1:51p.m. Just learned they are closing Jack up…. Dr. Piatt will be out with our next (and final) surgery update. The nurse said he asked how WE were doing out here. 🙂 The social worker found us a sleeper room for the night. The road is about to get harder before it gets easier, but I think we’ll still be on the road by the end of the day, and that’s all that matters. Still holding Jack’s rattle in my hands. I wonder if he will ever be able to believe and truly understand how many people care so much about him…
1:10p.m. Wow! Just learned that Dr. Piatt is finished with the microscope and has called for Jack’s derma patch (sp?) The nurse explained that this means he is finishing up the tumor removal, and that closing up is not far away. I can’t believe it- seems far ahead of schedule, though it will still take them plenty of time to close up the wound. Jack is doing fine so far. We are all watery with relief. I just got some helpful therapy from a therapy dog named Chester and had a nice conversation with a family whose son is having an operation related to his CP condition. John has rubbed the finish off of the word “miracle” on the worry stone that Marie gave us. I’m hanging on to Jack’s special rattle with white knuckles. I can’t wait for this part to be over! (Scratch that- I can wait as long as it takes!)
12:20p.m. Sorry for the delay- the wireless here is very poor. Just heard that Dr. Piatt has completed the initial work on the tumor and is now working with the microscope. This allows him to view minuscule vessels and cells and to continue to detach the tumor with a fine level of precision. Jack is doing well and is stable. We are all shaky, but flooded with relief at each update that we receive from the nurse. I’m actually back in the PICU… I’d gone to see if I could get a better signal and to pick up the sandwiches that our friend Julia brought up last night. When I got to Jack’s room, I was surprised to find Chuck helping to move our things. PICU staff found us a bigger room with a bathroom! What a nice surprise. Jack will be resting in style when he gets out.
10:00a.m. The OR nurse liaison (whose name, coincidentally, is Meg), just reported that Dr. Piatt has made the initial incision. As Dr. Piatt had explained to us earlier, he entered through Jack’s initial incision at the nape of the neck (the biopsy site), and is going to make a long incision from the nape up, then over to the back of the ear. He described it roughly being the shape of a hockey stick. (Whew…) I don’t know much about Dr. Piatt other than his credentials, but we have noticed he is quite fond of bow ties. I’m trying to pass the time today by picking out a nice one for him so that Jack can give it to him as a gift. (John’s idea.)
9:15a.m. Jack is resting comfortably in the OR. No more news yet. The nurses here gave us a code number which we can use to look up Jack’s status on a big LCD screen on the wall. All the patients in the OR are listed there with a status. Jack’s currently says “INTRA-OP”. It kind of reminds me of arrivals and departures screens in an airport. I’m focusing on it that way. It’s an arrival screen. Later today, after a hard journey, I believe that Jack is going to arrive just in time to enjoy the rest of his life.
We are now in the surgical waiting room along with Jack’s Gramma, Nana, Opa, and Da. Jack is in good hands with the anesthesiology staff and the OR staff, and after the rough night that he had (see John’s comment on the last post) we feel a sense of relief that we have finally arrived at surgery day. Dr. Piatt spoke to us this morning and we were encouraged by his attitude. He had his “game face” on for sure. There may be up to two hours of prep time in the OR for Jack, and another six of surgery. It’s going to be an intense day. Thanks for sharing the road with us today.