As I sit here next to Joey’s hospital bed, there are bouquets of flowers lining the nurse's desk outside her room door (they can’t bring them into her room until she’s out of ICU and in a regular room). Behind me, get-well cards line her window sill. Joey is resting soundly and all I can hear is her breath and the sounds of the machines monitoring her heart rate and oxygen and administering IVs and pain medicine into her veins. It’s an eerie, beautiful quiet after the storm.
Today was a good day. After a long night of chills and fevers and her body temperature rising and falling… Joey started stabilizing late this morning, coming out of the remaining effects of the deep fog the anesthesia had put her in. By noon the nurses had her on her feet and “walking” down the hall—holding onto a walker and her IV tree, as she made dozens of very small steps in the right direction. An hour ago, two of the nurses were gently bathing my bride, telling her stories, and french-braiding her hair. This place is truly wonderful.
Yesterday in the waiting room, one of the patient's family members here came up to our manager Aaron and told him that she recognized us and that they were big fans of ours. Then she told him, “tell Joey and Rory not to worry… in here, everyone is treated like a celebrity.” I love that.
The surgery took almost ten hours, so we didn’t get to talk to the doctor or see Joey until after 10 pm last night. When Joey’s surgeon finally came out into the waiting room and sat down with us, he was so kind and wonderful and he talked with us for a long time. He told us that everything had gone well in the surgery and that he believes that they were able to get all of the main tumor removed, along with two infected lymph nodes and other places that were affected. They also did intra-operative radiation on some areas where they weren’t able to get a clear margin. All-in-all, he was very positive and hopeful. So we are too.
Joey is going to be in recovery here at CTCA for seven to 10 days. Then we’ll be able to go home for a week or so and come back here for five weeks of chemo and radiation.
Once that is completed, Joey will start a more aggressive form of chemotherapy here that will last for 18 weeks. And during that phase, she’s going to be given the opportunity to look more like our sweet little Indiana. She’s gonna lose all of her pretty dark hair.
I took this of pic of Joey and Indy at the hotel before we left for the hospital. She was telling her mama that she was gonna be brave…with a kiss.
Some roads we go down in life are smooth and easy, and some we take are rough and rocky. This one’s gonna be a little bumpy and scary at times… but we’re gonna go down it together the same way we’ve gone down all the ones before—hand in hand—taking it one moment, one hour, and one day at a time.