Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Keeping You Abreast of the Situation

This is in fact Morgan typing, and the title of this entry was actually Christa's recommendation. I hope I am not unworthily treading on sacred blogging ground, but I just wanted to give an update on Christa's surgery for anyone interested. Christa and I arrived at the hospital at 6am yesterday morning and began the long process of checking in and getting settled. It took about three and a half hours to get Christa set up, inject the radioactive dye, and start her I.V.. They finally wheeled her off to surgery at about 9:30am.

I have to add this little story about a funny thing that happened right before surgery, or Christa will be mad at me. She was outfitted in what was basically a balloon smock that was inflated with warm air in order to keep her body temeratue up. It has a vacuum hose hooked up to it that had a constant stream of warm air flowing in from what looked like a fancy hair dryer. I kept turning the dial to full blast to see how much it would inflate her and she would then get after me for messing with the equipment (the best part of any hospital stay is playing with the equipment).

Then, at about 9:15am, and amid the growing tension we were both feeling, the fire alarm went off. There was a alarm that sounded and a light that started flashing. We looked at each other and were both thinking "What do we do now?" Then an image popped into my mind of us having to evacuate the hospital. I imagined myself having to tye a string around Christa's big toe, turing her inflatable suit to full blast, and walking her out of the hospital like a Macey's Day Parade balloon. She would be happily bobbing around in the parking lot with a whole bunch of other inflated patients at the end strings. One of them would have slipped out of thier knot and with a look of concern would be slowly floating away. Christa and I had a big laugh imagining that. Laughing was the medicine that we needed right about then and was literally an answer to our prayer of a few minutes before. The fire alarm ended up being something that happened all the time and nobody paid it any notice. It stopped a few minutes later and they took her away from me for a while.

It was a long four hours, four of the longest hours of my life, while I waited for any word from either of the surgeons working on Christa. Don't tell her this though because she seemed to more concerned about me having to endure the waiting room than she was for herself. At around 1:30pm Dr. Cashman came out and spoke with me and Alisha (she brought me a delicious lunch about an hour earlier). She said that everything went very well. Christa had done great and was in the recovery room coming out of it. There was some bad news though. Apparenly they found a couple of lymph nodes that were larger and harder than they should have been. They disected one of them and found cancer in it. This means that radiation will be likely and will probably take place after the Chemo is over. Not the best news we could have received, but we had been prepped that this might be the case. This will in fact only prolong the treatment a bit.

Christa's mom showed up shortly thereafter. At about 2:30pm they told us we could come spend some time with Christa in the recovery room, but that she was pretty out of it. We went with her to see Christa, and I will never forget the what happened when I came in. She looked peaceful and tired, but was as beautiful as ever. As soon as she saw me coming I got a huge sleepy smile and she said softly "hello handsome." I am so honered to be her "handsome." She was doing great and the medication did nothing to dampen her personality. She cracked jokes, apologized for us having to wait for so long, and spoke fluent medical lingo with the nurse helping her.

After finally getting settled in her new room she began the tedious process of hourly vital checks, drinking clear liquids, and pushing herself to stand and walk. It was a really long night, but she did have a great evening visit by her sisters and parents. She have a great support system here and back in Bagdad so we have not had to worry about the kids or if we will be taken care of over the next couple of days. She has seen the physical therapist and her surgeons PA, and she should be discharged at around noon today. She will go spend a few days at her parents house and will then have a surgery followup tomorrow.

Last night as I watched her in a lot of pain the verse from Ephesians chapter 5, verse 25 came into my mind: "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Christa has been so very easy to love, and I wished that I could somehow take the pain that she was feeling on myself so that she could rest. Her pain did ease and she was able to sleep off and on most of the night. She is so strong. My mother said it perfectly shortly after arriving in Bagdad: "cancer is going to be sorry it messed with Christa." I on the other hand am so grateful that I decided 12 years ago to "mess" with this woman, and for everything that it has meant for me in my life. My crazy Macey's Day balloon girl has had me happily bobbing at the end of a string these past 12 years, and I have loved every minute of it. Just don't tell her. She still thinks that she got a good deal... I told you she was crazy.


Alisha Newman said...

Morgan...I couldn't wish a better person for Christa, especially right now. Thank you for your example of strength, love, compassion, humor & testimony. Love ya!

The Big Sister,

Strong Family - said...

You guys sound perfect for each other. I really appreciate the update too. Keep it coming! Ya'll are in our prayers. :-) Lauree

Erin said...

Morgan! I'm so glad you blogged... Dustin and I read it together and realized how much we love and miss you! I'm glad Christa is doing well... I love her, too. She is in my continual thoughts, and you all are in our prayers.

Heather said...

Where have we been???? I apparently don't check in here often enough. Know that our prayers and love are with you guys.

T. Sipes said...

I am glad that Christa is doing good. Sorry to hear about the bad news:( Our thoughts and prayers are with you guys and I am glad that you did not have to float around outside. What a way to ease the tension.
Love you guys.

annebabe said...

Morgan, your guest writing was perfect! She will read this in years to come and be grateful for the perspective you offered, in addition to her own memories of this day. The Macy's Day Balloon really is a fun image, thanks for sharing and making me laugh too. :)

Shumaker said...

Morgan you are awesome. Stay strong for Christ she will need it. I almost cried though reading your thoughts and knowing how lucky you both are to have each other. Give Christa a big hug for me and tell her I am thinking about her. Tara

Dana and Tiff said...

Morgan, thanks for the wonderful update! you so much girl! You are in my thoughts and prayers! Hang in there girl...Morgan hit it on the head...Cancer is going to be so sorry that it messed with you! Love ya!

Happy said...

GOOD MORNING Johnson Family:
Thank you for letting the whole world be a part of your growing, healing and loving process. IT is so nice to see that even when you are having a BAD day, that you can find some fun with it. I think that the Macy Day Parade would be complete if it would happen in Bagdad and let me warn you, if it happens in Bagdad, I would walk the 2200 miles to be there to take pictures and laugh with the rest of your support group. We will continue to keep you in our prayers and calling the temple with extending your loving support group.

Hugs and Kisses to all six of you and know that we love and miss you tons.


Q and M