I haven’t updated in awhile. Its been hard because I’m having trouble finding my silver linings. My last post was a week ago. I was getting ready for surgery Wednesday. So let me talk about that first.
The surgery went as planned. My left kidney is out. Dr. Rashid said it was one of the healthiest kidneys he’s ever taken out. Except for the three cancerous tumors. But the tissue looked good. After he did his part, Dr. Wilfong went about the liver biopsy. He made eight passes and took multiple biopsies, but none of the initial samples looked like cancer. He was perplexed because he knows for certain he was in the mass. We will wait for final pathology to make a plan going forward, but he is inclined to treat it like its cancer to be aggressive. I am for that plan. The TACE procedure is fairly simple and safe with few side effects. I would just hate to get months or years down the road having done nothing, and find out I should have done something.
The surgery recovery has not been easy. I anticipated it would be similar to my c-section, but its been much worse. My mom stayed with me the entire hospital stay, I am so beyond lucky to have my mom. Dad and Liss were there frequently too. The second night I was in the hospital I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit still. The fentanyl pain pump that they had me hooked up to was making me so sick. I had a horrible headache and I was throwing up. It hurt like I can’t describe to throw up with my abdominal muscles already in so much pain. Finally, after many requests, in the middle of the night, I got them to unhook my fentanyl PCA and give me IV morphine instead. I’ve never had morphine before, but I can totally see how people get addicted to it. It was like the medicine went straight to all the places in my body that hurt and flooded them with warmth and quiet. I fell asleep within moments. I wanted oral pain meds after that night because you can’t go home from the hospital until you are off IV meds. There were a couple other issues that finally resolved and I got to come home on Saturday afternoon. I had originally wanted to come home on Thursday, so it was quite a disappointment to be stuck there so long. But it was made bearable by so many of my sweet coworkers and dear friends who feel more like family. I felt very loved those few days. I am so lucky to be surrounded by the people in my life. So grateful.
When I came home and walked in the door, Brian, who has become more and more withdrawn, broke into tears. Its hurt my heart to see him. I just went straight to him and promised I am okay and that I am better. I think his tears were of relief. It was that night that he spoke his last complete sentence to me, and the first one I had heard in more than a week. I told him I was happy to be home with him, and he said, “I’m so happy you’re home with me.”
Brian has taken a significant downturn in the last 48 hours. He is sleeping a lot more and interacting a lot less. He isn’t wanting to eat or drink as much. There has been a marked decline in the last twenty-four hours. I decided to order a hospital bed. It was delivered this evening and he is resting in it next to our bed. I think last night might have been the last time we would sleep in the same bed. I kind of intuitively knew that, so I made sure to hold him close and listen to his breathing.
Today Ethne didn’t go to school. She came home from my mom’s where she spent the night and asked me for medicine because her “heart hurts.” I told her there wasn’t really any medicine for that, but that I knew what she meant because all of our hearts are hurting right now.
Brian was reclined on the couch and Ethne was trying to get him to talk with her. She was sitting on the arm of the couch whispering to him, but he wasn’t answering. I asked her if she had any questions about daddy that I could answer. She looked in my eyes and said, “is he ever gonna get better?” All of the air went out of my lungs, all of the air went out of the entire house it felt like. Brian’s sister and dad, and my mom were there. My eyes immediately welled up, but I could not make words come out. Finally, I just hugged her to me and I said, “sometimes people get so sick that they can’t get better.” I was trying to formulate what to say next, but that little bit was enough for her sweet little heart and soul to digest today. She said,” just a minute mom, we can start over.” She brought me a tissue and her game and she said, “we can dry your eyes and play this game.”
She is such a remarkable little spirit. I am humbled every day that I get to be her mom. I pray that I can watch her grow. I think she is coping with this better than most adults could. She just gets overwhelmed like we all do. But I know that intuitively she understands.
Brian, who had seemed deep asleep during this exchange, opened his eyes and cried when he heard her question. He is still in there.