Sunday Jeanne messaged me to tell us Jenney woke up feeling pretty well. She’d gotten at least some sleep, and felt at least marginally better. The doctor came in around 7:15am while she was eating breakfast and said it would be ok to take more of the IV’s out (she had like three of them in) and didn’t need to be monitored as much for blood pressure (which was every hour so far). He said they would attempt to close the drain on Tuesday and see how she did.
Oncology had ordered one more MRI of the pelvic area. This was to ensure the cancer wasn’t found anywhere else, like her bones. OB had determined it was totally safe for the baby and patient took precedence in this case. Everyone gets up in arms when a baby is involved, but the OB had assured us and others that it was okay.
I hope he doesn’t glow. Perhaps he’ll be psychic? Maybe I shouldn’t joke, but if Reader’s Digest has taught me anything, it’s that laughter is the best medicine. Whatever happens, he’ll certainly be a very special boy. The prospect of having that MRI data imported into Virtual Reality is also something I’m looking forward to seeing. I can reconstruct those MRI images into a 3D model and view it as a whole.
Mom and I had breakfast with the kids, and I told them about the cancer. I said that mommy is definitely coming home, but that she is very sick. What the doctor took out of her head is called cancer, and when she does come home, things are not going to be the same. We will need to help her. We will need to work together, and not fight with each other. We’ll need to try to do everything we can to keep calm in the house, to not take each other’s toys, to keep obedient and to not make each other yell. We need a calm and healing environment. Cancer is not something you can catch. It’s not something that they had caused. And that we’d have some more work to do to try to get rid of it all. This would most likely mean more doctor’s appointments, and possibly therapy to help her get back on her feet without help. This might mean more time away from home. They took it well, asked some questions, and my mom and I answered to the best of our ability. I wonder how long until Viola Googles it…
Just before 10am some friends came to pick up the kids to take them to the zoo. I am so thankful for them taking the kids to have a wholesome, joyful experience together. They sent us pictures as my mom and I drove to the hospital to relieve Jeanne.
I brought a gratitude journal with me for Jenney. She bought two of them before we left for San Diego from a speaker that had come to her local MOPs (Mother’s of Preschoolers) group. I was hopeful that this could serve a few purposes; that we could see if she could even write, that it would help her keep positive, and that she might find journaling as therapeutic as I do. I’m happy to say that she thought it was a great idea, and that her writing with a pencil is actually much better than I anticipated. Her typing on a small phone keyboard is not so good, so I wasn’t sure if her expressive aphasia would get in the way of writing or not. It doesn’t seem to so far. Win!
Around 3pm Jim and Amanda came with their kids. They ushered them in one at a time and they hugged Jenney, and talked about what they’d been up to lately. The poor darlings where so awkward and uncomfortable, unsure if they should cry, or smile, if they should hug her or not, if they could ask questions or not. I felt for the four of them. They love Jenney so very much, and this is a tough situation for everyone who loves her.
About an hour later she had a headache and needed some Tylenol. Typically this had been happening around 1 - 1:30pm, so going longer in the day without pain I took as a good sign of improvement.
Jim and Amanda left, dropped off the kids again with the grandmas, and came back to the hospital, spending the next couple of hours with us, chatting, and talking with our nurse Laura. Laura has been so amazing, providing not only a friendly caring shoulder, but also extended details about procedures. She possesses a diligence and attentiveness that I’ve just never experienced before. All of the nurses here have been so amazing. We’ve had Laura with us the most over the past week - which feels more like a month. She has been this solid, comforting, caring presence through it all. She says that most of her patients are not able to speak at all in the ICU, and relatives can be difficult to deal with in such trying times, so having us has been a special treat for her. I think she’s fallen in love with Jenney a bit. I know we’ve fallen in love with her. I’m hoping after this experience we can get to know her and her family better.
While Jim and Amanda were here, Jenney got up and took a walk. We had a strap around her, and she used a walker, but she walked around the 4 nursing stations here, while we walked behind her in case she fell, and the nurse ushered her IV pole with the device that collects the draining CSF from her head. It was very encouraging for all of us. She’s so much steadier!
We kicked Jim and Amanda out around 7 so they could get their kids, and the grandmas could get our kids to bed on time. Again, their visit allowed us to forget the despair, providing us hope and reprieve. Then we watched some shows online, and tried to sleep, hoping to hear good news about the MRI in the morning.