Friday, July 20, 2012

Calling all doctors......

It is Friday morning. I wake up at 7:30 am after a night filled with panic attacks, hyperventilation and sobbing. I again must see my "baby" go into surgery. I know that everything is going to continue to be alright, I MUST get a grip. We are in the best possible care. The angels have been with us all along and continue to be here.  I sit up in bed, breathe in and out slowly, replace negative thoughts with positive. Dr. P's words keep coming back to me "it is treatable and curable". I try and picture life in a year, two, three.. and how we will be looking back wondering how we ever made it through this time. I slowly manage to calm myself down and drift off to sleep. I have become very good at doing this. After years of panic attacks, I have become an expert and self talk and relaxation. Was that all to prepare me for today? Who knows. Who cares, We are here and must learn to cope.

I get out of bed and run around the house frantically as if cleaning and making up the bed are going to make everything better. I decide not to eat breakfast, if he can't eat, I'm not going to! Zack wakes up grumpy. He is tired of the tests, he is tired again of Hospitals, but he doesn't say a word. He must shower with the special antibacterial soap, no cologne, no deodorant, take out his earring, make sure he has the right shirt and shorts so he can get them back on easily after surgery. I look through my closet for the most comfortable outfit and shoes, knowing we are going to be the entire day in the Hospital. I pack my laptop, bring my bills, files, all the things I know I "should" do while there. Which I never even touched!

We arrive at the hospital! They have Valle parking, somehow that makes it a little more fun? Cheap thrills!! We go into a waiting room filled with tons of people talking, watching the large, very loud tv, typing away at their laptops and talking on their cell phones. Little children are running around chasing each other, climbing all over the furniture.  I Look at Zack and say "no way... I'm not hanging out here"!! OK, that was selfish, like he is so excited about having to have surgery! But he gets it, he looks around and says "kinda freaky Mom". I don't tell him, but I know that all of these people are waiting for news on their loved ones, they are scared, they are tired. Do they have hope? Do they expect bad news? Were they all surprised by news just like us? 

Zack and I are seen very quickly, we visit with the admittance person to do all the paperwork. We then are given directions to pre surgical room. Go down this hall, turn right, then left at J elevator, then go up to 2R, not 2L, then turn left... Ok.... under "normal" circumstances I would be lost, now???? We "hitch a ride" by following a couple who are being escorted to the same area. We enter a large area full of nurses and patients being shuffled around. We are directed to a small room with a rainbow colored worm on the wall. We are in the children's section. I start to remember a stuffed worm that Zack had when he was little. It was four times his size (not an easy feat even back then) and he slept with it all the time.  II begin to laugh and tell Zack about the worm. He vaguely remembers it, and comments that I am remembering a bunch of things from his childhood. I tell him that is normal to think of the simple things that brought us and him joy, He likes the visit down memory lane.

A sweet nurse comes in, gives Zack the gown, booties and head cover. He takes out his contacts, changes into the gown (his least favorite to wear because of the possible exposure) He asks me to make sure that everything is covered. I tell him that no one loves these gowns. The nurse comes in again, inserts the iv into his hand, takes his blood pressure, weighs him, and puts on the bracelet with name, date of birth and other pertinent information. She reads over the papers and we go over the procedures. She is confused, she has the port scheduled, but nothing else. We tell her that he is to also have two other procedures. She quickly goes to another nurse and asks her to make a few calls, this after asking if I had to documents with today's procedures. I say no, and immediately pick up my cell phone and call the cancer center. I tell them that the nurse does not have the proper paper work for the surgery and my son is not going anywhere until everyone is on the same page. She asks to speak to the nurse, who then explains that since Zack's doctor from the center is gong to do one of the procedures, he has the papers and is bringing them himself and the other doctors office should have faxed over their information. ( I think because we initially cancelled for Thursday, they had them in another location, BUT this is a very good reason why parents should NEVER trust ANYONE 100% with their childs care, it is up to the parents to make sure that they know everything that is happening to their child at every moment. ).We clarify which surgeon is going to do which procedure. We meet the anesthesiologist, his assistant and her assistant. We go over the fact that he has no allergies, will be getting a mild sedative and then the tube down his through to help him breathe during the surgery, he will completely out the entire time. Dr. S comes in, he is one of the team that we will be working with at the cancer center. He explains to Zack and I that he is going to do the bone marrow biopsy on each hip. I sign more papers... Dr. W comes in, he explains that he is going to put the port in and remove two of the lymph nodes around Zack's pelvis. All of these will be followed by a pathology report on Tuesday. SO.. we will know on Tuesday that he is 100% cancer free. I talk to the nurse a little more about St. Judes and the research. Is Mission the right place. Her answer? "this isn't Podunk USA... I had Breast Cancer and they saved my life"  Enough said....

