Dino is awake and talking, though ever so quietly. The expected contingent of tubes and wires and blinking monitors is there, but not in a scary way. The ICU is pleasantly calm and his nurses are totally tuned in to him. The pain? He says it's about a 7 and he has his trusty Sister Mo button pusher, now set to activate every ten minutes. So the recovery begins.
We caught his surgeon, Dr. Norton out in the hall and he expanded on what he had told us yesterday. They got all of the tumor, but there are a number of small spots that have metasasized - to what extent we don't know. The doctor reiterated that chemotherapy is the next order of business, but that won't begin until he's healed from the surgery. We do know that the surgeon also removed a small portion of his liver, his right adrenals and right kidney, and a portion of his right colon (though there is no need for a colostomy). Dr. Norton was actually upbeat about the limited reduction of these organs, saying that it would not materially affect his lifestyle.
Once Dino is readmitted to a regular hospital room, probably tomorrow, we should be hearing more from Dr. Jacobs (who will be supervising the chemotherapy treatment) as to the overall plan. Are we out of the woods yet? I think so, but I can't say for sure - mainly because we haven't gotten all the facts from all the players. As much as we want to seek out every answer from every doctor, that's not the format this story is following. Dino hasn't lost his positive posture, nor have we. But we're in a slightly different mode at the moment here in the ICU and this is more of a time of peace and comfort and - trust.
I must tell you something. Several weeks ago, when we first came to Stanford and were so thoroughly energized by their immediate "take charge" response, I had a bit of a unique revelation (and these things rarely come to me). We had been hearing from so many people who were focusing on Dino, so many prayer groups who had ramped up the troops, so much thought energy circling around my son. We were in a small side room massaging each other's emotions about how lucky we were to be here. Then Dr. Jacobs entered. As she began speaking, her words had such a soft and deep power that the room was for but a second filled with the light of all of Dino's friends.
I know that sounds a little "woo-woo", but I'm not a religious man (probably more like most of you, a little spiritually inclined). Fast forward to about 30 minutes ago, when sitting in the ICU waiting room, I thought I'd better get another blog out. I grabbed my notes folder and was about to head down several floors to the computer room when I heard singing. From directly around the corner. Girls voices almost sublimely harmonizing in a choir-like tune unfamiliar to me - echoing softly down the hall. They must have been with a family across from us in the room because I could see Mom and Dad's faces in a smile. Again, the light, almost like a tractor beam. We know you're here - your love's coming through loud and clear - and sweet.