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Friday, October 17, 2014

Ups and downs

A few years ago, T and I watched a ridiculously cheesy TV show called Forever Eden.  The premise of the show was pairing off single people and seeing how long they could stay at a luxurious resort.  To announce a twist or competition, the hostess would place a huge fake apple on the contestants' bed and remind the audience that the apple could bring good...or EEEEEEEVIL.  I feel like we have had an enormous apple placed on our bed this week, and with it, we have had both the good and the bad.

Monday's surgery went well overall.  It started later than expected, so it was a long day of waiting for everyone.  When the surgeon came out to talk to me, she delivered two kinds of news: the tumor had all been removed but she thought the cancer had spread to the bladder.  Thankfully, we found out the next day that the cancer had not spread any further than they originally thought.  The bladder was perforated, but the explanation was that the radiation had caused the tumor to stick to the bladder and the perforation happened when the tumor was removed.  Score one for good news!!

I stayed in the city on Monday night so I could get to the hospital bright and early Tuesday morning.  It was great to see T, but it was also really weird.  He had a morphine pump, and by God, he was not afraid to use it.  The meds made him flat and expressionless, and if you know T, you know that's not his normal state.  He was in quite a bit of pain, but it was controlled by the meds.  I stayed that afternoon, but I went home later that day to be with the kids.  No matter where I was, my heart was always split in half between Northwestern and home.  

The next day was fantastic.  As soon as I got the kids off to school, I headed into the hospital.  T was up and alert.  His morphine pump was gone, but he had more energy to walk around and be out of bed.  He joked around and talked, and I was thrilled to have my T back.  He shaved, and I helped him wash his hair.  He was even allowed some soft food, although after about four bites, his appetite was gone. When I left that afternoon, I was confident that his recovery was going well and he was on track to come home Friday.

Thursday wasn't so great.  My brother and I drove in to visit, but we ended up only staying fifteen minutes.  T had been nauseous and vomiting all night, so he hadn't gotten any sleep.  He was sitting up in a chair when we got there, but he was obviously fading fast.  He was too exhausted to have anyone around, even me.  He texted me later in the day to let me know that he had still been vomiting, and the docs had decided he needed an NG tube.   The tube was supposed to remove whatever was in T's stomach; apparently his bowels weren't "awake" after surgery and that was causing his nausea.  His nurse assured me that this was all completely normal after anesthesia, but what is normal to her sure seemed completely wrong to me.  The only good news of that day was that T's catheter was finally removed. 

My dad and I arrived at the hospital this morning, Friday, to find a wan and weary T.  The vomiting had continued during the night and into the morning.  At one point, the NG tube started to choke T, and the nurse had to remove it.   Unfortunately, it had to go back in.  Two different people tried to re-insert the tube with no luck.  When the third person came in to try again, T told me to vamoose because he didn't want me in the room while it was going down.  He was so run-down that having people in the room wasn't going to do him any good, so my visit was cut short once again.  There was one bright moment, though, when I saw my guy's true self.  I told him I wished I could stay longer, he told me that I tend to get annoying after ten minutes, fifteen minutes tops.  That's the Trevor I know and love. 

I know that things will get better, and I know that all of this is only temporary.  Even knowing those truths doesn't stop me from feeling completely helpless.  I want to DO something to help him, to fix him, to bring him home.  I also know that the most important thing is that the cancer is out; I'm just selfish enough to want the cancer gone AND for T to be comfortable.  I want him to feel good, and I want him to come home.  The week of good and eeeeeevil continues, and I just hope it comes to an end with more good than anything else. 

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