Why the Redwood Forest slideshow?

Judy had always loved trees, and in 2008 we spent some time among the California Redwoods. Some of the ingredients in Judy's chemo cocktail were derived from trees (not Redwoods but Yews). We always knew that Judy loved the trees, and the trees got their chance to repay her affection.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Second surgery

I wish I could tell you that we're on the way home. Well, not just yet.

Judy developed complications over the past few days, and a scan yesterday revealed some bowel leakage. We assumed that it was the area that Dr. Phillips had bypassed, but, as it turned out, it was an area close to the rectum. Dr. Phillips was totally surprised by this location and ordered a second scan this morning. This afternoon, Judy had her second surgery in two days.

She has successfuly made it through this surgery. I just debriefed with Dr. Phillips, and here's what he found: In the colon area close to the rectum Judy had developed since the first surgery a fairly large abscess, in area at least 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. There was a tiny tear or hole in the colon, and Dr. Phillips is not sure about the origin—could have been a result of the first operation and all the handling of the bowel, could have been something else. There were no problems with the bypass of the small intestine. Unfortunately, as is pretty much standard procedure in a scenario like this, Dr. Phillips had to perform a colostomy.

We knew going into this surgery today that this was a distinct possibility, and Dr. Phillips told me that he had a long, serious talk with Judy before operating on her. He repeated to me that the true enemy is the cancer, and that that's the big battle. I agree. Chemo made Judy lose her hair, and then it came back, only to be thinned again by chemo. We will adjust to the colostomy, and who knows, once we have gotten rid of the cancer it may be reversed.

Judy is still in recovery, and I know that when she comes back she will want to know what happened. I am not looking forward to having to tell her, but the news will eventually become just another twist in our new reality. We will meet this head-on, and we won't give in. She's my Judy, whatever they have to do with her.

I want to thank Donna S. for being with me in the waiting room this afternoon. Tonight I will be here in the hospital room, and I hope that poor lil' ol' Jude is not going to be in too much pain and misery. Tomorrow morning, Candice will come up from Midland for the day, and I am sure that her presence will help Judy heal physically and psychologically.


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