COULD SOMEONE KINDLY REMOVE THE TUMOR FROM MY HUSBAND’S HEAD???!! Patience is not one of my strong points. After countless scans, blood draws, biopsies and consults we finally have a plan! Kevin and I will be heading to Houston tomorrow. He will meet with a neurosurgeon on Friday, as well as have his pre-op tests completed. Monday is the BIG day! The plan is for him to undergo the operation laparoscopically and remove the tumor through his nose; sounds simple enough. My sister is a nurse practitioner and she has retrieved rocks, beans and other small items that have been crammed into the nares of toddlers. Unfortunately, this is going to take a little more precise maneuvering.
This bastard tumor is big and it is growing. It has also cozied up right next to the bone that separates the sinus cavity from the lining of the brain. There are 206 bones in the human body and I think the asshat could have found a less critical place to make its home. Kevin has a huge big toe and a nice roomy armpit, but whatever. The good news is that the tumor hasn’t started growing in the brain, but they still have to drill into the bone and make sure that none of the cells have started trespassing in that direction. Evidentially, they can’t just reach in there with a clean set of needle nose pliers and yank and pull. Unlike the operation game, if they touch vital areas close to the tumor, Kevin’s nose will not light up red and an obnoxious buzzer will not alert of a failed attempt to retrieve the wishbone and the next guy gets a turn. It is smack dab in the middle of some pretty crucial parts. It’s complicated.
Following the surgery, he will have to stay in the hospital for three days, barring any complications, which I am not expecting any, so we are going with the three day plan. He will have to stay in Houston so they can monitor him for a few more days and then we get to COME HOME!! He will get to heal and chill for several weeks and then he will have to return to Houston for daily radiation for six weeks. I won’t get into the dirty details of that part of the journey; I am taking one day at a time. Sometimes I am taking one hour at a time. Sometimes one moment at a time…sometimes I get completely paralyzed with fear and worry that I have to kick myself into the next moment.
So now we have come to that point in the story that isn’t about Kevin, me, or even cancer. It is about all of you. Since this all started I have one priority and that is getting Kevin’s health restored. This man has a lot of living to do. He has daughters to give away (if we can get any suckers to take them) and grandbabies he hasn’t met yet and frankly, I am not done driving him crazy with my shenanigans (I have a lot of shenanigans left). I am usually the kind of person who doesn’t sweat the small stuff and when compared to Kevin’s life, worries about medical bills, housing during treatment, transportation, time off of work—that is small stuff. When I let my mind go there, the small stuff started to add up to a virtual Tsunami and it was about to consume me. And then, like drops from an unexpected rain shower, blessings began to fall. Promises of prayers, hugs from people in Wal-Mart, folks selling T-Shirts and raffle tickets, generous donations of money and care packages and hospital survival packs—so much love and support pouring down. One dear friend even gave her airline miles to fly Sophi down to Houston to be with her daddy for the surgery. What I had perceived as a tsunami wasn’t a tsunami at all. It was blessing tossed into the shallows of our lives, each one making ripples upon ripples of love and we have been deeply touched by every single one.
It hasn’t been easy for us to be on the receiving end of such selfless giving of others. We felt bad, awkward, unworthy, ill-prepared and weak. I received a message one evening from a friend who found herself in a similar position. She reached out to me and said, “People want to help and you need to LET THEM.” She shared so much wisdom and perspective and I pray that she is aware of the beautiful gift she gave me in reaching out. We are humbled, we are blessed, and above all, we are eternally grateful.