In August, Jerry preached at church referencing Daniel chapter 3 regarding the parable written about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He rephrased the parable in his own words and said "He can, He will, but even if He doesn't". Jerry went into surgery on August 18, 2015 having complete peace with the outcome of the surgery, no matter what it was. He is a man of great faith and he knew that no matter what, God was in control and that no matter the outcome, God would have a plan. It was a little harder for me to think like he was at the time, as I did not want to think about loosing him or living life without him, but I did have a weird peace inside as well, knowing that Jerry was right with the Lord and if he did choose to take Jerry home, I knew Jerry would be experiencing his eternity, and I knew that he would be "happy". God can, God will, but even if he doesn't ran through my head so much on the day of his surgery. I kept praying and asking God for this to be a time where "He did". It's an unwavering feeling to not know if your ever going to see your husband alive again. The moment as the Dr. and his staff was leaving, that moment when I could no longer walk along side his bed, that moment that I knew I had to say good-bye and tell him I loved him came, and that peace that surpasses all understanding came over me. I looked at the Dr. and took his hand and I told him I would be praying for him during the surgery. He was very kind and said that he was going to do the best he could. Then they took the love of my life through those double doors...
I went to the waiting room of the hospital where my mom, Jerry's mom, Jerry's sister & boyfriend, and Jerry's brother all sat, there was an uncomfortable silence for a little while. We were all scared to death, we were all worried, we were all in a place of complete surrender knowing that there was absolutely nothing we could do to potentially change the outcome that was going to take place that day. We didn't know what it would be, but we knew that it was out of our hands.
We were told that the surgery could take up to 14 hours. They just have no idea what they will face until they "get in there" and start to dissect the tumor away from the good tissue in the brain. The minutes, and hours started to tick by. The staff at the hospital would come to us about every hour and tell us that everything was going well. All of us in the waiting room started to loosen up, we started to relax and we started to enjoy the presence of each other. We played a long game of "rummy" and I lost by a long shot!! Approximately 7 hours into the surgery, the representative from the hospital came to me and said "They are finishing up and the Dr. will be out to see you soon". The thoughts and feelings that started to flood my mind in that moment were overwhelming. I was thinking things like "They said this could take 14 hours, and they are done after 7, is he alive? Did he Die during surgery? The staff wouldn't tell us if something was wrong, they would just tell us to wait?" I didn't say any of these things out loud, but boy was I thinking them. I think everyone was. Once again, there was an overwhelming "silence" that took over the room. We were all waiting and wondering, but no one was talking. Finally, I got up and started pacing the hallway because I couldn't just sit anymore. It took about an hour after they told us they were finishing up before the Dr. came out. He pulled us all from the waiting room and brought us to a private room....again, inconceivable thoughts and feelings were overwhelming my mind at this time.
The Dr. spoke to us for about 15 minutes, describing in detail as much as he could about the process of the surgery. I kept waiting for the "bad news" at the end of it all, but finally, he said...."He's OK, they will come and get you as soon as he is out of recovery" At that moment, the huge block that was on my shoulders was lifted and I started to relax. The moment that they told me I could go see him seemed like an eternity after that. I remember walking into the room in the Neuro ICU and seeing him for the first time. He looked good. He was alive. That's all I wanted, was for him to be alive.
The next few days, we learned more about his surgery. We learned that the Dr had to stop the surgery once Jerry's left arm started being affected. (Jerry was awake for the surgery so that the risk for paralysis was minimized, the Dr. communicated with Jerry asking him questions and watching certain functions to know what he could and couldn't touch in his brain, it was pretty amazing) We knew going into the surgery that Jerry would have a transient facial droop. We also knew there was a chance he could be weak on the left hand side of his body. Both of those things were exactly as the Dr. had predicted. Jerry's speech was also affected, but today marks 2 weeks since his surgery and his speech has dramatically improved, in fact most people would not even notice it at this point. We also learned that they could not remove the entire tumor. We learned that the tumor was in fact cancer and that this type of tumor will always come back. We learned that Jerry will have to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy after recovering from his surgery in hopes to "hibernate" the tumor so that Jerry can have many more years before the tumor comes alive again and affects his quality of life. Where we are today.....
Like I stated, it has been 2 weeks since Jerry's surgery. We are back home and Jerry is recovering pretty much just like the Dr. had described to us. He is very tired. He still has some loss of function in his left hand. We have scheduled him to started Neuro-therapy in a couple weeks so he can re-learn how to make his hand work again. He is not paralyzed, he can move his hand and he can squeeze it very tight, there is just a disconnect where his brain is not telling his hand what to do properly yet. He has made a lot of progress already though so I anticipate a positive recovery process.
Jerry will likely be off work for the rest of the year. After he recovers from his brain surgery, he will start his chemotherapy and radiation therapy for 6 weeks.Today I want to thank Jesus for his love for Jerry. I want to thank him for not taking him from me yet. I was trying to be prepared for a different outcome, but it is almost impossible to do. I'm thankful that I didn't have to go through something different. He Can, He will and if He doesn't.I'm thankful that He did this time.
My prayer requests would be to help Jerry rest. He is a very active person and this healing process is making him feel lazy. His mind tells him that he is being lazy but when he tries to do something, he is so tired and gets wiped out very quickly. I need him to rest. I need him to be lazy for awhile. I need him to give his body the time it needs to heal so that he can get back into his life once this process is in the past. I need him to be OK with resting.
This is Jerry and I on the Plane before his surgery. This is Jerry and I the day before his surgery
Jerry in the ICU after his surgery
Jerry and I overlooking the San Francisco Bay while Jerry was recovering at the hotel before we were able to fly back home.
This is Jerry's incision after we were home before he had the staples removed.