I've been waiting to email you all until we had some definite news about surgery and it just came in -- Greg is scheduled for the pericardectomy on Monday.
He met with the surgeon, Dr. Lefrak, and his team on Monday and the doctor said that he feels it is not necessary to perform the other minimal surgery (mediastinoscoppy), because all the evidence is pointing to this being the problem and that he and all the other doctors have agreed that it needs to be done. He said that the procedure is often referred to as a pericardial "stripping" which is a deceptive term since it sounds like wallpaper being stripped away with ease. According to him, this procedure is very "tedious and intricate".. they go "millimeter by millimeter" and it will take 4-6 hours to complete. He said that it's a somewhat rare procedure and that recovery is very individual. He described Greg's heart as being very "unique" . They hope that he won't be in the hospital for more than about a week. His activity will be very limited for a period of time and he said that it will be around three months before he feels normal. He doesn't anticipate the procedure making his rhythm problems any worse or any better.
We are SO encouraged to read and hear from a direct source that Dr. Lefrak is an awesome, capable, knowledgeable, humble man! Greg and Elise really liked him and said that he was soft spoken and seemed to really care.
We are traveling down to be with Greg and Elise. We will be traveling separately, since I will be staying for about two weeks (that might change depending on how he does). It's all very unknown at this point.
I'd so much appreciate you lifting our son and daughter-in-law up in your prayers for peace, comfort, strength and faith in the days to come. Greg is having real insomnia issues and some good rest would do him so much good leading up to surgery. Please pray that the surgery would proceed safely, that it would correct the problems that he's been having and that he would be restored so that he and Elise could enjoy some peace in the days to come. Please pray especially for Elise that she would have the strength to endure what's to come and that she would feel the protection and love of the Lord in each moment.
Also please pray for Dr. Lefrak and all the staff that will care for Greg that they would be clinically excellent, kind and compassionate.
And finally, will you pray for our family that we can all remain strong through this time and be a comfort to Greg and Elise?
We love and appreciate you all and will update you as we can.
Thank you again,