Monday, November 5, 2007

Progress of sorts

Greetings Campers

Deb was discharged from the hospital about 3:30pm on Saturday. She was very tired and went to bed when we arrived home. She does not have much pain. She takes an Advil four times a day. She is also taking an anti biotic four times a day for five days. She has a drain that collects fluid from her surgery site. I empty that twice a day and record the fluid amount. About 20 ml every 12 hours.

The drain will come out Wednesday and Deb can shower after that. On Wednesday she will visit the doctor to learn about the pathology results on the other tissue samples and what lies in store for her as far as treatment. We pray for good news, of course.

Sunday Deb stayed home while I went to church. After church I fixed eggs and bacon for us. Later Chuck and Loni Marik brought dinner to us, including a wonderful apple pie. Chuck and Loni have arranged with our friends that we will have dinner delivered for the next few days. We've never been so overwhelmed with such kindness. What a blessing!

Deb stayed up all day after I came home from church. She has better color and more energy that I expected she would have so soon after surgery.

Today Strider, the wonder dog, comes home. She has been with Deb's parents since Thursday night. It has been so quiet. Gabby the cat, normally hiding from the dog in the basement, has spent every night sleeping with me and has taken to keeping us company during the day. Alas, back to reality for her today.

I'm spending the week with Deb. Kathi, my eldest, will be here Wednesday through Sunday to help. I'll be back to work next week, with others looking in on Deb, then I'll be off Thanksgiving week.

I'd like to publicly thank several people. First, the doctors and their staffs. Both Dr. Weyburn and Dr. Compagnoni have shown compassion and patience in their approach to Deb and me from the beginning. The wonderful people in the chemotherapy area and the office staff at Dr. Weyburn's have gone above and beyond to make Deb's visits comfortable and to answer any questions. What we have seen from them is more than one could ever expect. We don't know where this is headed yet, but the medical team has done everything they could to beat this disease.

My co-workers have been fantastic for me. There willingness to help and to offer comfort and hope knows no limits. Every one of them have made my load lighter with their smiles and prayers. Who ever said you had to separate church and state :). Mary and Darlene have graciously listened to all my stories. Rick, Sue Ann and Mike have been supportive at every turn.

Deb's work mates at Kemper have been so supportive for her. People she hadn't met before have gone out of their way to offer prayers and support. People have come forward to share their cancer stories with her, giving her hope. Others have taken time since the April diagnosis to visit her and offer concern and support for her recovery. E mails from those no longer at the Long Grove location and phone calls from former employees have lifted her spirits.

Our family, both here and in Michigan, have been there from the start. Their support, calls, love and prayers have cheered Deb considerably and made it easier for her to go on day by day. I can't imagine having a child with cancer, so I can only imagine how Deb's parents must feel.

We will always have a Russian daughter. Masha has had to cope with this from six thousand miles away. Her American mom has cancer and she fells helpless. Her support by e mail and her expression of her love for Deb have kept the emotional bond in place created during her time with us.

Finally our friends. Their support has been remarkable. Loni and Chuck have done so much. John Puleo, Julie and Perry Fish have been there so much for us. The surprise visit from Deb Brinker and Deb McReynolds last week, all the hugs at church. Calls from Pastor Spangler and Jim Van Peursem after the surgery. The dinner brigade. The e mail support from Peggy and Ilona for me. The constant support, love and encouragement on the train ride home from Edwina Vass. The prayers offered by the neighbors. The E cards from Nicky. The counseling with Pastor Tews, that righted our emotional and spiritual ship at a critical time.

So we start another week in this journey. We'll know more about the compass heading after Wednesday. No matter what happens, we know our lives have been made richer by the kindness, love and support of so many people who we can never properly thank for making this time of our life hopeful instead of hopeless.

God Bless every one of you.

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