(mom [carla])

After careful consideration, a team of doctors have decided the best option for surgery is to totally remove Steve’s left leg all the way up to the hip (called disarticulation). We were told that Steve may possibly be able to have a prosthesis for cosmetic purposes but not functional–so he will walk with crutches. This is hard news to take but the emphasis is on SAVING HIS LIFE. His courageous attitude through this whole ordeal has been unbelievable–all those months in traction and spica casts.

On another note, they have removed the spica cast, so his back spasms are getting better. He is doing occupational and physical therapy to build up for surgery and also having respiratory therapy treatments.

Surgery is scheduled for Friday, August 5.

(mom [carla])

This whole last month Steve has had up and down days with fevers, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, electrolyte imbalances, infections, cramping, and pains. Once your body has these “poison” chemotherapy drugs–it seems that you are prone to catching everything since you have a suppressed immune system. We are awaiting the official word regarding Steve’s surgery which is scheduled for August 5th. At present he is unbearably uncomfortable with his second spica cast.

(mom [carla])

The spica cast was removed–but only for a day!! Bone scans, MRIs, CT scans, and x-rays were done and a new spica cast applied. There was some concern about activity on the ankle area that showed up on the bone scan, but the MRI revealed that it was NOT a tumor. Steve was able to start his methotrexate again and that finishes his second complete round of chemotherapy.

(drew paris)

Well, I Eric Jerke and I were able to see Steve for his birthday last weekend and he seemed pretty decent. Un and Bree also showed up to wish Steve a happy 22nd. Members of Steve and Libby’s families were there also. The cake and pop were enjoyed by all.

Steve felt pretty good, he is back to where he was before he left the hospital. Feeling pretty good, eating well, etc. The most annoying thing to him is the cast he is in. It is really uncomfortable. It’s kind of bent and form-fitted so that he can sit up easier during the day, but that means he can’t really lay down flat on his back. He has to sleep sitting up.

When Steve was out of the hospital for those few days, his family was able to get a hosptial style bed for the hotel room. Well, apparently that bed sucked. It was an old 50’s style hospital bed that had a very uncomfotrable mattress. And since he has to sleep sitting up, he was kind of screwed. Everything was manual, no remote-control or anything. I guess the one in the hospital is better.

Anyway, he said he would rather be back in traction than be in that cast an longer. Unfortunately there’s not much he can do about it.

But, he still has high spirits. Eric and I got him the computer game “Battlefield Vietnam” and he seemed to enjoy it. That computer he has is awesome, and it can play any game out there. Hopefully when Steve gets back out of the hospital, he can get some high speed internet to make it more usefull.

Well, as always, call/visit/send stuff to Steve, he’s doing great and we just need to be there for him.

(lib)

Steve was readmitted to the hospital early Friday afternoon. He had a fever of 100.7, which is higher than the borderline of 100.5, at which the doctors said Steve would have to readmit himself for fear of infection. He had been going steadily down hill the few days before: getting a sore throat and coughing a lot and not eating since Wednesday.

He was hooked up to iv again and given fluids for dehydration and anti-nausea meds. His throat began to hurt very badly, on a scale of one to ten it was a 7. He slept as best he could with nurses and blood-draw people coming in at all hours of the night.

On Monday (4th of July) he is feeling a little better with a hefty dose of morphine. Still not eating or drinking, it was even hard to keep water or Tylenol down. For now, we’ll be in the hospital for at least a few more days.

Steve’s birthday is Saturday, July 9th. He will be 22. Happy Birthday, Steve!