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Showing posts from February, 2016

On the benefits of leaving the darned house

I'm an introverted lazybones by default, even when I'm with Gordon. But, one of the great side effects of having him in my life is that I feel guilty enough about that to get up and do stuff from time to time. It's good for him. It's good for me, too.

He's been enjoying the heck out of playing drums lately, so I suggested last night that we could visit the music store before going to see mommy at the hospital and buy him his own set of drumsticks. He went to bed with a big smile on his face.

We headed out to Long & McQuade in the north end of London. We walked through the door at opening time and were greeted by a sales dude. Gordon piped up immediately: "We need drum sticks!"

Sales dude showed us to the toddler sticks, and I got a set for myself, too. Dude even set up an e-drum kit for Gordon to try out. He loved it. We went to the front and picked out some picks with turtles on them, since G likes playing his (stringless) Elmo guitar with a pick fro…

The road to recovery lengthens considerably

The world weighs on my shoulders But what am I to do? You sometimes drive me crazy — But I worry about you
I know it makes on difference To what you’re going through But I see the tip of the iceberg — And I worry about you…
-- Rush, "Distant Early Warning"
I never intend for this blog to be a chronicle of misery or complaints. I don't write these posts to solicit prayers or hugs or kind words or to make myself or Amanda look like heroes or martyrs. I just want to tell the truth and tell it well. It just so happens that this chapter of our lives is pretty craptacular, and I regret to report that it's about to get worse.

Yeah, I can't believe it either.


To recap the most recent hospital stay: my wife, Amanda, went into hospital about a month ago for a surgery to remove a big gob of ovarian cancer that was centered roughly where her uterus used to be. It had spread to invade her large intestine and vagina, and had strangled off a ureter, killing off a kidney.

The s…

Weeks go by and Amanda's still not home

Here’s a little trap That sometimes catches everyone When today’s as far as we can see Faith in bright tomorrows giving way to resignation That’s how it is – how it’s going to be It’s such a cloudy day Seems we’ll never see the sun Or feel the day has possibilities Frozen in the moment – the lack of imagination Between how it is and how it ought to be

- Rush, "How It Is"

A repost of a Facebook post from last Friday:
I got to see Amanda have her surgical wound tended to today.

Part high-tech (vacuum machine, space-age polymers), part barbaric (picking bits of flesh off with tweezers and rinsing a chasm of an incision with salty water).

I can't imagine how excruciating her pain must be, and how vulnerable it must make her feel to have her insides exposed, with materials being applied and removed to and from a deep slice right through her core.


And I don't know how she endures it without blacking out or throwing up every time it happens.

And I don't know how she did…

Sketchy bowels

Just a quicky update without poetic musings or gory photos.

Amanda felt better today than yesterday. Not good, but better. That's a win. She's allowed to drink clear fluids again, so I brought her bottles of Apple juice, iced tea and Schweppes ginger ale. Go easy on those. 
Tomorrow we get a tutorial on colostomy how-to. I expect it will be as yucky as you imagine. Changing diapers for the past nearly three years may have prepared us somewhat. 
Two images for you.
First, what appears to be a measurement of the incision on her belly. I got a small peek at a small part of it today and .... 

Yeah, for real. 
Second, I got to ask Dr. Sugimoto a couple of questions about the surgery and how Amanda could have ended up with yet more free-floating poop in her abdomen. This drawing explains it all. 

I am not going to explain what I drew, but I assure you it was satisfactory to Amanda, which is good enough for me. 
I hope the nurses don't get mad because I wrote on their whiteboard.…

In a dark valley of infection

Warning: vivid medical description with photo. 
Tuesday afternoon. Some worry yesterday when they found poop coming out of her big incision -- I haven't heard directly from the doc but I can't fathom how that's ok. Pain and rigidity in her abdomen and pus around her stoma -- also not good. 
Docs wanted a CT scan to learn more. Sounds like she had a hard time swallowing the contrast drink. She's been nauseous and pretty much out of it all day today. Looks like her IV suite includes Gravol. (Below) Lacey has been here knitting all afternoon as Amanda sleeps. Nurse says the CT report is in but nobody's heard what's in it. Pathology results from the tumor removal should also be in any day, we figure. So, no good news at this point. I'm kind of worried, actually. Doesn't look like a good day for Gordon to visit. The doc might be better off phoning me than trying to talk to her today. At least she's finally getting some sleep. She's been riding the hy…