Thursday, January 22, 2009

TDP - Tom's Morphine Kisses

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. We discovered two weeks ago that Tom was having a serious reaction to his pain patch, and had to discontinue. He switched to pills, which can be difficult for him to swallow, but his system has adjusted and the pills are going down well most of the time.

Then he was scheduled for a colonoscopy, which required him to not eat any solid foods for two days. But it was not successful, due to Tom's inability to drink enough liquids to clean himself out completely.

So yesterday, Tom had his second colonoscopy in eight days. Only this time, he had a two day prep which required him to drink a total of two gallons of medicine, taken over one and a half days prior to his test, and before that he was on a clear-liquids-only diet for a full day to help his system clean out.

He was determined to get it all down. He knew that if he didn't, they'd just schedule him for another colonoscopy. They don't give up on you at U of M hospital. And he wasn't about to go through it all again. Twice was definitely enough.

We had steeled ourselves for the worst, convinced that the test would confirm more cancer.

The doctors were running late, about an hour behind on appointments. I sat in the waiting room, alone. The families of the earlier patients had left. Tom was the last patient of the day. So I knitted for more than an hour, getting lost in the softness of the yarn, and in the concentration of the pattern I was working. (I have to admit, the pattern was super easy - and my concentration level was super lousy.)

I heard footsteps, and looked up from my red scarf (yes, another red scarf, for a friend who deserves a bold thick scarf for his wintery chores) to see Tom's nurse walking the hallway towards me. I froze, expecting bad news.

Then I noticed she had a big grin. Nurses about to deliver bad news don't sport big goofy grins. That confused the heck out of me, since I'd been agonizing over the realization Tom's latest cancer.

I stood up, dropping my knitting. She gave me a big hug and said such wonderful words: "No cancer." He had no colon cancer!!! I was so shocked I hugged her, almost crushing that poor woman, and broke down into tears. In fact, we both were pretty teary for a few moments. I asked her to tell me again, wanting to be sure, and just wanting to hear those words again. She told me that she'd been there during the whole procedure and that the doctors had found absolutely nothing. Nothing!!!

Turns out that sometimes the colon lays in such a way that when scans are taken, it looks like a dark mass, when in fact it's just the shadows of the colon and how it lays. It doesn't happen often - Tom is just one of the lucky ones.

It was SO good to have happy tears instead of what I had been anticipating. I shoved my knitting into my bag and headed for the Recovery Room.

When I arrived, Tom was still a bit dopey from the anesthesia, but was awake and talking. And talking. More talking. He'd already been given the good news, and I gave him a huge hug and many kisses. In his slightly altered state, he asked the recovery nurse to bend over towards him so he could tell her something. Sweet woman, not knowing Tom is a real character, leaned close to hear what he was saying, only to receive a giant smacker of a kiss on her cheek! Tom was one very happy man, and since she had delivered his good news, he was spreading happiness around!

She turned bright red, and with a big smile told us that she'd never had a patient kiss her after his colonoscopy.

I received another set of kisses (dopey Tom is a still good kisser), and Tom gave specific instructions to both nurses to give the doctor a kiss from him too. Uh-uhhh, said both nurses simultaneously - Tom would have to do that himself. Well, it was the thought that counted . . .

So thank you, everyone, for all your Tom prayers. They worked. And now for the best part - we learned last week that if Tom had colon cancer, he wouldn't be able to participate in the trial study. We were devastated. But now we know that God means for us to forge ahead - and Tom will start chemo in the trial study next week.

We are strong. We are loved, by our family and our friends. We are blessed to have all of you in our corner, and so thankful you care enough to say a prayer for Tom. You are all the best.


Denise Beverly said...

so grateful for your good news!!!

Gardenartus said...

Tears, Tears, Tears of Joy! Oh Happy Day! Oh Happy Day! Oh honey I just wrote at the society the worst news possible. I am so glad this has happened! Now I can relate your glorious news with great tears of Joy! The best and my love to you both! I am still expecting to take you to lunch dear friend, and yes you can bring along your knitting. ;0)

Loves, Hugs, and completely scrap me off the ceiling feeling to you both! Dena

Patricia said...

Sooo glad to read the good news Beth...give Tom a few hugs from me!