We arrived at the hospital 45 minutes ago. Seth’s parents went to the cafeteria to get some breakfast, and I washed Seth’s hair before he took a shower. When Seth got back in bed, he noted that he’s gotten “in a routine that has been healing and helpful” during his stay at the hospital. Leaving “the routine of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday” is making him a little anxious. I have to admit, I’m a tad anxious as well. Before we know it, we’ll be heading back home where our three kids will be waiting for our love and care. Seth will be out of commission for a while, so I’ll be responsible for helping him as needed while caring for the house and three kids full-time. But people have already been generous with their offers of help, so we will be just fine. Seth’s surgery for removal of the gold bottle cap plaque is scheduled for 10:30 a.m., but there haven’t been any signs of movement yet.
Seth was wheeled away to surgery at 9:17 a.m. By 10:40 a.m., we received word that surgery had just been completed. He’ll be in recovery for a while, so we’ll wait patiently in his room until he returns.
Four nurses brought Seth back into his hospital room 10 minutes ago. They helped him into bed and got him readjusted. Seth reported a 5 on the pain scale. (He hadn’t reported anything higher than 4 since Monday after the first surgery.) His eye was stinging and throbbing, so nurses gave him his usual cocktail of pain meds. Napping seemed the next best course of action. He was definitely still coming out of anesthesia.
Seth had been completely quiet and still for 10 minutes. Out of the blue, he shared one sentence, “I’m going to want a Blizzard later when I wake up.” Seth’s mom assured him we could make that happen. Then back to silence.
I just got back from lunch with Seth’s mom. Seth is upright in bed, and lunch is on its way. We’re hoping he’ll be able to tolerate the food since it’s one of the requirements for discharge later this afternoon. Seth was administered his usual pain management “cocktail” at 11:45 a.m., but now he’s reporting worsened “stabbing” eye pain. The nurse gave him a new pain medication via IV, which thankfully kicked in within a few minutes.
I decided to watch a live stream of IF:Gathering, an organization that exists to “gather, equip and unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose.” Had we not been at the hospital all week, I would’ve been attending a special ladies event today and tomorrow to watch the live stream. Most of the women speaking at the event are in the heart of my blogging niche, so I was excited to catch even a few minutes of it live.
Angie Smith interviewed a woman who lost her husband and two boys (9 & 7) in a tornado. The woman spoke, “I’m here today. I have a choice to live in sorrow and let their lives be completely wasted, or I can talk about what God did. I chose Him in my darkest hour.” Then Jennie Allen, founder of IF:Gathering, spoke. “We’re in the wilderness bumping up against each other wondering what we’re supposed to do. We are at war and the prize is faith. I believe that women are going to move from journals of sight to lives of faith.” I love my sister writers. They’re so wise. Yes, let’s share what God’s done in our lives. Yes, let’s live by faith and not by sight. The themes seem to fit this journey through eye cancer and everything else that’s transpiring in my life these days.
I went downstairs to the pharmacy to pick up three prescriptions Seth will need once he’s home. When I got back up to the room, Seth said he might be discharged soon. He inquired about getting an additional prescription for pain medication, so the nurse is inquiring with the doctor. I just washed Seth’s hair for the second time today; we’ll be heading to a hotel for the night and it’ll be hard to protect his eyes from water with the set up of the bathroom there. Exhaustion is setting in. Big time.
Seth was officially discharged and walked out the doors of his hospital room at 5:03 p.m. We took a shuttle back to the hotel, then his mom and I went to Mayo Clinic to pick up the fourth prescription. While we were there, we verified with one of Dr. G’s colleagues that Seth can resume reading as he feels comfortable. We’d forgotten to ask at discharge.
We enjoyed a casual dinner with Seth’s parents before saying thank you and good-bye. So here we are. In the hotel room. I’m writing and Seth’s sleeping. We stayed here together on Sunday night before Seth’s surgery, I’ve been alone in the room all week, and now tonight, we’re right back where we started. Radiation was delivered to Seth’s eye for five days straight via the gold bottle cap plaque while he was in the hospital. Now the only physical evidence he’s been through eye cancer treatment is a big eye patch and shield, and a bunch of stitches nobody will ever see except the doctors.
One month from now (early-mid March), we’ll return to Mayo Clinic. Dr. G will take a look at the stitches to make sure they’re dissolving as expected. He’ll examine Seth’s eyes, and perhaps we’ll get a glimpse of the impact radiation’s had on Seth’s sight in his right eye. He’ll check for double vision and if there’s any drooping of the eyelid, both common with this surgery. Three months after that (early-mid June), we’ll return for another appointment. At that appointment, Dr. G will examine Seth’s vision again, but will also begin looking at the tumor to see if it’s reducing in size. That is the earliest they would expect to see any shrinkage of the tumor. If, at that time, the tumor is reducing in size, they will see him in 6-8 months. If, at that time, the tumor is the same size or bigger, they will see him every 3 months until it’s smaller.
When we wake up in the morning, we’ll be heading home. Seth will be home and out of work all next week. If all goes as planned, he’ll be working from home the last two weeks of February. Once we’ve acclimated to home a day or two, I’ll touch base with another post.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers, love and support this week while we’ve been in the hospital. You’re the best, and we’re so grateful.
I’m exhausted, friends. Good night.