3 days post amputation

Jacob is recovering well, all things considered. His attitude is still so positive. We are so thankful the surgery went well and that it’s “behind us.” Some people have said to us that it must be such a relief to have it behind us now, but the reality is that it’s just become a different kind of stress. The last few days have been so difficult watching Jacob go through such a huge trial. The upcoming weeks will still be filled with anxieties – the chance of infection setting in, or any surgery complication. The risk of a blood clot. Waiting for the pathology report to come back. If the margins from the femur and knee removal come back positive in any way for cancer, full amputation of his leg will happen. Waiting for the necrosis level of the tumors to see how well chemo is working. Starting rehabilitation and watching Jacob go through pain. Starting chemotherapy again. Not wanting to start too soon for his weak body, but not starting much later for fear the cancer cells will have a chance to start growing. It feels surreal at times, and it feels like too much to bear, yet there is no choice.

Jacob’s pain is being managed very well with the epidural and oral pain meds. So much better than I could have imagined. The first couple days he did not move at all and has not been eating or drinking. He has had nausea off and on and there are no foods that appeal to him. His hemoglobin dropped to 56, a critical level. His vital signs were poor for a couple days – fever, very high heart rate and low blood pressure. After receiving 2 blood transfusions all of that turned around by the next day and his hemoglobin is at 78 now – Still very low but tolerable for now. The doctors are lowering his epidural pain meds to try wean him off, because he needs to start strong blood thinners to reduce the risk of a blood clot for the next few months, but they cannot start it while he has the epidural. He is very weak, but today we did see some improvement with him. 2 physiotherapists helped him to sit up today for the first time. It was painful for him, and painful to watch as well. My heart breaks watching him suffer, seeing him so helpless and weak, knowing he won’t walk again for a long time and will have to endure so much more pain yet. He is incredibly courageous and the doctors and nurses continue to be amazed by him and his attitude. The rotationplasty surgery has never been performed at VGH before, so almost everyone here who meets him has never seen this type of procedure. He is the youngest person to be on this ward, so the nurses are treating him quite well, but we really are looking forward to getting back to Children’s Hospital on Tuesday.

There is so much to go through yet, but we take it minute by minute, hour by hour. Thank you too our friends and family who support us unconditionally through all this. I may not have the time or the energy or just the mental strength to message you all back or update you all personally, but know how much the love and care is appreciated. The prayers from each of you have carried us – we know where our strength and hope comes from and continue to put our trust in God and His plan for Jacob’s life. We continue to accept what’s on his path, but that is not without struggle. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that Jacob is an amputee now, that he was given such a horrendous disease that took part of a limb from him and that he has to continue with chemo that will affect and weaken his body for the rest of his life.

We know many of you are probably “curious” to see what the rotationplasty looks like, and Jacob is ready to share a photo in the blog. He is not ashamed of it. It is an incredible procedure giving him another chance at life, another chance to be active and participate in all the things a teenage boy should be doing. Please continue to pray for patience while he recovers. It will likely be about a year before he is able to be in his prosthetic leg and bear full weight on it.

I’ll end off with part of Psalm 62 which our elder read with Jacob and I tonight. David wrote this while being under attack by fierce enemies plotting to kill him, and I imagine he was very afraid and desperate. Yet in such a threatening time, he felt peace and unshaken while seeking refuge in God – as we do while we watch Jacob under attack from cancer, terrified and desperate, threatened…yet peace knowing God is our refuge and strong tower.

For God alone my soul waits in silence
For my hope is from Him
He only is my rock and my salvation;
My fortress and my defense, I will not be shaken or discouraged
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
He is my rock of strength, my refuge is in God
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him.
God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8

19 thoughts on “3 days post amputation”

  1. Hello Bredenhof family, and especially Jacob. We’ve been praying continuously because your family is going through such a deep trial. When I read your blog posts, I can’t even begin to imagine how very difficult this must be for Jacob, but also for the rest of you! Thank you for being so open with what you share – that helps us pray more specifically for you. Keeping you all in prayer. Praying God will continue to give you peace, optimism, and grace as you grapple with such a determined disease raging through your son’s body. We pray that all the procedures and the medications will be blessed so that Jacob will heal and be well again! Much love, Robert & Sandra Stam

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  2. We wait anxiously for each update and thank you for them. They give us specific areas for prayer. Many prayers from many people are offered up for Jacob and you all. Hoping you all get a good nights sleep. Lots of love. 💗

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  3. Seeing the picture of Jacob and his new look post-surgery still surprised me and caused me to cry despite having looked up images of rotationplasty. It’s a drastic yet necessary change for his future self, but seeing this rare surgery, especially on a child who is the same age as one of my children just made it hit home that much more. Praying for you and your family daily. Praying for your strength as his Mom and that you all continue to feel Gods love through all this pain, both mental and physical.

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  4. Praying for your family as you walk through each day. May our great God remind you He is close. May He strengthen you as you trust in Him.

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  5. Thanks for sharing Tracy ( and Jacob for allowing it). It was a bit overwhelming seeing how serious a reality his surgery is, not a plan on paper anymore, but so much for his young body to take in. We had beautiful sermons again yesterday reminding us that it is the LORD who makes everything grow, including our health. May the faithfulness of God’s love give you courage to face each day and patience to wait for healing.

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  6. Thank you for sharing…his good attitude that you write about is truly amazing and a gift from God….we continue to keep your family in our prayers

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  7. Thank you for your continued courage in providing updates. Wish there was something we could do to take away your pain, anxieties, and concerns. But we will continue to be prayer warriors for all of you, for every day and every challenge.

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  8. Raymond and Tracy,
    Your family (especially Jacob) are continuously in our prayers. May you all experience God’s strength, presence and peace today and for the future.

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  9. You’ve been in our thoughts and prayers all week as you are in such a difficult part of this already difficult journey…
    Praying for each day to get easier recovery-wise and for everything else to go well these next weeks. And most of all that you can have a degree of peace despite all this. ❤ Jacob is one amazing boy…

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  10. Our thoughts and prayers have been with you all week as you are in such a difficult part of this already impossibly difficult road. Praying that each day may get easier recovery-wise and for the next weeks to go well. And most of all that you could have some degree of peace in the midst of all this. Jacob is one amazing boy ❤

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  11. Tracey, thank you for sharing Jacobs journey with all of us, we cannot imagine everything that Jacob, you, Ray and your family are going through these days.
    We feel your pain and anguish as you pour out your heart to us all. We, like so many others, are in constant prayer for Jacob. We are so thankful for how bravely Jacob has faced all of this, and our prayers will continue for all of you in the days and months ahead.
    Thank you for sharing so much from your heart with us- scripture, prayers and your expressions of faith and standing against fear and the unknown are an inspiration to everyone. Thanks for updating us so beautifuly on your posts.

    Love from
    Rick & Jen

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  12. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us, thank you for sharing your journey, thankful Jacob, for your light that shines through your courage, thankful that the Lord has blessed the doctors and nurses who care for your medical needs, thankful for medical advancements that the Lord makes possible. Every post is appreciated, and we pray continuously for healing, and strength, for faith and patience.

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  13. Please let Jacob know that I’m here if he needs any tips or has any questions! BIG hugs to all of you ❤ I'm so glad you are keeping a journal. It will mean so much years from now when you look back at where you came from. Continuing to send prayers and love your way ❤

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