“O Lord, Bless the surgeon’s hand. Comfort all who wait for news.”
Though ‘all who wait’ was still only our daughter, we were committed to our conspiracy of silence until after surgery. The evening before was spent as any caregiving evening as an outing with Patti unaware of either diagnosis or pending surgery.
Finally it was time to attack the cancer. In almost 4 hrs of surgery I behaved myself under anesthesia and surgeon performed a 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 – no pain at all! “It’s the epidural” explained my nurse.
My epidural was my BFF for two more days of pain free recovery. My only previous association with epidural was Patti’s birth of Megan but I have no problem endorsing, ‘real men get an epidural’. I was even able to walk around ICU within an hour of awakening.
On the third morning (first without epidural and 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 way biopsies were back – all the lymph nodes and surrounding tissue from wedge tested negative for cancer. Yabadabadoo!
3 and a half days earlier I had transfered Patti from her wheelchair to her bed and wished her good night a MS spouse caregiver (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 that I was able to complete all my ‘activities of daily living’ by myself while recovering at home for the next month and should be back to full abilities then.
Yes I have some restrictions on lifting for now but thankfully our daughter is at home.
(originally published in Caregivingly Yours blog March 28, 2012)