Here's an overview of our day at Geisinger...
We checked Michael in at In/Out Surgery (a half hour early), which was coincidentially mere footsteps from the NICU Family Room where we posted many a blog during our stay there with Max. The rather large waiting room was packed, but we were fortunate to find three open seats over in a corner with enough room for Max's stroller. And so began the waiting...
Michael was called up to the main desk. A few minutes later he returned to the seats and said they'd call him twice more before the surgery- once to sign a release form and then when it was actually time. Max ate, slept and had his diaper changed. He was also quite the attraction for the couple sitting across from us. ("Look at that hair! How old? How cute!")
They finally called Michael's name to sign the form and within minutes he came back to say goodbye to us. It was time. After they took him in, we had a quick bite at the coffee shop. (Again, an all-too-familiar Geisinger locale.) Afterwards, we moved to a little room off the main waiting room with comfier couches and more space. I think I leafed through every possible Ladies Home Journal, People, Star and Redbook possible and eventually dozed off for a bit.
I'd just woken up when a nurse walked over and informed us that the surgery hadn't even begun until 15 minutes prior, so we settled back in knowing we had at least another hour left. (Again, more eating, sleeping and being adorable on Max's part. Not that I'm biased.)
I was called up to the front desk and told to answer the red phone on the desk when it rang- the doctor wanted to talk to me. My heart sunk. Fortunately, she was just reporting that the surgery was finished, that it'd gone well and that Michael did great! WHEW. The only restrictions he was given was that he can't drive a car for 24 hours or lift anything over 20 lbs for 6 weeks. I know this will be particularly difficult for him (being the go-getter that he is), but I'm going to give him 'tough love' and make sure he abides by the rule! (PSU peeps, please keep a watchful eye and help me out with this one!) =) He's also just supposed to plain old REST, which I'll also be enforcing. The nurse then suggested I go fill Michael's prescriptions and when I returned I could go in and see him. (Lots of Max & Nana cuddle time in the meantime!)
Returned from pharmacy and headed back to recovery to see Michael. He was groggy and pale, but more alert than I expected. He reported that he'd been told that the results of his Monday blood work looked good (knock on wood). He'll be able to explain more in-depth once he's feeling stronger, but basically they look for all kinds of 'tumor markers' and want the numbers to be under two. Only one of his markers was above and it was only 2.2. This more or less indicates that they caught the cancer early and that it hopefully hasn't spread!!! =) It will still take a week and a half or so until the results come back regarding if it reached the lymph nodes, though. On a side note, it turns out that his anesthesiologist today was one that was in the room when they attempted to give me epidurals before Max was born!
The nurse sent me back out to gather the two cuddle bugs and load up the car. Another nurse pushed Michael downstairs in a wheelchair to meet us at an outside entrance. He took his first dose of pain killer.
We hit the road and headed back home. Michael had been fasting (both food & water) since midnight last night (poor guy!), so we ordered a delicious late dinner from one of our favorite take out places up the road and then tucked him into bed. His temperature was low and he was dizzy. Max and I are going to sleep out in the living room tonight so a) he can get a solid night's rest and b) so I don't thrash around and accidentally hit him. (I *might* have the habit of being a little restless when I'm stressed out... sorry, honey!) I turned on the baby monitor (Michael Monitor?) out in the living room so I can hear him if he needs something in the middle of the night. He had the TV on, but I heard him snoring his way into a much-needed deep sleep within 10 minutes.
He did awesome today and I'm so proud to call this man my husband. He has been very brave and open about the cancer and subsequent testicle removal, which I find highly commendable. Gents (and ladies, too!), please be sure to do your self exams! I know it sounds cliche, but it only takes 30 seconds and Michael is proof that those 30 seconds can make a difference.
And as he said tonight before bed- cancer picked the wrong family to mess with!!!
Thank you all (again) for your love and support. My heart is warmed by your notes, concern and generosity. Thanksgiving will have extra special significance this year, that's for darn sure!