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I Forge Iron

Ralph has another blood clot


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We found out today that Ralph has a tennis ball sized blood clot (with possible melanoma, too) in the front right lobe of his brain. He is having brain surgery tomorrow afternoon. Because of the blood clot in his chest that almost killed him a few weeks ago, he's been on blood thinners. They are going to do what they can to minimize the risk of bleeding. But there is still old clots in his chest, and now that he can't be on blood thinners for at least a month after this latest surgery...

It doesn't look good. I'm scared to death. It's very possible we are going to loose him. Please pray. Dawn

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I'm ecstatic to report that Ralph's surgery went better than anybody could imagine! (Thank you, God!) Even the surgeon was surprised. He thought it would take 4 hours and it only took two hours and fifteen minutes. And the best news of all, while they still have to have some of the material biopsied, they feel certain from visual inspection that there is NO MELANOMA!! WOOHOO!! It was all blood, apparently. He bled into his brain some time ago and then again in the past few days.

Now the problem is that he CAN'T be on blood thinner (because of risk of more bleeding) but he HAS to be on blood thinner (because of the blood clots in his chest). His pulmonary doctor and neurosurgeon are going to duke it out and try to find some sort of compromise, maybe an alternative drug (instead of coumadin). So please continue to pray for their wisdom on this!

He will certainly not be on any kind of blood thinners for a while, but they did put a filter into his groin which is supposed to lesson the risk that clotted material will move to his heart or lungs.

I am truly SO GRATEFUL for all the prayers, good thoughts, and well wishes. I had the worst night of my life last night, but by morning, I felt the grace pouring in and I was calm and at peace all day. It was wonderful. I've had less than three hours of sleep in the past 40 hours or so, but I feel terrific.

Our son Nathan, Ralph's Mom, his Dad and his brother all came in on three planes with three airlines, two arriving at the exact same time and the other 18 minutes later, and none of it was coordinated! They got to the hospital 15 minutes after Ralph was back in ICU. So it was perfect timing. :) We're still working to get our daughter Shannon home from Prague.

Ralph was alert after surgery, though in great pain, as you can imagine. The hole they cut into his skull is as big as the palm of his hand. But at least now the pain will decrease over time and all that nasty stuff is out! And he still managed to make jokes to the nurses and everybody, as he always does.

I just want to say THANK YOU again for all your support!! The next three or four weeks could be a bit dicey, as we walk this double-edged sword, but the most dangerous part is over, and it went so well that I feel very confident now that Ralph will ultimately get through this as he has with everything else, thanks to a marvelous God, amazing doctors, and terrific people like y'all!

Many blessings,

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DAWN; What wonderful news. We are so thankful for his better than thought, trip through surgery..

We are glad to hear of the gathering of the clan. You will have quite of lot of support from your family.

We are on your team,. We have kept RALPH on the list since late JUNE.


Chuck & HELEN

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I'm exhausted, but I wanted to give you an update on Ralph. He is now in a regular room, after going from ICU to Progressive Care yesterday. He had a tough night, because his pain wasn't being properly managed and he hurt a great deal all night. I think the doctors have finally gotten their act together there. He should rest much better tonight.

We will get the pathology report tomorrow (Monday). I pray the surgeon's visual holds up and there indeed is no melanoma.

Ralph will be able to start taking an anticoagulant on Friday, which won't be at "therapeutic" level, but at least it will be something. They say they are going to take that one day at a time and can't tell me yet if he will EVER be back on coumadin.

I'll report tomorrow how the biopsies come out. Cross your fingers! Thank you for your concern and support. Best wishes, Dawn

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I just brought Ralph home. Unfortunately, the pathology report came back positive for melanoma in his brain. :-(

We'll be seeing all kinds of doctors and getting another CAT scan this week. Guess we'll learn what the heck the next step is. Thank you again for your prayers and support.


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