Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Long Day for Doris

Yesterday was surgery day for mother-in-law Doris. The surgery was planned for 12:15 but the nurses were convinced she'd be going in earlier so they whisked her away before several of us were able to see her. Whisked her away only to have her wait in the holding area until the original time of her surgery.
So the off-spring and their spouses hunkered down in the waiting area for what we were told would be about 3 hours. Luckily yesterday wasn't a busy surgery day and we had a nice area for the six of us. The boys were disappointed that the TV was out of their viewing area but they managed to make it through. The lap-top was brought out which gave us some entertainment for a bit. We were there for about an hour when a very familiar person made her way toward us. My little "tower of strength" had arrived with a bag of snacks and some magazines to tide us over. Many thanks to the best sister in law and friend ever Nannette!
As the day wore us then tension began to grow. My husband was smart in sitting off to the side and fake sleeping. Each of his family members are unique in their own way and were all there for the love they have for their Mother. Each one handles these things differently. Over the years there has been some tension between older sister and middle brother. He is very argumentative. We're talking about someone who shines around every once in a while and then wants to take charge. I had to remind them several times yesterday that we were there for Mom. He took several walks, I assume to cool down.
After about 3 1/2 hours the doctor appeared to tell us that they had removed about 90% of the tumor. He was not able to fully remove some that was embedded in her lymph nodes. She will need to have chemo to hopefully shrink down what is left. He went on to say she did well and they expected it to be worse. She will be able to come home by the end of the week and will start the chemo in a month or so. When asked about the side effects he did say she will lose her hair.
As we all sat and absorbed his words I couldn't help but think about her hair. It's a tiny little thing to go through to get better. She had mentioned to me the other day that she wanted to shave her head and start over as she was having such issues finding a good style. I think I'm going to have to take Mom for a nice haircut before she starts her Chemo. These things were racing through my mind when the humor started. Middle brother is going to the clown store to purchase her several wigs. Husband is going to give her his pirate wig. Sister in law has a blond wig from a past Halloween. I chuckled but then remarked that a hot wig in the summer may not be the best so I'll be hooking up with my friend who designs bandanna's just for this cause.
After about two hours we were told she was in her room and settled. Poor Mom was so uncomfortable and in pain that all I could do is give her a hug and tell her to get some rest. I'm not quite sure she even knew we were there. Older sister wanted to stick around and tell her the out come of her surgery. I just thought it would wait until today when she could absorb the information. She had been through enough already. Now comes the healing process.

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