In these wee hours that I’m typing, all is quiet for now. The last few days were rough and they will be more challenging in the next few days too.

We had a helleva week, two weeks ago.

For some crazy reason, I got the urge to put Kristen on a trip to Cuba all by herself…on 3 hours notice! Her Aunt and Uncle were headed to Mexico for a week’s holiday on a steal-of-a-deal price. There was no room left on that trip so I called Sunwing to see if there was anything left for its final trips south for this year. There was – to Cuba.

Kristen (with a tiny push from me) was game and off we went; she packed, I called for advice from Harry and Christine (John’s brother and his wife) who had been to this place in Cuba. After purchasing and printing off the tickets, Kristen and I threw her suitcase in the car and we had just enough time to buy lots of sunscreen and immodium, plus hit the bank, before tearing off to the airport.

She made it! She was the last person to go through Security and the last to board the plane to sun and sand for a week.

I suddenly panicked when the plane left…what did I just DO??? I sent my baby off to some foreign land I’ve never been to! Even better… John didn’t know.

He was out with Mathew while this rapid event occurred. I had called him to see if he was okay with Kristen going on her Uncle & Auntie’s trip but didn’t have time to call him back about the Cuba change. Or that the flight was leaving immediately rather than the next day.

It’s a good way to kill off your husband, by the way. He aged several years when he found out Kristen was already gone and…he forgot it was Cuba rather quickly. He had another panic attack a few days later when Mathew and I discussed the heat in Cuba – he interrupted us to say that we were wrong, that Kristen was in Mexico, NOT Cuba. As I said, another freak out and a drink or two to calm down… Kristen got back the following Saturday (a week ago), sunned and happy to be home. John slept for 12 hours that night and I was just happy she was home.

A lot can happen in a week….

For instance, Mathew had his PET Scan during that week scheduled with two days’ notice. He wasn’t happy about it, down went the Ativan, and ultimately it was done. I then called the Surgeon’s office to let them know the scan was done, as they had asked me to do.

So… two days after that we got an appointment with the thoracic surgeon! A week ago Friday, to be exact.

The surgeon told us the Pet Scan and CT scan only showed the two nodules in Mathew’s left lung and they weren’t big enough to light up with the radioactive stuff they put in Mathew’s blood. He was still going to remove the 2 nodules because they are located in a place where he can get them. He cheered us up until he mentioned that often he removes nodules only for others to appear – they weren’t big enough to be spotted by the time of surgery (thanks!).

The surgery was booked at the end of the surgeon’s appointment and he just had an opening this coming Tuesday ~ the surgery is booked for May 19th! The stars lined up and heaven rolled out the carpet for that one – could anything happen any faster if you begged and pleaded? Not a chance!

So I had my own news to share with Kristen upon her return from Cuba. Unfortunately, Kristen was to present her winning thesis at a Convention in Newfoundland on the same day as Mathew’s surgery. This trip was planned and booked in advance however Kristen wants to be with us so she has since cancelled the trip (more on that in a little bit).

I don’t believe we ever get an accurate picture from doctors in this city. The thoracic surgeon mentioned something about 3 days in the hospital before Mathew can come home. Also that Mathew will be taken to the surgical floor immediately following surgery (after recovery of course). Ha ha ha ha ~ this last Thursday was the pre-admitting routine, where you go in early and do all the paperwork, bloodwork, meet the Anesthesiologist, etc, before the surgery. The nurse said recovery is more closer to FIVE days, not three, an the first night is usually in ICU!!

I can’t see that working out well. You are permitted very short visits on the ICU’s schedule which doesn’t accommodate family or friends. Who here thinks Mathew will just go right along with being on his own in ICU without us with him? If they keep him asleep, then yes, possibly so but otherwise ICU might be in for quite a noisy surprise. I shall sit in the tiny space with a couple of chairs outside the ICU door and I bet I’ll be able to hear him. Just sayin’.

Okay, so the thoracic surgeon is doing a VATS surgery; short for something like video-assisted-blah-blah surgery. It means Mathew will be cut in three places, small cuts, and the doctor uses some video technology to guide the surgery. A chest tube will be inserted in Mathew’s side for drainage but no one has offered up how long that will be in his side.

The rehab team also saw Mathew and I during the pre-assessment appointment. They went over the exercises Mathew will have to do, the frequency, etc. They were upbeat and positive and almost bubbly. They won’t be as bubbly when Mathew is finished with them. Mathew is, understandably, frightened of this surgery. He thinks he’ll wake up and play his iPad or Nintendo DS. I haven’t the heart to say otherwise and wreck what little hope he has. His mood swings are wild and crazy right now and he needs constant attention to keep himself calm. Monday is going to be pure hell for everyone, as it is the day leading up to the surgery.

Mathew’s surgery is scheduled for noon on Tuesday 19th May. He is to be at the hospital for 10 am and can have nothing to drink after 8 am. I must have laughed hysterically and convincingly at the pre-assessment appointment because the anesthesiologist is now planning to put an IV line in Mathew as soon as he gets to the waiting area. She plans to run minimal fluids and a sedative to keep him hydrated and calm. If it works, we all thank this great lady Doctor for her foresight and willingness to help his situation.

I am off next week and John the following week. Then, me again, because I’m getting those top teeth pulled May 29th (As luck would have it, another tooth chipped on Thursday evening leaving me with a very sharp, pointed tooth. My teeth are starting to look rather like an alligator’s alarming sharp grin. I couldn’t get the tooth filed down because my heart started racing; it goes around 140-150 beats per minute and it lasted 24 hours this time. I get very tired when I get move around so no going to the dentist for me. Unless the nerve gets exposed in which case I’ll run in, get it pulled, then run back to the hospital…. )

As an aside, the nodules will be biopsied and compared to the biopsies from Mathew’s primary tumour done back in August 2013. We are all pretty sure they will come back as cancer because the one in particular, doubled in size. If it was benign it shouldn’t have grown. Until we get the results in a couple of weeks though we continue to hold out hope. What else can we do?

There was a wonderful event that happened on  Tuesday; a bright spot in an otherwise difficult time. This:

Our beautiful university graduate!

Our beautiful university graduate!

Our beautiful daughter graduated from university! Kristen graduated with Distinction, in the Psychology Honours Programme. She also won an award for the best thesis in Psychology Honours – which came with a nice prize of $500!!!

I was excited for the ceremony and stayed that way until the 380 graduating students filed into the arena. That, combined with university staff and dignitaries meant sitting in the arena seats for over two and a half hours before we were freed from that hell known as Convocation!

We are so proud of our daughter. She worked extremely hard for her high marks, and that through her brother’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. I know how hard that was for her. I am so glad we had this moment that was all about her….(although we all got hasty and urgent texts from Aunt Wendy looking for Immodium for poor Mathew! I just shook my head; even at that moment those two kids of mine are connected in some weird way).

My favourite moments are Kristen smiling and waving at us. The devilish moment I loved the most was during the prayer when everyone was supposed to bow our heads and join in prayer – Kristen and I are atheists so I waited…’cause I just knew she was going to give an impish grin just to be bad and she DID! That’s my girl!

I will update how Mathew/we are doing when I can. I’m not sure of our schedule yet, Kristen will be of great help this time (a cute, educated girl Friday, don’t you think?). The next days until surgery I will definitely not be on here. Mathew needs us and that is where both John and I shall be.

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