For those that did not see the Facebook post, Katie’s biopsy test results came back clean, NO Cancer, so back to plan A. Katie has returned to LA today and Janie will go there for the surgery in a week. On Wednesday, November 17th, they will remove the bone tumor from her femur, perform a bone graph to fill in the missing bone and then add a steel strengthening apparatus. The surgery should be less than four hours with a two-night stay in the hospital. Aside from the pain, the bigger issue will be the long recovery time (a couple of months) before she can put her full weight on that leg. Our prayer is for a successful and uneventful surgery, a pain-free recovery and that Katie will be able to join the family in Salt Lake for Thanksgiving!
Carly is continuing to progress. She works with great determination in her rehab sessions each week. While Carly’s daily progress is very slow and sometimes hard to discern, when you reflect back, you can notice the changes. Her speech is constantly improving and more importantly, she is initiating speech on her own a lot more. Speech Therapy is also where they are working on memory issues. Now that she is much more verbal, we see there are gaps in her short term memory and retrieval skills. These should continue to improve. In Occupational Therapy, she baked a cake on her own following directions with very little assistance. She also helped Katie and Abi make the infamous German Chocolate birthday cake for Carl’s upcoming birthday on Monday.
Last week was the National Ability Center Horse Show. Carly and Abi both entered and won ribbons. Abi won first place in her class taking home the blue ribbon. Carly won third place taking home a yellow ribbon. Hadley, who is Carly’s Speech Therapist took time out of her busy schedule to drive up to Park City for the horse show. It was great having her there to support Carly. Hadley has really connected with Carly and invested a lot of time preparing for their sessions and getting to know the entire Mimstribe. We went out for brunch after the horse show and really enjoyed our time together.
Without a doubt, our time with the horses has been the highlight of the girls week. Abi has really excelled in her riding skills. The connection that both Carly and Abi have with the horses is amazing. Just the thought of going to the barn gets Carly noticeably excited. You can quickly see the benefits of the horse therapy in Carly’s balance, better control of her left arm and sense of accomplishment in riding.
Abi, Hadley and Carly at brunch
Katie’s surgery went well yesterday. The surgery was successful and the only issue is the pain. The Doctor felt that the tumor removal, treatment of the area, bone graph and creation of the internal steel brace went very good. She did have major pain issues once the anesthesia wore off, and had a reaction to first IV pain medication that caused itching all over. They changed to a different medication after that, but started off with a very low dose and then very gradually increased. She is still struggling with tremendous pain and they have yet to find the right pain medication combination. They recently switched to a third medication, because the second was requiring such high doses that her blood pressure was dropping to a concerning level. Katie still has another day or two in the hospital then home for recovery. She will not be allowed to put more than 30 lbs of weight on that leg for six weeks, and then she will go back to the doctor for X-rays to see how the bone graph is holding. Unfortunately, the weight restrictions mean that Katie will be on a walker, and need a wheelchair for longer distances. Janie is with her in LA.
I made a quick trip to Tennessee last week. Being away from Carly for four days made me realize how much progress she is making! She really is doing great and working hard in all of her therapies! Last week she continued to improve in speech and her handwriting also progressed. She is still struggling with memory issues but is doing better with visual cues. In occupational therapy, she went on an outing Susan, her therapist. They went to the mall and worked on having Carly navigate her way around the stores, asking for directions and help to find certain items. She did very well, and naturally enjoyed the mall as therapy! This afternoon Carly and Hadley are going grocery shopping for the ingredients to bake pies, as an extra activity for speech therapy. Carly has selected her award-winning Pecan Pie recipe to make!
