Friday, April 9, 2010

So Much To Celebrate Neosho Missouri Family Professional Photographer

Starting New Years Eve, my Dad began having some concerning symptoms and within a few weeks he had undergone a battery of tests and it was determined that he had cancer. More weeks of tests followed to determine the extent of the cancer, and he was then scheduled for surgery to have his bladder and surrounding glands and tissues removed.

Six weeks ago he went into the hospital for this surgery. The surgery was a success, and his surgeon was confident that the cancer was contained, and dad was on the mend. We sighed a breath of relief, thanked God for more time to enjoy this man we love so much, and prepared for his arrival home and support for his recovery. A few days later it became evident something was wrong, and a week following his surgery, my Dad was back on the operating table to undergo the same grueling surgery again, as it had failed the first time. This surgery appeared to be successful, and we once again heaved that grateful sigh, and laid our worries aside. But, a few days later, Dad's body began a series of strange symptoms progressing into system failure over the next few weeks. Doctors were confused, and more and more specialists came to consult, each with futile tries and little encouragement. They would sit and study his chart for hours looking for what was being missed. Countless, tests, ultrasounds, endoscopies, x-rays, dye studies...the list goes on..but none were conclusive as to why Dad's GI system was failing as well as his other organs taxed dangerously.

The decision to transfer him to another, bigger research hospital was in the works. But this was thwarted on Friday. My dad ran a fever. Blood cultures were drawn, and he was positive for e-coli. Sepsis. He had already endured two hospital infections, and now this. His body began a fluid shift and he was swollen beyond recognition. The time had come to communicate to our Dad those things that there aren't words for...

So we were there, and we waited and he would flutter awake for seconds and ask if we'd seen any new birds. Or 'bink' Canon on the nose. Or tell us his dream about struggling to make a left hand turn in a semi in Joplin. And as quick as he was awake, he was gone again; sleeping peacefully. And mom asked me not to wash dad's pillowcase on their bed. And we mourned this momentous loss looming in front of us, and moment by moment...let. go.

But, this Monday, he woke up. His body was responding to the antibiotics, and he woke up. And by Tuesday, he said he felt better. And the doctors nodded sympathetically in total disbelief and my mom went outside so she could scream, and we all realized there was no room for hope left. So we just let those words disappear in the air like dandelion seeds blown away by the wind.
And we moved on.

But, Dad stayed awake. And got up. And said he was hungry. And so he ate. After five weeks of wretched failed attempts. Of stomach pumping and surgeries for bowel emptying. After five weeks of being fed TPN straight into his veins, on Wednesday, he ate. Thursday, we waited for vomiting. We waited for x-rays and ng tubes...but instead he ate again. And this morning...well everything made it through. So there is talk of Dad going home tomorrow.

Six weeks. And it was just an infection. An undetected infection that failed to present with a fever until it had spread to his entire body. An infection that is now GONE. I have my Dad. Canon will grow up knowing his Papa. Mom will not be alone. The birds will get watched and fed.

Six weeks ago I took these pictures. Just in case. Now, with a lump in my throat, I get to introduce, rather than pay tribute...

without further ado, my Dad

And as these were downloading, I received a call from my mom. They aren't going home tomorrow. They are on there way home.


Vanessa said...

That's beautiful. I'm so very glad it all worked out well in the end, I've been thinking about you guys. Love and Hugs!

michelle edwards joy said...

So glad!!!! What a wonderful day. I love hearing good news. Thanks for sharing.

Ronda said...

Stephanie you are one AWESOME daughter!! I have been saying prayers for your mom and dad ever since she told me. I am so glad he is doing better. You are an extremely talented photographer also. I will still keep all of you in my prayers.