Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tests, Tests and More Tests

Sunday January 4th, 2015

This day consisted of pretty much nothing besides sitting around and waiting. They had Chad's pain pretty much under control but we had no more answers than we ever had. We probably seen some doctors and I believe made the plan to run some tests. They monitored his vitals and kept him comfortable as we waited until Monday rolled around and we could make some progress. They planned another scope and some other tests - so at least we had a game plane.

Monday January 5, 2015

Today was the big day for tests. Times and lengths fail me now, as it seemed a lifetime ago. I know they did a scope and as a result found out that Chad's Gallbladder was functioning at 6%. So the next plan of action was to remove that the following day. After speaking with the surgeon, Dr.Swain - they decided they may as well take out his appendix too. He described it as looking 'murky'. Nothing they were concerned about but since it doesn't really do anything doctors are aware of in the human body (Besides cause trouble) they figured, they may as well.

Tuesday January 6, 2015

Today was the big day. I was a nervous wreck. I did my research and I knew gallbladder removal was one of the most common and routine surgeries performed in the USA but I was still anxious. My in-laws came to see Chad before they took him for surgery. We were told he could possibly go home the same day but would most likely be the next day. When they wheeled him away, I cried. I was confident everything would be okay but I still cried. I got a call shortly thereafter that they surgery had begun and everything was going well. They told me it would take about an hour and Dr.Swain would come see me in the waiting area when it was done.

And he did. It was a success he said! Chad did great and everything went as planned. He told me there was a cyst on his appendix but they didn't think it was anything to worry about as it did not look cancerous. He would most likely be back to the room in about an hour and could go home tomorrow. 

Chad was brought back to the room and he was still sedated but coming around. It was actually a terrifying hour because his monitors kept beeping and I had to keep telling him to take deep breaths and breath through his nose. The nurse gave him oxygen eventually to help him wake up and within a few hours he was yelling at the Kentucky Wildcats playing on television, so I knew my husband was okay. Sore. But okay!

Wednesday January 7, 2015 - The Day Our Lives Changes

We walked so many laps around the hospital. Everyone told us it would help his pain and it did! I won't go into details about the side effects but they were manageable. Finally the admittance doctor (Who I still don't know the purpose of because she only knew what was going on when we INFORMED her, just another bill) came around and 'examined' Chad. Which was really nothing more than listening to his stomach and asking us what all the other doctors said. She said, she would wait to see what Dr.Swain said and go from there. We waited around all day. I was restless. I just wanted to take my husband home. I slept in a chair for the past four nights, had little to nothing to eat and I just wanted out of there. 

Around 4/5 PM I finally seen Dr. Swain. He was sitting in the nurses station typing stuff up on a computer. I told Chad and we anxiously awaited him to come in and send us home. We did a few more laps to get Chad up and moving. Shortly thereafter Dr. Swain came into the room and changed our lives forever.

He had some bad news.  He was shocked. Everyone was shocked. No one expected this. He told us Chad had cancer and what kind of cancer. He didn't sugar coat it. He told us it was rare and it was aggressive. Those words repeated themselves over and over in my head and have not stop until this day.

I was holding Chad's hand, just looking at him. He was starting at Dr.Swain and squeezing my fingers. I could see his eyes getting glassy. My hearing is bad, so I could only hear half of what Dr.Swain was saying but it was more than I wanted.  He explained what they would do next. I asked if there are any tests available to see what we're dealing with. He said there was and that would be our next step. I asked for a survival rate. He didn't want to give it. :(

He explained that, usually, with this type of Cancer - it is discovered too late. He described it as a Salt Shaker. That the cyst usually bursts and like a salt shaker, spreads cancer cells all around the abdominal cavity. The upside, (If there was one), was that this didn't happen. As far as they know, they cancer was contained. The pathologist said it looked like it attached itself to the fatty tissue surrounding something or another (Sorry to this day, I can't explain this part) and that is why the next stage would be a Laproscoptic Right Hemicolectomy. 

Once Dr. Swain left the room, I held my husband while he cried. I tried to be encouraging. But I can't remember what I said. I remember, at some point, telling him we are going to beat this. That I would stand beside him every step of the way and all that motivational shit no one really wants to hear. Then I asked him if he wanted his Dad to come out and he said yes. I excused myself while i made the phone call because I didn't want to break down infront of him.

I called his Dad, told him what was going on and asked if they could come to the hospital as Chad wanted him. I then called my Dad and then my Mom. This was most definitely, the worst night of my life. I didn't go home that night for a shower. I couldn't face Haven. I just texted her to make sure she was alright and to let her know it was cold out and I didn't want to go out into it but that we should be home tomorrow.

It was a bad night. Chad barely slept. I passed out from pure exhaustion. 

Thursday January 8, 2015 - Home

At around noon, we were finally able to go home. It was bitter sweet. My husband had the weight of the world on his shoulder. I had a few goals.

1. Get him comfortable
2. Get the VA to approve a PET/CT Scan

I didn't know if I could do either.

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