Thursday, February 18, 2010

One More Surgery

Well we are close to the start of treatment, however, the last step before starting chemo is a surgery tomorrow morning at 6:45 to have a double-lumen Hickman line put in. The Hickman line is inserted into a large blood vessel near the heart and there are two tubes that come out of Cash's chest that allows the doctors to give medicines, fluids, and withdraw blood.

We saw a sample of the tubes and they are about 8" long and will stay there until all chemo treatments are done. Each day we will have to clean the site, change the dressing, and flush the lines with heparin (heparin prevents clotting) - I will most likely be the one to flush the line because I'm not sure Wendi's stomach will be able to handle it.

After he leaves surgery we'll be admitted into the SCCA center at Children's and spend the next 4-5 days in the hospital with Cash as he receives the first round of chemo. The doctors and nurses will be monitoring him the entire time to see how he reacts to the chemo.

I went to work this morning and am so thankful that in my absence everything continues to run smoothly. Zion ( has an amazing team of teachers and administrators and it's one less thing I have to worry about on a day-to-day basis. I do miss the students and was the recipient of many hugs today. :-)

I'm taking my laptop and camera to Children's tomorrow and will continue to blog as much as possible. We are so grateful and thankful to everyone for your continued prayers and support, I may ask a few people to bring us dinner at the food as many of you know isn't the best. (No offense Children's...:-))


  1. Thank you for posting these updates! Your family has been on our hearts all week. We are praying hard for Cash, I love his pictures, what a little fighter! Praying for peace and perserverance for you and Wendi to as you begin this process with your little boy! Sending much love, the Vander Ploegs!

  2. Thanks for the is so much easier to pray when you know what you are praying for. We pray that God will give you all peace & comfort through this difficult time in your lives. We pray that God will give Cash strength during his surgery and chemo. I pray that God will wrap his loving arms around you all. Prayers...Brandon & Kari Mulder

  3. Something to know about staying in the SCCA unit is that you can create a list of your favorite nurses and ask for them to be assigned to you. Unfortunately you can't "unfavorite" nurses, but the longer your favorite list is, the more likely you'll have nurses you like (and, believe me, having nurses you like makes a huge difference in your mood while going through this stress). The nurse has to agree to be on your list--and they need to tell the managing nurse to put their name on your list.

    There are volunteers that are available to play with and read to Cash a couple times a day--it's definitely a big help--you'll have to let your nurse know that you'd like that if it sounds appealing.

    There is an AWESOME music therapist named David Knott who will absolutely charm little Cash to pieces. He only goes to the SCCA unit once a week, so put in a request for him when you check in--and tell him you guys know Zoe (she's one of his favorites).

    It sounds like you guys won't actually need to deal with his Hickman until after the first round of chemo--the nurses are great about showing you and re-showing you how to flush the line and change the dressing (which only gets changed once a week, fortunately). It's a great opportunity to practice with guidance before you have to go home and do it yourselves. You both are on your way to getting your honorary nursing degree.

    Here's to hoping that you get a room by yourselves in the SCCA unit. XX

  4. Jack and Wendi,
    So glad you have a name now for what you are dealing with and a plan to fight it. Hope is a wonderful thing!
    We will be praying for your whole family as you start this journey, it's a long, difficult road but there are lots of unexpected blessings along the way too.
    The hickman line is pretty handy (if you can call long lines hanging out of your child's chest handy), it will save Cash from IV's and getting poked for blood.
    We'll be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers this weekend as Cash starts his first round of chemo.
    Ryan and Sara Brink

  5. Bringing dinner on Monday! Organic, healthy and yummy! I'll coordinate via text with you, Wen. xo

  6. Jack and Wendi
    Praying for a smooth and safe surgery. Those doctors and nurses are going to LOVE him! Don't know if I can stay away this weekend. Might come on saturday to visit. Love and hugs!

  7. Praying for a successful surgery and recovery for Cash.
    BTW Max loved the food at Children's Hospital. In the room and in the cafeteria. Doesn't say much about my cooking, does it?

    Take care guys!

  8. Jackie, Wendi and Cash, and of course, Lil' Jack, may you find strength in all of these good wishes from everyone. Its going to be so important to ask for help from whomever is handy! I know you will do so. We are here for you...California is only a little way away and I am certainly available to help in any way possible. Please promise you will let me know if there is ANYTHING!!

    Lots of love, Auntie Ine

  9. We are intensely interested and praying. Thank you for taking the tome to blog about it.


  10. ...All are precious in His sight...What a beautiful boy Cash is and we are delighted to bring him before our Creator in prayer. May the Lord continue to bring just what it is that you need most at just the right time. You have a lot of folks binding together in prayer for you! Thank you for sharing...