“O Lord,Bless the surgeon’s hand. Comfort all who wait for news.”
Though ‘all who wait’ was still only ourdaughter, we were committed to our conspiracy of silence until after surgery. Theevening before was spent as any caregiving evening as an outing with Pattiunaware of either diagnosis or pending surgery.
Finally it was time to attack the cancer. Inalmost 4 hrs of surgery I behaved myself under anesthesia and surgeon performeda wide wedge resection of the lung lobe removing cancer and surrounding tissue,spreading the ribs, and going into the lung lobe to get the lymph nodes.
Awakening in ICU, I actually felt great – nopain at all! “It’s the epidural” explained my nurse.
My epidural was my BFF for two more days ofpain free recovery. My only previous association with epidural was Patti’s birthof Megan but I have no problem endorsing, ‘real men get an epidural’. I waseven able to walk around ICU within an hour of awakening.
On the third morning (first without epiduraland I felt like I had been run over by a truck) and St. Patrick’s Day morn’surgeon stopped by to say good bye, he was sending me home and by the waybiopsies were back – all the lymph nodes and surrounding tissue from wedgetested negative for cancer. Yabadabadoo!
3 and a half days earlier I had transferedPatti from her wheelchair to her bed and wished her good night a MS spousecaregiver (maybe a quarter million of us) now I walked out defined by ‘surviorship’,one of more than 10 million cancer survivors in the United States.
Though honestly, most important to me was thatI was able to complete all my ‘activities of daily living’ by myself whilerecovering at home for the next month and should be back to full abilities then.
Yes I have some restrictions on lifting for nowbut thankfully our daughter is at home.
Steppinginto the void, she had picked up Patti from her care facility and had her homefor a family outing, one week to the day since our pre-surgery outing.
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Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leervideos: www.youtube.com/daddyleer
(PS The pictured painting "Rays of Hope" , is a tribute by Karen Bennett to her aunt Ruth, who kept hope alive while watching, caring for, and losing her husband and only child to cancer. 2012 Expressions of Hope Calendar, March)