Zack is wheeled off for surgery. I give him, embarrassingly, tons of Mamma kisses while he exits the tiny space. He is ready, he is done with not being able to eat, having to hang out in hospitals, wearing bracelets with his name and birth date on it.

I head downstairs, they give me a small round disc that will light up when he is done with surgery. I tell the nurse that unless a steak and lobster dinner comes with the disc I don't want it. Of course, again with the humor. I need it now more than ever. She seemed to get a kick out of it too. She says only if YOUR buying. I look at her and tell her "trust me, I'm buying!!!"  I find a tiny little cafe, go inside and find they have actual food, not from a machine, but hand prepared. I order a pannini and drink, go outside and find a comfortable corner to sit in. ( I like my corners). I am surrounded by people still talking on their cell phones and others running around trying to find a plug for their soon dead laptops. Everyone is watching everyone, we all smile at each other, after all,  we are all awaiting good news. I decide I am going to watch Greys Anatomy on my laptop instead of doing what a responsible adult would do, pay bills, balance checkbook... I can do all of that tomorrow. Today, rest.

One hour goes by and Dr. S walks up to me. He is smiling and says that he was able to do the bone marrow biopsy without any problems. I ask him, in your years of experience, and knowing all of the results that we have received, do you feel we will have good news from the biopsy. He smiles again and says he really feels we will. (Not trying to cover his ass with Dr lingo, but being a real human being, with real hope). Two more hours pass and "Fisher Family" is called over the intercom. I collect all my belongings, including the white plastic bag containing all of Zack's belongings, and am greeted by Dr. W. He is smiling and said that everything went well with the removal of two lymph nodes, in the pelvic region which will also go to pathology. He said he installed the port and no stitches will need to be removed. He said just leave the tape on the incision and they will come off on their own. He can shower in the morning, but not swim for a couple of weeks until it completely heals. About 30 minutes later I am escorted to recovery. Thank God, or I never would have found it on my own. It is heartbreaking to see him, he is pale and in pain. The nurse tells me that they gave him something to help with the pain and we will get a prescription for Tylonol with Codine. He slowly is waking up, pain level is 10 blood pressure is a little high, within 15 minutes pain is 4 and blood pressure is normal. They decide to move him bed and all to discharge. We meet with yet another nurse, recently relocated here from NY. She is very business like, but slowly warms up when Zack is not bouncing back as expected. He is groggy, sleeps as we turn out the over head lights. He "looses" what little water he was given, and within 30 minutes, his color is back, he is asking for his phone and MP3 player and is more talkative. I breathe a sigh of relief as does the nurse. She says that he is such a sweet young man and is so glad he is feeling better. We don't feel rushed, she tells us to take our time. I plug my phone in the corner and continue to play my game, Zack manages to get a couple of crackers in his system (first food since 9 pm the night before and it is 4:40 pm), he also drinks some ginger-ale. He perks up even more. He looks at me and says "I think I can make it for a steak dinner", laughing I say... I think we need to go home and rest, we can eat a lighter dinner at home. He does not argue with me, confirming that he is not really ready for yet another steak dinner. (his new after hospital dinner treat)

Our car is brought around to the discharge door. (remember my treat of vale parking?). We are walked to the door and sent on our way. We call Frank and tell him we are coming home. Once home, I run to the pharmacy to fill the prescription while Frank fixes dinner. Zack is already on the phone to his cousin Darrick and asking him to come spend the night. Life if back to normal, at least for a couple of days and I rejoice in the simplicity of it all.

All day my phone rang with calls, texts and emails from so many people around the world praying and wishing us the best. We are truely surrounded by love and are blessed,.

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible day. This,again, puts things in perspective. I'm grateful for the blog. Grateful that Zack give you the okay to write it.

    After talking with you today, I was wondering how you were going to find the time and energy to blog and if you did what you would write. Job well done. I like the photo too. Don't imagine that anyone would say that one is handsome in a hospital picture, but he is!