Friday, October 21, 2011

Finally, an update!

Hello Raising Saints readers! My name is Briana and I am guest blogging for Suzanne right now. She is well aware that everyone is anxiously awaiting an update on her health and, as she is currently unable to successfully blog, she has asked me to temporarily step in.

So, the much awaited update: This last Monday, Suzanne was admitted to UCLA hospital in Santa Monica. She went in for a few reasons, mostly dehydration and extreme nausea that was keeping her from eating or drinking much of anything. Also on Monday morning she developed pain in her left leg/groin area. Jay took her to UCLA to see her oncologist and, after infusing her with fluids, it was agreed that Suzanne be admitted to the hospital. They discovered a large blood clot in her femoral vein.

She was finally admitted and transferred to the hospital in Santa Monica because that is where the oncologists who specialize in tumor/mass related cancers are based. She got a wonderful doctor who is very concerned about a number of things. Obviously, the blood clot is a high priority, but the nausea is also very concerning. At this point, they have tried nearly every anti-nausea medication to no avail.

On Tuesday afternoon, Suzanne underwent surgery for the blood clot. First, they placed an "umbrella" type filter to prevent any clots from passing into her lungs. Then, they used an egg-beater type device to go into the femoral vein to break up the clot. The first part of the surgery went extremely well and the filter is in place. The second part of the surgery was only partially successful. They were not able to break up the clot. They are unable to put her on any medications that would break up the clot because they could cause bleeding on her brain. For now, they are keeping her well hydrated and monitoring both the clot and the filter.

As for the nausea, they have ordered a number of tests, none of them showing anything yet. They did a new set of scans and so far no word on any abnormalities. The oncologist asked a gastroenterologist to see her to rule out any kind of physical GI problems. For now, we are just waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for tests to be run, waiting for results to come in, and mostly waiting for someone to figure out what is wrong so it can be fixed.

After spending time with her yesterday, I can happily report that she is actually more mentally coherent than she has been for a few weeks. She has some color in her cheeks again and we were able to spend some time talking and laughing. She is trying really hard to force food down because she knows that is going to be the key in her release. Throughout the day she was able to take a few bites of various foods here and there and keep them down.

She is getting excellent care. All the staff there have been so nice and helpful. None of us have any doubts that she is where she needs to be and that she is getting the best care possible.

On behalf of the DiSilvestri clan, I really want to say a great big thank you for all the help and support that has been offered. Our Sacred Heart community has been a beautiful example of true charity and we couldn't be more blessed to have such an incredible parish and school in our lives.
All the love and prayers are felt and greatly appreciated. Also a big thank you to the West Valley Rebels and all their support of our cheerleaders and football players. At this point there are too many people to personally thank, so please know that we are so grateful for all the meals, laundry help, chauffeuring help and general good wishes. Thank you all.

Our goal is to update here on a regular basis with the latest, accurate information on Suzanne.
So, tune in next time for the latest episode in Suzanne's journey.


Anonymous said...

Brianna, thank you so much for the update! Many of us have been wondering how Suzanne has been doing since we got the news that she has been hospitalized. Is she allowed to recieve visitors outside of family members? I don't know how many people can make it down to LA, but if anyone can then it would be good information to be able to pass on. Please tell Suzanne that we all miss her and are storming the gates of Heaven with our prayers on her behalf!
Thanks again,
Angela O'Sullivan

nicole said...

Goodness, I didn't realize things had taken such a turn. I'll be praying for Suzanne. I am heartened by the response of her community. Beautiful!

Tina said...


Thanks for the update. I've been wondering and praying. Prayers from 387 miles northwest.

Anonymous said...

Thinking and praying for Suzanne from Marin. I will be eagerly awaiting the updates and the news of her recovery. Maura

Debbi said...

Thank you for the update on Suzanne .
I hate to hear she's been so sick and had to have surgery also. Bless her...
Prayers and good thoughts

Barb said...

Thank you for the update Brianna. Suzanne and her family will continue to be in my daily prayers. May our dear Lord guide her doctors to be able to find the answers...

Anonymous said...

Oh God,

Let me help Suzanne carry her burden...

Anonymous said...


Jesus felt that same dread that you are grappling with.

As we all rush to and fro with our endless jobs and activities, we would all be better off if we took the time to stare at the true nature of our time here on this earth. You are blessed to be able to reflect this way.

When you are feeling really oppressed, (and nausea has such a way of doing that!) Take comfort in the fact that united to your great friend Jesus, you are another Jesus on this earth. God Bless you for your fruitful struggle!