Day 1…Tumor Can’t Be Removed

While the doctor explained the situation to me, my mind tried to open up to understand every word he was saying.  He drew little pictures which I now know I misunderstood (he is the surgeon and I am the stunned wife with only Dr. Google to rely upon). We both were doing our best and I just wanted to see my husband but was assured it would be a little while as he was waking up in recovery.  Were these all the answers to my questions about his disease? Never, but it would have to be enough for now.

What seemed like forever came to an end and I went up to the floor of this modern hospital and glanced out the windows when the elevator doors opened.  The storm during the night had rattled the nearby hotel we had booked, but now the day looked bright and sunny.  I was trying to hold on to the faith I profess and knew that God would make all things right when I surrendered to whatever His will might be.  So the sunshine was a pleasant answer from Him–everything would happen as it was supposed to happen.

I saw my husband lying in a bed with tubes running here and there–the nose tube was the one that looked the most uncomfortable and it would be there for a while the nurse reassured me. It’s purpose was to drain out the mucus I guess. The catheter was  collecting the urine and that bag was hanging on the far side of the bed. Better there than to be visible from the door and hall. At least there could be a little dignity for the patient that way. All this may seem pretty graphic for some of you, but that’s the way it is when a person is recovering from surgery. The room was huge and the bathroom was well stocked with toiletries and towels.  (It was for my use as well and I would appreciate it for the night to come.)  It would not be shower time for a while for this patient, but the nurses would let him know. Just sponging off for a few days would have to be okay for him.

The tubes running here and there were signs that he had just had major surgery, but the smile he managed told me he was fine. Faith and acceptance is his mantra.

That night was a nightmare with nurses running in an out, but I was happy to be at his side just because.

Whatever that doctor said to him in the first few days was lost in the fog of leftover anesthetic and I tried to remember everything I could.  He is tough, but the most important thing to remember these days has been his handicap and most recent golf score…don’t ask him because he will deny that’s true.  Maybe he doesn’t need to analyze every single word like I do because he accepts what God has in store is God’s business.  What faith!

Where did I go? Part 1

Yes, it’s been a while since I have posted anything for the readers, and I’m going to fall on an excuse.

In April of 2018 my husband was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.  He was scheduled for surgery and we went to St. Louis from our home at Lake of the Ozarks and he entered the operating room in anticipation that the tumor would be removed. The doctor explained how long the operation would take, and I understood that. There is a board in the surgery waiting area that tell which stage the surgery is in and I knew the surgery, including the exploratory part, would take a total of 4 hours.  I was given a buzzer like the ones in restaurants and would be notified when there were updates by checking the surgery board in the surgery waiting room.

I sat down to have my first cup of coffee and began thinking about my husband and what he would have to do to recover from this surgery. Probably no golf for a week or two and he would probably have a little pain from the surgery just because the docs poked around. He’s a tough guy and even though his golf is the be all and end all of a day, he’d survive. He would be glad to have the cancer under control.

My buzzer sounded. The board displayed the completion of the first part…the exploratory part of the operation. This was indicative the surgery would proceed to the tumor removal because the surgeons had located it. Three hours to go and hopeful and praying for the surgeons.

My sister had arrived by now after her half hour drive from Granite City to Missouri Baptist Hospital in Creve Coeur.  I began explaining all that I knew thus far and we sipped fresh coffee provided by the volunteers. We were in for a long day and we planned to have lunch on the main level where a great little bistro-like area provides snacks, sandwiches and soft drinks.

Out of nowhere my buzzer sounded and I went to look at the board.  “SURGERY COMPLETED” was listed next to my husband’s patient number and I didn’t know whether to feel hopeful or scared. What happened with the tumor and why finish 2 hours early.  The doctor was on his way down to speak with me.