Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Pump has Landed

After a three hour procedure late yesterday morning, the pain pump (we'll have to give it a name) has now taken up a good and proper residence just under the surface of Dino's left abdomen. We haven't seen it yet because it was still covered with gauze yesterday, but we expect that it might be felt as a slight bump similar to a pacemaker. It's about 3 1/2" in diameter and 3/4" thick with a catheter tube (also under the skin) that circles around to his back and into his spine. It represents the ultimate form of immediate pain relief.

Dr. Behravan, who performed the operation, says that Dino will finally be able to dispense with all the pills, patches, and IV's and rely solely on the pump for pain relief. I know you're exhaling with the same sigh of relief as us - his pain for the last seven weeks has been constant and unforgiving. I suspect he'll do a major blog on the issue of pain somewhere down the line.

It sort of feels to me like Phase One, if you want to call it that, is rapidly coming to a close. His surgery, recovery and pain management appear to be behind us now and so we move into Phase Two: chemo.

His oncologist, Dr. Cecchi has been pushing to start the chemo phase and, barring any other complications, I expect that will begin soon. There is a side issue, or complication if you will - his continuing bowel obstruction (I'm starting to sound like I'm the guest lecturer at a physician's seminar, this is not good, I gotta get back out into the sun). At any rate, the obstruction may be likely due to the spread of the tumor, but our preference is to start pounding away with chemo and address the bowel problem from some other avenue.

There, now that that's out of the way, let me say that today begins with goodness. All days do really. We just get sucked into dealing with the garbage first and forget about the more important things, like the love you're sending our way. As an example, from the many prayer groups pouring their waterfalls of wonderful thoughts over Dino, one put into their regimen yesterday a "prayer chain" wherein each member of the group took one specific hour out of their day to pray him through the pain pump installation. So, I'll say it again - today begins with goodness.

Dick Scoppettone
Dino's dad


Lisa said...

Sending loads of love your way Mr. Bass Man!


houston said...

YAY YAY YAY!!!!! Dino can get pumped up again! What a grueling number of weeks for all of you...and Dick, not that I don't personally enjoy hearing you spouting so much BS...uh, medical terminology, but I hope at least for today you, and the rest of your incredible team in Dinoland do indeed take that much deserved deep sigh and go stand in the sunshine even if only for a few minutes and let it be like good medicine for you, just like Dino will finally be able to get with his Pump pal...We'll all stay in gratitude down here in Santa Cruz for each piece of good news that comes Dino's way, and keep praying more of it his way...Happy Landings,
Nancy and Paul

Billy Ramirez said...

Get healthy soon, Big Dog.


Kim said...

Goodness begets goodness. Dino's given his to all of us and now you have too, Dick...we're all here to keep the cycle going.

Thinking of you, Dino and sending lots of love your way.

Chris said...

Glad the pain is getting regulated -- any nominations for names for the pump?

Auntie Pain?

Stage one complete - on to the next round. You are you in my thoughts and heart...

Jason & Catherine said...

Hi Dino
So pleased you've got the pump going - it sounds like you can now move onto the next stage of beating this thing. We're thinking about you constantly and sending you, Dick & all your family our love, good wishes and positive thoughts from across the Atlantic.
Lots of love
Jason & Catherine

Amy said...

Dino...I can't believe what you're going through and maintaining such strength. I'm very proud of you. Thanks Dino's Family too for sharing the information wish us while Dino fights the good fight.

Ross said...


Looking forward to hearing your voice on this blog again soon. Your dad's doing a good job, but we need a dose of the real Dino ASAP.

Keep plugging. Failure is not an option.


LynnAJ said...

THANK YOU, Dick, for all that you are for Dino, and for all of us out here who appreciate your love and energy sooo much!
Dino- we love and think about you ALL THE TIME. can't WAIT to see you. your name will be engraved on the temple at Burning Man - an extremely sacred place where we lift up those we love for healing. You are living an extraordinary life. thank you for sharing it with us. hope the pump is doing it's job and you can get on with blasting those nasty cells!
Love, Lynn and Corey

Brad said...

Not sure why, but something about this last post really hit home: this thing is serious. Dino, failure is NOT an option!!! Let Mr. P do its best "I pity da fool!" on your pain, get your ass into chemo, and finish the job. This too will pass. Steady on.

Finally got Viva la Vida...good choice of theme music.


Priscilla said...

KEEP ON FIGHTING DINO!!! I love it, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION!! We refuse to accept the F bomb. Take all of our love and good wishes and all of your strength and kick some booty! So glad the pump is in and has a chance to help with the pain. YEE HA - what a HUGE accomplishment! I hope you are resting and more comfortable, D - so you can prepare for the next phase of this thing and close this difficult chapter in your life. I can't wait to hear you discussing all of this as "past tense!" I know there's still a tough road ahead - but it's helpful to visualize it all being OVER and HAPPINESS and JOY being back FULL TIME in your life! As always, sending you loads of love and prayers, D!!

Amy said...

Dino someone told me when I was in your shoes that "pain is simply weakness leaving the body" - so you must be getting mighty strong. It helped me to visualize I was getting stronger as a result of the pain.
And listen to year ago I was in the middle of chemotherapy + radiation treatments and this year I will run the NYC Marathon while raising funds for cancer research and patient programs with the Lance Armstrong Foudnation. I'm saying this as a suggestion to you - imagine what you'll be doing in a year, in 3 years, in 5...10.... it helped me get out of the cancer moment now and then, which was nice.

Patrick said...

Great, informative post. Your readers might be interested to know that numerous studies have indicated that pain pumps, which are often inserted into arteries after surgery, can cause severe damage to cartilage, especially in the shoulder. This can cause a condition known as Postarthroscopic Glenohumeral Chrondrolysis (PAGCL), which causes severe pain and requires significant medication. If you believe you have suffered as a result of a pain pump, such as On-Q and Marcaine pumps, or you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Learn more and obtain a free case evaluation from the renowned law firm of Parsons Behle & Latimer at