Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 6th 2013

February 6th was surgery day!

We woke up early again, the neurosurgery team brought the MRI images in to show us, but we had no idea what we were looking at. She told us that the goal was resection, to remove the entire tumor. She didn't tell us what kind of tumor it was or what kind of treatment we would be looking at after surgery.

That morning was hard on Archer. He was starving. After two days of not getting to eat much, he was ready to eat and they wouldn't let him. He was really becoming Hulk at this point. The steroids were making him aggressive and grumpy too. At one point he pushed the call button and yelled at the nurse that he was starving and she needed to bring him something to eat NOW! We laughed because it was so out of character for him, but I know he was hungry too.

They came to get him for surgery around 9:00am. Just Chance and I went down with him. They showed us the waiting room we could wait in, it held about 8 people. We told them we would be staying upstairs on the 9th floor because it was roomier.

From there, we went to the holding room. We snuggled and I sang to him some more. We tried to keep the mood light and keep him happy. He picked bubble gum gas again for his gas mask. Chance went back up to let everyone know what was going on while Archer and I waited for them to come get him. He played iPad for a little bit and then they wheeled him in.

Once he was back I went upstairs so we could move all of our stuff out of the room he'd been in. We took some stuff to the car and someone took some laundry (my sister I think) so that we would have clean clothes to wear. Funnily enough, Archer had tons of clean clothes and was wearing hospital gowns. I didn't pack anything to wear for myself except a pair of yoga pants. 

Once there was nothing else to do, we waited. The waiting room was full of family and friends. You always expect your family to be there, but it was good to know that they were there to just be by our side through such a scary time. My friends who came, you know who you are, I will always appreciate you being there. And my online friends and family who I know would have been there in a heartbeat, sent a fruit basket which we all appreciated. It was perfect. 

They called from surgery around 11:00am to say that everything was going ok, he was stable and they would call again in an hour or so to update. They didn't call back again until around 2pm to tell us they were finished with surgery. The nurse was very straightforward, didn't give any details of how he was so I was petrified. They told us surgery would take around 6 hours and it was no where near that. 

We met the doctor in the waiting room and she told us that everything was great. The tumor was out, but he would need a follow up MRI the next day to be sure. I was so relieved.

After a few minutes we were allowed to go back, one at a time to see him. When I got to him, he was crying and so scared. His head was swollen and the incision and stitches were ugly in comparison to the fluffy blonde hair he had when he went back. It broke my heart to see him like that. It broke my heart to hear him crying and asking for me. He was dozing in and out of sleep, and jumped every time he fell asleep. 

The recovery time was the absolute worst for me. He was moved into an ICU room and I did not want to be in there. It was small and cold and uncomfortable. They were limiting the amount of visitors to 2-3 so I stayed in the waiting room with Foster for most of the day. He needed me too. 

Once Foster left I stayed in the ICU room with him. Chance had stayed with him most of the day, so he took a break. Once he started waking up, it was worse. He flinched every time the nurses came in, the catheter was painful and he didn't want anyone to mess with it.

We spent the night in that room, no one got any rest. Archer was sleeping, but he was waking constantly, scared to go back to sleep. They only had one chair that semi reclined and just a regular waiting room chair, so Chance and I rotated who slept in what. At one point he woke up jumping and shaking, I think from a nightmare/fear and Chance came flying up out of his chair. I think he thought it was a seizure, but he was still half asleep.

I can remember surgery day so clearly. There were some very good times, knowing my friends and family were there to support me as well as Archer. Feeling the love and prayers from everyone, both in person and online. I still say it was nearly tangible. You could almost feel the presence of prayer and love. But it was also really hard. It was the first time I'd seen him in pain and I felt so helpless. Sadly though, it got worse before it got better.

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Amy said...

Makes me tear up. I remember when everyone was spreading the news, I was shocked. How scary it must have been. So glad that you guys came out the other side of it ok!!

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