The fasting and prayers all of you have been offering have paid off today. My dad is in the recovery room right now. The surgery couldn't possibly have gone better. Thank you to all of you for praying and fasting for him. God really does answer prayers.
Now that we have that most important point out of the way, onto the details for those of you that are interested. The tumor ended up being encapsulated and we think they were able to get clean margins (which is cancer speak for they were able to get all of the cancer out. We are learning way too much about cancer terminology through all of this.)
They also were able to save some of the nerves that they thought they were going to have to take, which is wonderful. For those of you in the dental/medical field they were able to save all of V3 except for the inferior alveolar nerve and kept the facial nerve intact. He will have a droopy face for a couple of months as the swelling in the facial nerve goes down but he will recover all of that nerve function. His lower right lip will be numb, but that's ok. He will just have more sympathy for all of his patients that he inflicts numbness on all of the time.
The reconstruction went beautifully. They did not need to take as much bone as they were planning on. They saved the angle of his mandible and did not have to take any of his maxilla so he will still look like himself (he'll just have an awesome scar too. Sweet! He'll look like a tough pirate! Scars are manly.)
The pathology is still not back. :( This tumor is being ridiculously difficult to type. But they say they think it is benign or a low grade sarcoma, but, being very conscientious and careful pathologists, they say they are unwilling to say that definitively yet. So we think he will likely not need any chemo or radiation. Pathology will probably take a few days more.
He did get a tracheotomy and will be unable to talk for a few days until that comes out. So we will be using sign language and can finally make good use of the ipad we brought for something besides crossword puzzles.
They reconstructed his jaw with bone from his right leg. The graft went really well and he should recover fine and be back to running marathons in enough time for the rest of us to train for one to run with him.
We are so happy with the surgical outcome today. We have been so blessed as a family. Thank you again for all of the love and support. We really appreciate it.
-Shanelle and JoLynne