Post-Surgery Update

The whirlwind last week and a half has prevented us from providing an update sooner. Between our hospital stay, constant visits and frequent check-ups, there has barely been time to answer calls, let alone put out a blog post.  But things have finally started to settle down and we are able to share a bit more about the events of the last couple of weeks.

On Monday, July 9th, we went to the hospital for the surgery we had been anxiously awaiting since Sophie’s diagnosed tumor recurrence on March 1st.  The goal of the surgery was to remove Sophie’s new tumor, which was presently recurring in her chest cavity (the previous tumor had been in her right lung).  At 9:45 am (the first time we have ever gone in for a procedure/surgery on time at Sloan!), the team of anesthesiologists and surgeons came to take Sophie into the operating room.  We knew then that the next several hours would be filled with anxious anticipation, fear and prayer until we knew she was safely out of surgery.

After hourly updates throughout the day, at 5 pm, the surgical floor let us know that Dr. La Quaglia, the same surgeon we have used previously, was ready to meet with us to discuss the operation.  After what felt like hours (in reality only 30 minutes), our incredible surgeon entered the room and informed us that he had been able to completely resect Sophie’s tumor, in spite of the challenges and reconstruction required with this particular operation.  He believed that he had gotten the necessary negative margins he was looking to achieve in order to consider this a successful surgery. He then told us that Sophie was being moved to recovery as we spoke, and we were advised to meet her in the pediatric ICU once our conversation was complete.

Needless to say, we were and continue to be unimaginably thankful to this amazingly skilled and modest surgeon, who again attributed the positive outcome to G-d when we thanked him.  He is truly a man unlike any we’ve ever known, acting so selflessly to save the lives of countless children without taking any credit for his work himself.

We were also humbled and awed to learn that our oncologist, Dr. Wexler, again took time out of his busy schedule to sit beside Sophie in the operating room while she was under anesthesia.  He even came to check on her as we were being wheeled into the PICU, and joked with us that he had to fight his way through the team of doctors to sit by her head for part of the operation, but he elbowed his way through.  We can’t express our appreciation enough for his care and compassion on this day and throughout our journey.

The days after the surgery were full of obstacles, long nights, and difficult conversations.  Although we had discussed the various complications, side effects and other possibilities with our team prior to the operation (something that is common with a surgery of this magnitude), it was difficult to prepare ourselves for what lay ahead.  Post-surgery, there were times of incredible difficulty, but also small bursts of joy. In typical Sophie fashion, just moments after waking up from her almost 8 hour surgery, she immediately asked for cookies to eat and didn’t stop eating for the next several days. The PICU head doctor said he’s never seen a patient eat the way Sophie did after such a major surgery. But as always, Sophie marched to her own tune and continued to do so throughout our entire hospital stay.

Each day Sophie was able to improve slightly from the last.  The first couple of days were filled with significant bed rest, progressing to taking a few steps, eventually leading to longer walks around the hospital floor.

By day 5 or so after surgery, Sophie’s personality returned fully. Although still held back by physical limitations, she was back to her energetic, excited self, asking to play with her favorite “shopping cart” in the playroom that always had to be stuffed with her own personal belongings.  Oh, and we had a special visit from Snow White and Princess Anna from Frozen, which was one of the highlights of her week. (Thank you to A Moment of Magic)

Although the recovery continues to be slow and is still filled with ups and downs, we were discharged in order to let her continue to recover at home where she is comfortable.  We have continued to visit MSK for almost daily post-op checks and discussions with our teams in order to ensure she is continuing on the path to healing.

Needless to say, Sophie was truly  a rockstar throughout this entire ordeal. She has taught us a lot and continues to surprise everyone she meets.

We have received many questions regarding our next steps now that the surgery is complete. We should have more information shortly but expect additional rounds of chemotherapy, details of which we’ll share when we know more. For now would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support, prayer, and friendship we have received these last couple of weeks.  It truly means the world to us and we could not have done it without all of you.

21 Replies to “Post-Surgery Update”

  1. We continue to pray for Chava Shalva Gavriella bas Shani Aliza’s refuah shleima and say misheberachs for her. With much love, Sara Malka and Larry

    1. Lorrie klemons says: Reply

      It’s amazing how much trauma the body and spirit can withstand and still be whole. Always in our thoughts and prayers.

    2. You all in are in our hearts and in our prayers. We are so happy to hear that the surgery went well. Sophie is truly a rockstar!
      Love you guys.
      Allie and the entire Wohlberg/Bloom clan

  2. May she continue to recover with no more complications, no more hurdles for any of you, for you have proven that she and you can overcome anything and that no more challenges are warrented. Health, Health, Health only from here on end, Please God.

  3. Continuing to pray for her Reguah Shelaima daily. Good to hear that you are all in a good place in so many ways.
    Shabbat Shalom Shira Grosser

  4. Sophie, we are praying for a refuah shelaima and sending you hugs and kisses!
    Jenny & David, please let us know if you need anything… we are here and thinking of you!

  5. Charles plittman says: Reply

    I continue to Daven for her for a full recovery

  6. I continue to pray for Chava Shalva Gavriella bas Shani Aliza’s refuah shleima every day.

  7. Forever in My Heart
    Forever in My Tefillot
    Refuahs Hanefesh
    Refuahs Haguf
    Continue to derive the Chizuk
    We all are trying as best as possible to give
    Shabbat Shalom
    CARY Sprung

  8. So relieved to hear that surgery was successful please Gd! Wishing (and you guys) Sophie strength and good health! You’re all superheroes.

  9. Claire Hirschhorn says: Reply

    Sophie is in my prayers daily. May she have a refuah shelayma.

  10. Debbi Marcus says: Reply

    Sophie and your entire family are always in my prayers.

    Shabbat Shalom

  11. My Prayers were answered, B”H for Sophie during surgery. I will keep praying through the next hurdle. refuah shelamah.

  12. Miri and Gabe Homa says: Reply

    Davening for Sophie and for all of you.

  13. Thank you for sharing! Our hearts and prayers are with you!

  14. Always in my thought this amazingly brave girl. Wishing you continued good reports and good health for Sophie

  15. Sandy and Gary says: Reply

    Thanks for taking the time to update us…you are all always in our thoughts. Truly remarkable child and family! with love and hug! Sandy and Gary

  16. A refuah to Dophie
    May today’s fasting and prayers for Israel and Jerusalem join these prayers for Sophie’s health

  17. You are so brave!!!!!!!! May you have a fast and speedy recovery!!!!

  18. Reuben Shmuel Mizrahi says: Reply

    Dear Chava Shalva Gabriella (Sophie),

    I’m so happy to hear that you’re surgery went well and that you’re in good spirits. You’re such an inspiration and I’m so happy to hear that you’re continuing to push through and keep going!
    I want to share with you an experience I had in Tsfat last week.
    I was at the AriZal’s kever saying tehillim with just a few other gentlemen who were there also saying tehillim. Suddenly, the chief Sefardí Rabbi showed up and he began saying tehillim right next to us. I didn’t want to disturb him so I simply observed and continued praying. However, suddenly he began reciting a prayer for those in need of some beautiful healing and immediately I pushed everyone out of the way and said your name to him and he said a prayer for you!
    Gd wiilling, his prayers and all our prayers will be answered and you’ll be healed fully and immidiately and you’ll live a long, beautiful, healthy, holy life!
    Sending you so much love and good thoughts
    Your friend,

    Reuben Shmuel

  19. BH! We are so happy to hear that Sophie is doing well! Our hearts and tefillos are with you!
    Love, Devora and Shivi

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