Me to nurse: "At least he started talking." (chuckle, chuckle) "The morphine will kick in in a few minutes, right?"
The nurse and I just gently repositioned William to help ward off bed sores and pneumonia. It was obviously not appreciated by William. He is slowly on the mend, but slowly is the key word. Today's goals feel lofty, but we have them nonetheless: Try to sit up, remove epidural, get off oxygen, work on removing bandage from incision to let it air out.
I talked to the surgeon in more detail about the surgery during her daily rounds and this is what I learned:
- She takes neuroblastomas a bit personal because they are so hard to remove and she refuses to let them beat her. (That's my kind of surgeon!!!)
- The tumor was about the size of a softball which included the kidney and adrenal gland.
- It was removed in one piece.
- She usually takes a picture, but didn't because she was so exhausted and ready for it to be sent it off to pathology. She'll check with the pathologist to see if he took any pictures.
- She saw a lot of William's insides. She went all the way to his spine as a portion of it was attached to the muscles around the spine. She saw his liver, pancreas, spine, stomach, spleen, intestines.... This basically means there was a lot of moving things around which easily explains the painful recovery involved.
- There wasn't much tumor left to be removed around the aorta and other major arteries. (huge blessing for the complications that can create in surgery)
By the way, I failed to mention sooner that the month of September was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. I'm more aware than I thought I'd ever be and this is a good thing. I think it's fitting to recognize that William made a large tumor donation to childhood cancer research for neuroblastoma on September 29, 2010!