thanking God for this positive move forward! Now praying for recovery from exploratory and for continued protection from this “beast” (good term LeAnne!) We love you so and are FERVENTLY and CONSTANTLY praying for all of you!

  6. jeanne hoopingarner | Reply

    This good news adds to our Christmas joy. Not seeing God’s hands, we still trust his heart. When you decide to actually take on the overhaul of the medical profession and their partially insane ways, I’m your girl – I have notes and signs and basic questions and directions that can set them on a more efficient, effective and intelligent path. They may be a skilled bunch, but there are days when I would swear they are butt stupid. Have to admit we are totally thrilled with our surgeon and his PA so maybe we have won the best prize this round. Enjoy the craziness of family and give each other a squeeze for me. The Hoops and the Gibbs families need to plan to meet and sip Long Island Ice Tea together, 10 wonderful years from now! Much love – Jeanne

    Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 23:45:49 +0000 To: jlhoop53@hotmail.com

  7. I think about you guys everyday! I pray and hope that you will come throught this. Merry Christmas and Happy new Year! P.S. tell Francis Happy Bday for me ( i know it is not until 12/26), but in case i do not get to speak to him.

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