The Past 24 hours

I am back at my hotel, just finished dinner, and sitting down to update all of you on my mom’s status. The past 24 hours have felt like days and days. We first arrived at the hospital to check in at 8:30. Fast forward about two and a half hours for the pre-prep process. Lots of questions, I washed her whole body down with some type of antibacterial wipes, helped her get her gown and slip stop socks on, the IV was started, more questions, and then she was off to preop. I went down there with her as well. More questions that were pretty much the same as earlier were asked. Her pacemaker was checked, we met some of the doctors on her case, and at 11:00 am she was wheeled away. 

Our first text notification from the hospital was at 11:00 am saying she was in the OR. The next text was at 12:30 pm saying that the procedure had started. At 2:30 pm we were informed that the procedure is in progress and she was doing well. 3:30 came and we were messaged that her belongings had been moved up to the floor she was going to be on. 5:30 pm the message started that the procedure is starting to close. At 6:40 pm she entered recovery. That was the last text we got. Almost 3 hours later we made the decision to walk over to the hospital and try and get any info we could about how things went, and how she was doing. We hit quite a few roadblocks because there were three of us there and we had to explain that our sister was deaf and couldn’t communicate well with others and got an exception to the “2 people only” rule. We had to do that 4 different times, with 4 different people. Each one stated they were adding that info to my mom’s record, yet every time we were faced with this, no one could find it in her record. Anyway….

We made it to her room about 5 minutes after she got there. We only stayed basically to make sure she was doing ok because she was very in and out. We didn’t get any info on how the surgery went. We would have to wait for the next day.

The next morning (this morning) we made our way back over to her room and she was more alert. She didn’t remember that we had been there the night before which wasn’t a surprise. We still hadn’t talked to anyone about the surgery, but the nurses put a call in to let the doctor know that we would like some sort of update. About 2 hours later we got a call from her doctor who told us the following:

  • They did not have to remove all of her large intestines
  • No stoma was needed
  • The area the tumor was in was removed and sent to pathology (that will take a few days for the results)
  • They repaired her hernia

The last one was a shock. We didn’t think it was going to be able to be repaired, as so many doctors in the past said they wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. If everything stays right, and no new hernia appears, this is a life-changing thing for my mom. That hernia has been the bane of her existence. It’s been nothing but constant pain and she’s had to wear a binder for years and years to try and keep it supported. There is no guarantee that the repair will hold because it was such a big one, but we are keeping hopeful thoughts that it will.

It has been a rough few days around here, but we know that she is in great hands, and she is cancer-free. There was no sign of it in her nodes or the organ around her colon, and for that we are thankful.

Thank you to all of you who have held our theoretical hands through all of this. The support here, in person, from my job, has been overwhelming. While we know the temporary road ahead is not an easy one, what lays beyond it is in reach. Sorry cancer, we won this one.

Some Reading and Writing

Being sick these last few days has left me lying in bed watching movies, youtube, playing some COD, and today, going down memory lane. I used to write in a different blog regularly, just about daily. And this was back when I was fresh from my cancer diagnosis (well, within 2 years of it. That’s still fresh) when the girls were little and I had a lot to say. They provided me with many stories and kept me on my toes at all times. It was interesting to go back and read what their personalities were like back then and see how some of those traits continued into present day.

So much was going on back then, that I can’t believe I even found time to type out my thoughts. But I did. And a lot of them. Besides the girls. my writing was focused on my health, not surprisingly. Sometimes a trip down memory lane is more like a ride on a rollercoaster. The bumpy tracks, the steep climb up high, the drop to the bottom leaving your heart in your throat. So yes, I stand corrected. It wasn’t memory lane, it was a memory rollercoaster. Somehow I managed to stay on the tracks even at times when it felt like I was sliding off. And there were many times.

But not all writings were medically dramatic. There were a lot of posts and pictures I saw that made me laugh out loud. And those were fun to read. I am so happy that I kept a blog at that time in my life. It’s been such a great way to look back and reflect on things. One of the biggest changes in my life is how I view my cancer. Back then I was certain that I wouldn’t go a day without ruminating on it. And as time has passed, I am pleasantly surprised that I was wrong. My cancer was a blip in my life that was scary. It was something I never thought I would mentally get past. But here I am. I don’t think about my cancer every day. But from time to time there are reminders. Maybe to keep me humble, to remind me of what I am capable of.

As some of you are aware, my mom was recently diagnosed with colon cancer (see previous post for more details). People have asked me how she is doing but there’s not much to say. She is to have surgery on December 29th. Until then, we wait. Cancer has hit my family hard. Me, then my dad, and now my mom. All of us fighters in our separate ways. Yes, life is a rollercoaster.

So, if you’re interested in seeing what my life was like about 16 years ago, that blog still exists. http://www.britehope@blogspot.com You kind of have to work your way back to get to the beginning of it. But fair warning, I am queen of TMI and you may read some things that are a touch oh….graphic. On the flip side, you may also find some posts that tickle your funny bone (one in particular involving a bat in the house…poor Dion). It’s been an interesting day of reading and I have only gotten halfway through that old blog.