On Monday morning around 10am I got a call from the nurse in Lacrosse saying that we needed to do this and that at our appointment this afternoon. I stopped her and said that we didn’t have appointments this afternoon. AH..oops. There was scheduling error. Yes we did need appointments…registration, blood draw and pre-op instructions. Oh my. The scramble began.
I called Kramer who was at work. Kalissa was at my house and had just gotten there from working the overnight. We started to try to figure out what to do with the childcare kids. Kalissa said she would go home and sleep and then come back at 1:30 and watch the kids so we could leave.
Check…one thing figured out from there contact parents, Then contact the bus driver so he knew when to expect kids and when not to. Then I have a sub coming to care for the kids Wednesday so that was more calls and planning. I hadn’t written out instructions or prepped food…go Jo go.
Kramer showed up and 12:30pm and I was still running around when I wasn’t directly caring for the kids. I had a great group of kids so I could explain to them what was going on and they were actually helpful.
We had great weather on the way… Every time we have come lately we’ve been raving a storm. This time beautiful weather. A storm supposed to hit tonight into Wednesday…hopefully done by the time I’m driving home.
We got to all of the of the appointments. We had the excellent nurse again. Kim in cardiology, you rock!! Anyone know the best way to get her recognized as a great employee???
Here are some of the things she told us….It will be a painful recovery….similar to breaking ribs. They actually cut between the ribs to get to the lungs and the tumor. He’ll likely want to sleep in the recliner for a week or two…or a couch. He’ll have a chest tube for awhile. He’ll initially be in intensive care. Surgery should take four hours.
From there we decided to go out for supper before we went to the hotel. Great food at the Hungry Peddler in Lacrosse!!
Then to the hotel….we went to check in and WOW!! Kramer’s co-worker and his wife paid for our hotel for two nights!! How nice!! We were shocked and so thankful. We brought a Kwik Trip gas card that another friend had given us to pay for our gas. I can’t begin to tell you all how thankful we are!!
We hung out in the hotel and ended up going to bed early as we had to check in at the hospital at 5:30am.
We were up early today and checked into surgery. They took him back and prepped him. By 7am they kicked me back to the waiting room. At 7:30 I got a message that they had taken him back to the operating room.
Kelli and our son Buck came to the hospital and waited with me. I was told it would likely be a four hour surgery so we were all VERY surprised when we called at 10:15am and told the doctor wanted to consult with us. I’ll admit, I was terrified. All I could do is remember all of the precautions the doctor had told me about….remember the day the doctor told me all the statistics..the 1% death rate…the 1-2% of stroke. That’s all I could think about. The kids were the same way.
The doctor came in and gave us this report…..
The doctor could not remove the tumor. It was attached in such a way that it was pulling on the surrounding area, including his heart and it was unable to be removed. He got a colleague to scrub in and he agreed that it was in his best interest to leave the tumor and close up. The doctor felt terrible about and assured us that he did all he could. He also said that they had to make the incision a bit larger than planned, so he may be in more pain than they previously thought following surgery. So…Kramer has to heal up and we move on to a new plan that involves chemo and radiation.
So my reaction….relieved. Remember I was back imagining the worse. This is not the worst. Kramer is here and although not the best plan…we still have a plan. That’s all I care about.
The kids and I went for lunch while the nurses got Kramer awake and situated. When he got back, we were able to see him. He looked good all things considered. He hadn’t heard the news yet so it was up to me to tell him. Of course, he was disappointed. It’s going to be hard to go through all of this recovery and not have the benefit of knowing the tumor is gone.
He spent the afternoon in quite a lot of pain..it’s taken a bit to get that under control but it’s happening now and we have him napping as I am writing this.
Although this wasn’t the perfect out come, it’s not a terrible situation. In a month or so, chemo and radiation will be back on the table and we’ll be working towards a new plan. The surgeon did say that they might do surgery again after chemo and radiation. If they do, they will likely be able to take less of the lung. So that would be good. I’ll continue to keep you posted.
As always, thanks so much for the kind thoughts and prayers. They mean so much to us.