The last few days have been amazing. Porter had a successful surgery on Tuesday afternoon where they removed his right leg below the knee. The picture on the left shows the final product. While we're still awaiting the final pathology results in a couple weeks, Dr. Jones feels confident that Porter is now cancer free.
We have more chemo treatments for the next 5 months to make sure we get any cancer cells that may be floating in his body, but we are so excited to have the cancerous leg gone. (He was a fine leg, but turned to the dark side...)
We had lots of visitors over the past couple of days, some of whom we forgot to take pictures of, but we are so appreciative of all the support. Especially the massive groundswell of support on Facebook from friends and family.
Porter is doing very well and the pain seems to be subsiding (or we're just getting good at managing it). Porter's attitude is getting more positive as he becomes more awake and he is not ashamed to share the new shape of his leg through his cast. Not long after surgery he asked to have a look at it and we sat him up in bed so he could see it. He didn't freak out, he didn't cry, he just nodded his head, I think acknowledging that it was as he expected and then moved on.
Among many great friends and visitors was our little friend, 10 year old Tristan Chidester and his mom, Tiffany. You may recall from earlier posts that Tristan is a month ahead of Porter in his Ewings diagnosis and had the same amputation last month. In his visit today, Tristan entertained Porter by using his stump as a puppet and they brought by a bag of BYU stuff (which was hard to do coming from that Ute family!) as well as a little remote control helicopter. We're told that Tristan likes to use it at the hospital to chase the pretty nurses. :)
We also met for the first time Ruth Johnson, mother of Jeremiah Johnson, an 18 year old who was diagnosed in January. Shortly after Porter's diagnosis, we heard about this kid who was recognized by the University of Utah football team who also had Ewings. We chased Jerimiah's family down and have been communicating via Facebook for the last four months. We finally met Jer's mom, who came by yesterday. We had a great visit, compared notes and determined that Porter and Jer could be brothers separated at birth!
Our awesome home nurse, Dylan dropped by with a bunch of candy for Porter. Dylan is also Tristan's nurse and helped us connect with that wonderful family. We've seen Dylan at a number of fund raising event for these kids and for that we love him. Porter was so tired when Dylan came by. This picture is in no way a reflection on how Porter feels about Dylan. :)
Finally, we had Bishop Engen and President Holmes pay us a visit. What a wonderful time we had with them. They are great examples of faith and whose level of service know no bounds. Thank you, so much, President and Bishop! We really appreciate all the visits.
We expect Porter to be coming home tomorrow (Friday), assuming we feel like we're in control of his pain. There is so much room for pain in his body from the trauma of the operation. We have some pain meds for the general pain of the operation, the bones and stitches, other meds for the muscle pain (they cut right through his calf muscle) and finally meds to control the nerve pain and phantom pains we all hear about. We're hoping things go smoothly so he can come home and get back to life.
One more thing we're excited to share. Porter has been selected as a Thursday's Hero for the BYU Football team. On Wednesday, we've been invited to come to the BYU football practice to meet the team and get some special attention. We're looking forward to that!
Again, we want to thank everyone for your support and love. Please keep Porter, Tristan, Jeremiah, Tiffany and Lexe in your prayers. Some are doing better than others, but they all need your attention and support. They're great kids with a special mission!