Thursday, November 29, 2007

8 hours later...

Hi all - John's wife Jody here taking over the narrative for a while as John heals from his surgery.

Let me first say that John is resting in his room right now and the surgery was a success! The tumor has been removed.

Now - this is not to say it was a perfect day. Let me walk you through the day from my perspective:
3:00 am - wake up - can't fall back to sleep - too nervous
4:00 am - actually get up and shower
5:00 am - leave for hospital
5:30 am - check in at at GBMC hospital
8:00 am - after several attempts to access John's port and a couple thousand papers to sign later (did I mention John forgot his wallet at home!!) he was finally ready for surgery and they wheeled him away.

At this point I retire to the waiting room. My in laws are there with me too. (Their day started out badly after being rear ended on the way to the hospital but they are both fine!).

Soon my friend Jolene and my mom arrive to join the vigil. We hear nothing until about 12:30pm when I get a phone call saying that the tumor has been removed and John is almost done. Yeah!

So I wait...

and wait...

and wait...

...until about 2:30pm when the phone is for me again and it's from the OR - they are still operating on John - but they assure me they are almost done and I should see the doctor in about half an hour. Yeah!

so I wait again...

and wait some more...

...and then another two hours go by - and I get another phone call. They had some complications at the last minute and were just now closing him up. They say Dr. Grasso will be up to see me in 2 seconds. I don't believe them anymore by this point, so I prepare myself to wait some more.

But - in about 5 minutes Dr Grasso does indeed come out to see me! he explained to me what happened:

Basically, all was running smoothly until they went to put the staple sutures in his new "J pouch". when he noticed that they had all ripped! Apparently his colon and bowels were still very fragile and damaged from the radiation. So Dr Grasso says he only has two options in this situation:

1. Try to stitch it closed again
2. Put in a PERMANENT ileostomy bag (not a good option)

My breath caught in my throat at this point.... He then explains that he was able to repair the J pouch and save his lower bowels.


Dr Grasso was able to put in three miracle stitches to save his lower bowels and the day.

By the time Dr Grasso is done talking to us - I am so relieved, that I finally allow myself to fall apart a bit and get in my first cry. More of a release than anything else. He was OK!!!

Next came more waiting.... I wasn't able to see him until 7pm when they finally rolled him into his room. I saw him get settled after a very painful move from the gurney to his bed and then I left for the evening to try to get some sleep before heading back over tomorrow.

I'm sooooo tired and sleepy and slightly delirious at the moment, so I apologize if this didn't make complete sense. But at the end of a very long day - I'm happy to say John is ok and hopefully on his road to recovery.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers - it means alot.


Anonymous said...

Praise God for the good report on John. I've been watching for the report ALL day. Now my prayers will be for ALL of you to rest and recover and heal. I'm Steven S's mom. I've followed John's blog from the beginning since Steven told me about it and John, his car-buddy. My 92 yr old mom had colon cancer surgery 6 years ago, so I can relate to a lot of the things John and you have gone thru. I'm inspired by John's attitude and this will sustain him in his recovery. God Bless you All ..... and I'll keep you all in my prayers.

Karen S

tinkknitz said...

Sutures worked loooong before new-fangled staples came along John. It's good to hear they still do. Good to hear you are rid of the tumor and on the way.

norska said...

Thanks, Jody! Glad for the update - I hope John is ready to give everything what-for soon! :)

Scattered Gemini said...


What you wrote all made perfect sense. Thanks for keeping us up to date while John is recovering.

You are both in our prayers.

cheebie said...

Thank God all went well and Sco
gets to keep more of his parts.

Yet more prayers go to you both.

Michele said...

Thanks for the update. Be sure and tell John we are all thinking of him and praying for a speedy recovery.

Anonymous said...

I survived with a little surgical surprise too (a temp illeostomy) thanks to the nice work the radiation did on my rectum. Tell Sco that I won this race but he gets the prize! Please know that we in Wisconsin are praying for Sco and your whole family!

Still in the hospital.....

Anonymous said...

Still in our prayers. It's got to really be rough for John now, but we are all pulling hard for him...from a fellow lm-er..vw-er..ensay-er..tack-day-er..Tell John to get better soon!