Today marks one year since Paul had his major operation to debulk his tumour (there is a technical term but the name escapes me!). It seems madness that it was a year ago but it feels so very good looking back and reflecting on all we have been through and where we are now.
The day was an emotional one as when we arrived I had expected to stay with Paul until he went down to surgery (as I had done in the October for his biopsy) but I was told by a nurse I would have to leave and was then asked to sit out in reception (Paul had gone to have his preparation shower). I was understandably upset as this had not happened in October and Paul was on the same ward and this was a much bigger operation. Paul was also upset as I had been told this while he was in the shower and neither of us had had time to prepare ourselves. Another nurse saw us in the corridor upset and let us back onto the ward and closed the curtains round us so we had a minute.
I left Paul and went home to await news. The surgeon (who was a really lovely down to earth chap) came to see Paul very shortly after I left and could see how upset Paul was. He offered to ring me as soon as surgery was over, and Paul agreed to this.
By 5pm that night I received a call from Claire our specialist nurse, who had Marco (Paul's surgeon) on the line to speak with me. He sounded exhausted and informed me that Paul's tumour had progressed in the month between the biopsy and was larger than he had expected. He had done his best to remove as much as possible. Claire came back on the phone and told me Paul was in recovery and would understandably be very groggy for the rest of the evening. There was no point in us visiting him as he would probably not be back on the ward until later. She also told me that Paul would not be told about the tumour growth until the next day, so that he would be in a fit state to take it in. This felt very odd as I now knew more than Paul and I knew he would ring later.
When Paul rang that evening he sounded not too bad. He asked me what Marco had said to me and I just asked him what he had said to him, luckily he answered me and never asked me again. I didn't want to have to lie to him.
I visited Paul on Saturday afternoon and he looked remarkably well for someone who had had a major operation the previous day. He had an epidural in for the pain, two drains in for the fluid to come out and of course a catheter. Our walk up the corridor was very interesting.
We were told Paul would be in hospital 5-7 days. The op happened on the Friday and by Monday night we were bringing him home. I asked the nurse if she was sure he should be leaving, she said he was fine.
Paul made an exceptional recovery (he may not say the same) but within a couple of weeks he was doing things he probably shouldn't have been doing. One month later he started chemo, but that's will be another blog.
Today, one year on has been a very different day so far. We took Ethan to a Topsy and Tim book signing at a local pre-school. Jean Adamson lives in one of the villages near us. Ethan is now the proud owner of two signed books. Paul and my Dad have just painted the new fence panels which will hopefully go up at some point next week. I have sorted through some bits and pieces to go to the charity shop and now my boys are having a well deserved afternoon nap.