Friday, February 29, 2008

John having surgery in "BrainSUITE" now

Hi all: I left John with the anaesthesiologist and two nurses this morning at 7:15. All three were friendly and re-assuring. They seemed to know a lot about John, his medical history and even his profession--as they called him Professor Slatin right away. John was alternately relaxed and talking nervously, definitely ready to get the surgery started. We were both awake a lot last night--John anxious to tell me about some ideas he was having about accessibility and cancer treatment, accessibility and the arts, his role in showing people how to implement the new accessibility guidelines, and other topics I couldn't quite understand because of his slurred speech and my sleepiness in the fold-out chair-bed (less comfortable than the Murphy beds on the G11 bone marrow unit). Also John's brain condition has affected his short-term memory. He kept asking me when we needed to wake up, when the surgery was, etc. Dr. Forman has told me that lesions are in an area that definitely affects short-term memory.

Dr. Prabhu explained on his visits over the last 2 days that they would be doing the surgery in a soecial area called the "BrainSUITE" in order to use the constant MRI access to make the surgery the most precise possible. If you don't mind a commercial-sounding blurb about it, check out this link or google "MD Anderson, brainsuite." A nurse told us that the brain suite was a passion of Dr. Prabhu's and he had pioneered in the use of it, if not the configuration/design of it.

We were delighted to see Peter Slatin, who arrived at Rotary House around 7 last night. Mason walked him and German shepherd guide dog Joy to join John, me, and lovely nurse/sitter Ummumi. The three of us were rocking out to Mavis Staples' latest gospel-y CD, with John moving arms and torso to the music (BTW, x-ray of hip was negative re: fall and soreness is being controlled by pain meds). Then Peter, Mason and I had some sauvignon blanc and peanuts while we visited with John.

Mason was a doll to come help me pack the entire room at 5am this morning, as we had to vacate room (so that John could be transferred to a transitional room tonight--either surgery ICU or the special neurosurgery beds that are located on the same floor we were on). By week 3, we had carted in quite a lot of technology, CDs, clothes, a new lamp, dishes, reading material and other stuff. Mason schlepped it all back to the hotel room at Rotary House. To do this, Mason had to arise at 4:45 a.m. while still a bit lagged from California time. And on Wednesday night Mason had stayed in John's room and I actually slept in the Rotary House bed for the first time on this entire stay. I use the room as a closet with a bathtub. A huge bright spot in our room, however, was the gigantic basket of fruits, cheeses, snacks, chocolate, and many other goodies--including some special things for John like strawberry guava nectar--from Tanya Browning and J Mike. Wow!!! Thanks.

I am currently in the surgery waiting area, which is huge. It's a lot like a first class airport lounge with about 8 interconnected rooms, lounge chairs, tables, phones, and 4 conference rooms for updates with nurses and doctors. Mason is still napping. Peter will come over after he feeds Joy and eats breakfast.

Your calls, emails, and support have been wonderful. I don't know what to think or how to feel. There is so much I don't know. I am trusting that all is well and all is for the best. Doctors here are great and trying their very best. I am blessed to have such a wonderul husband and to be surrounded by so much love on all sides. I will write another post this evening.

Love, Anna


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