Rory Gardiner's Webpage

07, Apr, 2009

7th April 2009

Rory underwent his second brain surgery today to debulk (remove) as much of the second tumour as possible.  They told us the operation would last 2-3 hours but it ended up taking 5.  It was a very worrying time for Sean and I, I can't express how relieved we were to see him at 2.30pm.  He is now back in HDU (high dependency unit) on the Neuroservices Ward (26A) at Starship.  The surgery was undertaken in Auckland Hospital.  He is tired, but opening his eyes, drinking and eating, and answering questions.  We even made him laugh with our jokes, particularly about the eels Grandad smoked for him which are sitting on a shelf in the Ronald McDonald House fridge.  The fridge doors are clear so it looks as though there are a couple of creepy snakes waiting to escape when the doors open!

The second operation was done with an endoscope.  They made a 1cm wide hole in Rory's skull and sent in a camera and some tiny instruments to perform the removal.  It was a lot slower going than they expected but other than that the operation was 'uneventful'.  Mr Law (the Neurosurgeon) had to leave a thin 'carpet' of tumour cells behind to minimise any damage to the hypothalamus which it was sitting on.  These remaining cells will be targeted during radio and chemotherapy.

Rory has two IV lines in his body, one in each hand, 3 less than after the last operation!  Hopefully they will be removed over the next 1-2 days.  They have also put a Reservoir in his head.  It is a little plug set into the hole in his skull created during the operation.  It is attached to a tube which runs down into his ventricle (the space in his brain).  This is to allow the doctors to remove csf (cerebral spinal fluid) at any stage in the future, using a needle, if it builds up inside his head.  When he is a little better I think we will be able to feel his 'button'.

We have been well looked after by Stephanie, the Neurosurgeons Nurse Specialist.  She is always on hand to explain everything, keeps the lines of communication open, provides moral support, and has such a wonderful way with people.  Thanks heaps Steph - you are wonderful. 

Thanks also to everyone who has been sending txts and leaving messages on the website.  Although we don't reply Rory, Sean and I read them every day.  Your wishes strengthen us all.

Thanks also to Dianne for her computer-tech advice today.  I think we will purchase a laptop to assist with keeping our lives together on the journey.