Thursday, March 13, 2008

Still waiting

The surgeon's office called today, blithely telling us that they have scheduled surgery for April 1st. That's without our say so, and without us or them consulting any of the other doctors.... Well, that's surgeons for you. We're still planning on talking to all the other docs - the hemotologist and our friend - and trying our best to make an informed decision. This is a very extreme surgery. Basically, they make a three-way transplant cut - like a Mercedes Benz insignia - on his trunk, which also cuts all the stomach muscles. Then they dig around, lift all his abdominal organs out, and tie off any veins that are in danger of bursting, then put it all back in, and sew him up. The surgery itself takes many hours, and the recovery is long and painful. I don't mean to gross you out, I just want to express what a serious decision this is.

My husband, from now on known as the KH (knuckle head), being who he is, is coping with all the stress, by working on the footnotes and illustrations for his book. Surgeons like to cut and academics like to research obscure subjects and write about them. It's a little Twilight Zone-ish for me, though. He started writing this very book five years ago, when he was recovering from surgery. He'd lost a lot of weight from the illness and then the surgery, and I remember watching him - as frighteningly thin as a WWII concentration camp survivor - sitting on our living room recliner with a legal pad in his lap, scribbling away as if his life depended on it. And in a way, it did. Writing his book was what he did to hold on hard to life. He'd been in danger of losing his life, and this book was the one he needed to write before... well, before his death, whenever that might be. So, skin and bones, and barely able to walk, he wrote and wrote, lost in the 19th century and in his own ideas.

He finished that book this January, sent it to his publisher, and promptly got sick again. I'm not usually a very superstitious person, but it does spook me a bit. It feels like this book is some sort of cosmic life insurance, and maybe he should find a few more really important aspects of 19th century culture to discuss before putting the book to bed.

As for me, I'm getting through the waiting by putting one foot in front of the other, focussing on the little tasks of each day - kids to school, kids home, dinner, dishes, watching American Idol with the kids - and trying not to think too much because there will be plenty of thinking to do next week. Just wanted to say, too, that I am visiting your blogs, I'm just too pooped out to leave comments. That's all for now. Keep ya posted.....

15 comments:

Doralong said...

I daresay there are volumes upon volumes of important aspects of 19th century culture to discuss left to deal with. Hence the insurance policy is good..

Be well, be calm and take care of YOU too! Yes, I know the entire Mom function all too well- but if you don't take care of yourself the entire thing goes to hell in a hand basket.. and then what happens? Humm?? Not pretty.

yellowdog granny said...

thank goddess st.mary's never lock their doors..i came home from work..read your post and left to go to st.mary's to light a candle and say a prayer for you and knuckle head..candle lit..prayers sent..js

sageweb said...

Doralong is so right....take care of yourself too. I know it is super hard but better for everyone. I wish everyone the best and hope this all gets better soon. Big Hug for everyone!

D-Man said...

Remember those old books next to the candle I lit for you? There are a few from the 19th century, so I think a relight is apropos... getting on it right now...

D-Man said...

OK, I made a little 19th century shrine for Knuckle Head, and posted a pic on my blog.

Willym said...

Been checking daily for an update but I'm sure you've got your hands full. Lit two candles yesterday at the tiny Chapel of St Nichola in Cathedral Square in Athens - one for KH's health and the other for your entire family. Not sure if those tiny flames ascending to heaven work but at least it means that for a time there is a little more light in this sometimes dark world.

Thoughts and prayers - hugs to all

Anonymous said...

We are stunned at the news. Our thoughts and prayer are with you. While we watch American Idol we will do a big ommmmm for you and the kids and KH! H & B

citizen jane said...

Sending out hugs and prayers and as much strength and peace as I can to you and yours... but mostly you.

thombeau said...

Elizabeth, make sure to take time out for yourself---this is most important. Meditate, pray, create, go for a walk...anything that will clear your head for at least a few minutes. I mean it, sweetie! It's the only way to stay somewhat centered and balanced during this period of growth.

And of course, like Citizen Jane and everyone else, I'm sending you peace, strength and positivity.

evilganome said...

As an atheist I can't send out any prayers, but I am thinking about you and yours. The best I can do is keep my fingers crossed, so consider them crossed for the duration.

more cowbell said...

Oh no. Doubly difficult as parents, keeping the kids on an even keel as well as dealing with it all yourselves. I'm sorry, damn that is a hard one, Elizabeth. Like Evil.G, I'm not much one for praying these days, but you and your family have been muchly in my thoughts this week, and I'm sending all the good hopeful thoughts and energy I can your way. Take care of you, mom -- you know that's a must. Hugs...

jason said...

You just make sure to take care of yourself.

buddha_girl said...

I completely understand his coping mechanism. You're a strong woman - no doubt.

I may steal into a church and light some candles as well. Regardless, a candle will be lit in my house for you, your husband, and kids tonight.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you all. I believe in the power of good wishes, prayers, crossed fingers, candles burning their light and hope up into the universe. Because, whatever else is out there, I know there is mystery, and there is physics, which tells us energy goes on and on.

But on a more mundane level, your good wishes are part of the world of love and support I'm lucky enough to have around me. And when I feel like collapsing, putting the burdens I carry down, you and my friends and family keep me up, help me carry those burdens. So, again, thank you. May your kindness come back to you a hundred fold. xoxo

Doralong said...

It is not a kindness to wish a good and loving person well- To wish the burden lightened for another is merely basic human decency..

That said- while the virtual friends can't pick the kids up from school or cart over a casserole so you don't have to think about dinner, collective good karma I rather think has it's benefits.

Be well- and rest some, please??