Surgery was on June 25th. She left early and dad was updated all day from the doctors. We knew surgery could take anywhere from 5-15 hours depending on the spread and severity etc.
she went in early, I think surgery started around 8? I can't quite remember now. But they didn't finish until 630pm. It was long and invasive. They took out many body parts that had been effected by the cancer and had to be removed. After everything was taken out they ran chemo through her abdomen continuously for an hour and a half hitting all of huge places it could to kill anything left over.
We knew that if it had gone into her liver they would have just closed her right back up. There were also tons of other complications and risks associated with this surgery. Even the chance of death alone was staggering. So I went on into the hospital that night to meet up with dad to see mom after her surgery. Because of everything involved in the invasive surgery, she was going to be transferred to the ICU first for recovery until she was stable and be moved to another unit.
I waited in the ICU waiting room for dad to arrive, he had been at his hospital across the city all day trying to keep busy during. As I sat there I saw a bed get wheeled past to go in. I stared wondering if it could possibly be mom, I knew the timing was about right... And then I saw the glorious red hair hanging off the back of the bed! Right the. I wanted to jump up and see her and hug her! I knew I couldn't though so I just waited.
As dad arrived shortly after we shared a long embrace, both of us shedding some tears of joy. This is when our bonding started! We were allowed back to see her after the nurses got her all set up and hooked up. She was on a ventilator and was covered by hot air filled blankets. Her hands were tied to the bed because of the ventilator and she was completely out of it. We both took our turns at her head saying hello and kissing her forehead where we could touch her. The nurse told us we had about 3 minutes and had to leave. That was tough!
We took the few minutes we had to love her and wisper in her ear and them we left her side for dinner. As we walked out of the ICU I started to cry quite uncontrollably. I didn't want to leave her side! I didn't want her to wake up and feel alone or not know what was going on. So I cried to dad and he just held me close. Over dinner we discussed the miracle of moms surgery that day and prayed thanks to our father in heaven for the gift of this. We had a group text going all day with all of my siblings and spouses to keep everyone update on the latest. We updated it with our night with her.
When we left, we planned to go back and see her, but after calling huge nurse, she asked that we not come back so that mom could rest. That again, was very hard to hear and obey! But we did knowing that we would be back bright and early the next morning.
She stayed 2 more days in the ICU slowly getting taken off of tubes and lines. Dad and I stayed by her side from morning until evening and didn't leave until she was asleep of was comfortable with us leaving. She still was sleeping a remind ours amount and was very unaware of what was happening.
She got transfered to the step down unit, which is not a normal room but a high observation room where she has the chance to share with 3 other people. It was very crowded and pretty gross considering she had to share with 3 men. Dad and I smooshed in there with her! I sat on the foot of her bed mostly and just wanted to be close.
There were ups and downs and highlights of each and every day. One day it was that she stood, another that she got up to use the bathroom, another that she could be awake for more than 2 minutes at a time! Them we started to get a wheelchair and wheel her outside for some fresh air! This tired her out but seemed to help her feel more normal. We also had ups and downs with her meds and some that made her go completely loonie! I won't lie, a few nights I was scared to leave her in that state. I hated the heavy narcotics and what they did to her.
I have my own personal pictures of her, but to make sure her privacy is hers... I will not post some of my favorites. She was a trooper though and by day 10 she was doing awesome! We were close to the end and we knew it. It was Sunday night and we sat together me, mom, and dad just chatting and laughing, talking about coming home this week! The doc had even offered a day pass for Monday or Tuesday and then a release tentatively for Wednesday.
Sunday night we got a phone call from Robyn that dan, my brother, had been in a horrible bike accident. He was mountain biking and crashed into a tree and was life flighted to a hospital downtown Dallas. That night with the information that we received we didn't know if he was going to live or die. I was very scary. Dad had to leave the hospital right then to set a missionary apart for church, and he left mom and I upset and crying. We all prayed together for him and just didn't even know what to do or think. We wanted to be with him, but obviously that would outer work.
Mom scooted I rinsed and I crawled in bedside her. Again the two of us prayed together and sat looking for some comfort. She pulled open a friends blog who had written about loss after lossing her teenage son last year. She referenced a wonderful talk called death or destiny by spencer w. Kimball. Mom and I read her kind words of encouragement and then went and read this talk. It was amazing. I still go back and read it frequently. It gives so much hope and understanding to so many things.
So turns out he had broken his right ribs in 12 places, on all of his ribs. He shattered his shoulder and bruised his lungs very badly. Obviously this means a long road to recovery and pain control. He stayed in hospital for about 2 weeks and is finally home recovering. It was so hard to not be with him to help him but he is strong and will get through this, even if it takes a long long time. It was so severe and scary and could have been so much worse, he is lucky there was no brain injury or spinal cord injury.
So Monday I spent the day with mom and dad was out on the ranch with my nephew bri who had flown in before his family to have time with grandad on the ranch working this summer. So we had a nice day together. Nothing out of the ordinary. We worried about dan and corresponded lots. With everything in Texas to get the scoop and know he would make it and would be ok. A bunch of relatives all have a lemonade stand here in town and they were set up at the stampede. Jenn Andrews offered to bring us some fresh lemonade to the hosital so we placed our orders. She brought it and made it fresh that night. I didn't leave mom until about 1030 and she was tired but happy!
Then it all really happened.....more to come.