I was up and back to the hospital by 7:30am. Nick was scheduled to leave his room at 8am. Needless to say we were both pretty nervous and held each other as long as we could. I know how simple surgeries can go wrong. And this wasn’t gonna be that simple. Minimum of 4 hours.
I didn’t know where to stay while he was there so I sat in his room for a bit. My dear friend Holly came to sit with me. My friend Nancy also came. One of Nick’s ex girlfriends showed up too. Judy is an awesome lady and a good friend. I’m glad she was there too. We moved down to the Cancer Center waiting room. While there, Nick’s brother, Kevin, joined us.
Now, they have set up a cool thing at Mayo. Each patient is assigned a #. And you watch this # on a TV screen. It tells you where your loved one is at any given time. Nick’s #### – in prep, in surgery, in recovery…..a LONG 6 hours. I wrote his # down somewhere…..69something something.
There were a LOT of people watching that screen. And there was a kind older lady sitting at the desk, helping people, answering the phone, and when the OR called, she would give you a consultation room # so you could talk to the surgeon. Someone would even WALK to the room with you! It was awesome.
Anyway……It started out with Holly, Judy and Nancy sitting in Nick’s room with me. One of the nurses then came in requesting that I go to the Cancer Center’s waiting room so they could give me updates. We all went down there except Nancy had to leave…..It was so wonderful having her there too.
We all sat around the table talking and laughing…..I can’t believe we were laughing with Nick in such a serious surgery…but if I hadn’t been laughing? I’da been crying. It was that intense there.
He finally went into surgery about 9:15am….so add 4 hours to that and you get 1:15pm when I should start watching for him to be in recovery. I think it was closer to 2pm before I saw “in recovery” behind his name. Shortly after that, the nice lady at the desk came over to me and handed me this little piece of paper with the #2 on it. Doc Joe was coming to talk to me.
God, my stomach did flip flops, I was terrified he was going to tell me that the cancer had already spread, that it was an awful mess in there, you know…the typical BAD scenario…..
“It’s done, everything went so smoothly! It was basically all in one spot, no trouble rerouting……” He made it sound like it was the dream surgery where NOTHING went wrong. He was smiling ear to ear, happy with how it looked and turned out.
I walked back to the Cancer Center’s waiting room with a spring in my step and a smile on my face. My supporters saw that immediately and hugs all around. God it felt good to know it went well…….
It wasn’t until later I found out , yes, the surgery went well, it was the recovery room where the trouble was.
“We had to bag him” meaning his pain was out of control and his asthma/COPD were causing issues with his breathing. He kept yelling out in pain, which made him panic and …..well it’s a vicious circle…..I’m glad I wasn’t in the recovery room…….it would have needed padding on the walls.
He finally got back to his room after 4pm. I have a photo of him from that day that will never be published. He’s asked me never to show anyone and I haven’t. Only him. He wanted to know what he looked like with 7 tubes running out of him…he was a mess.
But he was alive.
To be continued…..