It’s Football Time in Tennessee! Last weekend was the University of Tennessee homecoming. Lewis Wood (Janie’s father) attended UT in 1943 left to serve in WWII and returned in 1946. He graduated in 1949 from the College of Engineering (he is in Orange Cap in center of photo). He has not attended any UT functions for some time due to Jane’s health (his wife of 64 years). The College of Engineering was holding a BBQ before the game and Lewis was the oldest graduate able to attend. It was a great time for him to relive some great memories from his past. The College of Engineering totally hooked us up with tickets in their Skybox. Lewis enjoyed talking to other engineering graduates, spending time with several of the Professors and the Dean of the College. The Vols played great, won the game with a large margin and sang Rocky Top all afternoon. We also attended the Kappa Sigma Reunion on Friday night in Gatlinburg. It was a wonderful weekend with a lot of driving but good conversation, great activities and beautiful weather in Tennessee.
Praise the Lord for the many blessings he continues to shower us with. Pray for Katie’s pain to come under control and for her healing, that she will be able to travel to Salt Lake City next week for the big Thanksgiving celebration. Pray for Carly’s continued progress and specifically in her memory issues. Pray for safe travel for everyone next week. The Lyons are converging on SLC along with our entire family.
Katie is doing better. She has moved from IV based pain medication to oral meds, which is one of the major steps in getting released from the hospital. Katie has walked with the aid of a walker to the nurse’s station and back. She is still in a lot of pain but is making good progress. Prayerfully she will be able to leave the hospital on Monday. Then she and Janie will fly to Salt Lake on Tuesday for her to recuperate and enjoy the big Thanksgiving celebration. As you can see from the x-ray at the right she had a good bit of work done. It is easy to see why it hurts. She will be on a walker and then crutches for the next six weeks at a minimum.
We woke up to 12” of snow this morning. Yesterday we had high winds over 50 mph and just north of us they closed I-80 due to winds over 80 mph. No doubt winter is fully here. Snow is predicted the next three days with highs around 35 degrees, then a high of 27 degrees for Thanksgiving Day. So the snow is going to be around for a while. The prediction is for 12-14” of additional snow by Wednesday.
We have big plans for Thanksgiving. Nick Lyon arrived Saturday and drove down to Cedar City for some hang time with Tripp and Thy for a few days. Kelly, Jan, and Jordan Lyon arrive on Wednesday afternoon from Florida. Chloe Lyon comes in from Portland on Wednesday evening. I am not sure if the Blalock’s had any idea what they were in for when they said: “sure we can have Thanksgiving dinner here”. They have truly been such a blessing providing a place for us to live and helping in so many ways. The Thanksgiving dinner guess list will total over 22 family and friends, which will include the Blalocks and new friends that just moved to town, Mims, Lyons, Vues (Thy’s family) and the Mottolas.
The Mims and Lyons have shared Thanksgiving for the past 20 years. The tradition of dressing like Pilgrims and Indians will be continued. Leah and Abi worked on making costumes this past week. Hadley (Carly’s speech therapist) had come over to do some practical therapy. She and Carly went grocery shopping for the ingredients to make Pecan Pie. They returned to bake two pies to test before Thanksgiving and my waistline can tell you that the award-winning Carly Mims Pecan Pie passed the test. (photo at top of the page) It was a wonderful evening with all the girls baking and making costumes. Hadley continues to bless us, putting in extra time on Carly’s behalf. She is so enjoyable to work with. You can also tell that Carly is responding by opening up a bit more.
The updates have been irregular lately and thus many photos have been left out. The beginning of November brought Elizabeth McTague and Angela Young (Nelson girls) to visit from Tampa. Elizabeth also brought Maren, her one-year-old baby who had just started walking for the visit. Carly really had a great week with them here visiting, shopping, eating out and just general girl fun. Katie also came and stayed a few days longer before returning for her first surgery. During their visit, we drove up to Park City, fed the horses, shopped in town and enjoyed the sights. They all had a wonderful time. It was great seeing them and the first time Janie and I had seen Maren.
Before Katie left all of my daughters baked me a birthday cake. German Chocolate is my favorite cake and this year’s was especially good since all three of my daughters Katie, Carly and Abi worked to bake it with Mom’s help. Looking at the photos you not only see a delicious cake but one happy dad.