Saturday, April 26, 2014

Moving Right Along

Spring has officially arrived here at Girasole Farm. 
Everyday there is something new outside, and each day I am excited to venture out and soak in everything bursting with life. 

Peonies are a favorite Spring flower. 
Even more-so when it grows in your own garden. 

There was a lovely patch of wild Lupines growing in our field. 

We took our first trip to Farmer's Market for the year. 
 Caveman is recovering nicely, and things are getting back to normal. 
There is always so much happening. 
Today is Beth's bridal shower. My last little girl, my baby, is getting married in just a few short weeks. I've been up since 4:15AM. There are several things I need to finish up here, before heading up to Tonya's for all the final preparation for today's festivities. 

The skies are a little gray this morning, and we may see some rain. 
I'm looking forward to a day spent with family and friends, and of course my baby girl. 

I'm going to try and keep my journal entries shorter, in hopes I'm encouraged to write more often. 

The Girasole Lady

Sunday, April 6, 2014

HELLO...Is it me you're looking for...

I wrote this 7 days ago...

'Eat, Pray, Love' -is playing on the TV.
I'm sitting in a very unfamiliar place.
I'm up way past my usual Country bedtime.
Outside there are no stars that I can see in the night time sky.
There are no horses, no cows, no chickens, and nothing that even remotely resembles my life. 
What there is outside though is....concrete, pavement, buildings, trucks, cars, and people, lots of people. 

Caveman is sick, really sick, as in the hospital sick. 
We are at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.
The constant vague squeak of a dripping IV line. 
A monitor that beeps information ...
oxygen, respiration rate, heart rate, and blood pressure.
The nurses, and other medical team, in and and out...
I doze off in small waves of sleep.
Caveman calls for me, he needs me to help him get out of bed, 
or move positions, or he just needs to hear my voice. 
I promise to him that I will not leave his side. 

Oh I'm so homesick. Home is where I find my strength, and peace. It's selfish for me to feel this, I know. 
I miss my girls, and the strength they give me. The touch of a hug, the daily nurturing we provide to each other. Although we chat daily, they are not here with me, but they are where they need to be...home, home with their families, and taking care of things for me too. Feeding horses, and kitties, getting the mail, and Maverick is having a vacation with Laci and Mia. 

Dear girls, please know how incredibly much I love you. 
I know for now, we are all exactly where we should be.

Caveman didn't come here sick, he came here for kidney surgery, Thursday March 27th.
Although a complicated, delicate surgery, nothing like this was expected post-OP.
The surgery went well, very well. A malignant tumor was removed from his right kidney.
(Papillary Renal Cell Carcinoma)
The cancer was contained completely inside of the tumor, and it was removed in its' entirety, clean margins, and only 25% of the kidney had to be removed with the tumor. At the closing of the procedure the remaining kidney was already resuming "normal" kidney function.

On Saturday afternoon, the 29th,  Caveman was given the OK to be released, and we headed to our hotel room for a day of rest before making the journey home.

No sooner than being at the hotel for a couple of hours Caveman started not feeling so well. Some GI disturbances, and a low grade fever. Soon to follow, the symptoms began to increase. I spoke with the on-call physician a couple of times, and followed the instructions given. By 3AM Caveman's fever spiked to 103.3.
I knew then that something wasn't right. The fever went down again to low grade, but the GI symptoms were increasing rapidly.  By wee hours of the morning I was once again on the phone with the physicians, and we were instructed to head to the ER.
Caveman was re-admitted to the hospital in less than 24 hours from being discharged, Sunday March 30th.
His was diagnosed with C-Diff infection (Clostridium Difficile Colitis) a serious bacterial infection in the lower GI tract.  Most commonly contracted in a hospital setting where the patient has been treated with a broad spectrum antibiotic, such as Caveman was, prior, during, and after surgery.

I could go on and on about the subject, but will spare the gory details here. If you're interested just search C-Diff on the internet and there is abundant material available.
What I will say is, it's BAD, really BAD, and a very serious infection.
Caveman was restricted to an isolation room, strict hand washing guidelines and gloves were required upon entry and exit of his room.

In all our years together I have never seen him, actually nor anyone else I know, that sick. For the first time ever, I wasn't sure of the outcome. Sunday and Monday were long hard days and nights. Finally by Tuesday I saw a glimpse of Caveman getting better. But still, I couldn't shake the uncertainly of the days to come. I no longer knew what day it was, nor the time of day either. These things don't matter in a hospital, it all blends together. Little by little things improved, and once again, Caveman was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon, March  April 3rd. We returned to our hotel room, and throughout the afternoon and night I jumped at every move he made.

Friday morning we started the journey home, after a couple of stops, we arrived home by late afternoon.
Though we haven't been without some minor set backs, Caveman is making progress. This recovery is slow...and will take time, lots and lots of time, and lots of patience.

For the first time, for me, this morning I can actually form a coherent sentence. I've been, and still am, exhausted. Exhausted both physically and emotionally.

This journey for Caveman, and myself, started late in January, taking an emergent trip to the ER for a kidney stone, and overnight hospital stay, which is when this tumor in his kidney was found. The weeks that followed were that of doctor visits, tests, and research.

Stanford Hospital is an excellent choice for medical help, and we were lucky enough to find a wonderful doctor, Benjamin Chung, MD-(Urology/ Oncology) who provided nothing but the very best medical care available. The staff and medical teams at Stanford are superior to none. Even though Caveman contracted this infection while being there, as it could have happened at any hospital, we wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere else. Things happen, they just do.

Caveman's brother, and wife, were with us every single step of the way, and for that we will never, in a lifetime, be able to express our gratitude and thankfulness, for their unselfish giving. They deserve a story of their own, and in time I will say the needed words, if there are any, to express our appreciation.
There are others too, that were, and still are, etched in our hearts along this journey.

Prior to leaving our home for this surgery, the days and weeks were spent in preparing for our absence here at Girasole Farm. Many, many, chores to try to accomplish.

And that, my friends, is where I have been.

The Girasole Lady