Mom is in CCU at St. Joseph's. She's sedated until she can breath on her own, which should be sometime on Sunday. I will be as honest as I know my mother would want to be, but also I know that she will be reading this soon. So be prepared....
The surgery was 10 hours and we believe that the last 2-3 hours of it was tumor removal. I truly believe that they did or almost lost her on the table. The doctor was pretty shaken up when he talked to us. Mom lost a lot of blood and it sounded like it was a tough job to restore that loss.
It is Stage IV Renal Cell Cancer, the tumor was fully metastatic and malignant, meaning it has grown to other areas. Dr. Scott did send a lymph node to be tested and there are other spots that they see. This kind of tumor develops its own blood vessel structure, so it can go anywhere and can be difficult to find. As Dr. Scott said, "What this kind of tumor creates is not in the anatomy books." These blood vessels are cancerous and in her renal cells. Thus the name, Renal Cell Cancer. This kind of cancer is typically radio-resistant, and Dr. Scott recommends a pill-driven Chemo treatment. That is to say, once she jumps the hurdle of ICU and getting out of the hospital. She will be in the hospital at least 5 days.
Linda Joy and I visited her in ICU for a few minutes this evening. She looks like my Momma, but she would not be happy. She is strapped down and bound to lots of tubes. I hope that they unstrap her before she wakes up.
This morning, we were both awake at 4am. We got ourselves ready and had some fun moments before 5:15am. We marked her body up with all kinds of stuff "Remove Fat Here" in 3 places. I drew a cartoon face on her belly button and said "Don't cut here". I drew a heart that said "Heart Healthy" and "Shout Out to Dr. Scott & Crew" - fun stuff like that. Dr. Scott loved it. She was really sassy with her pre-op crew - telling the boring med staff that they needed to "get a personality" or that she "liked that girl's personality" (probably b/c the pre-op nurse was not intimidated by mother). She was funny when that monotone anesthesiologist gave the first hit of happy juice for sedation. She told Dr. Scott that he was "Hot".
The day has not been without its laughter and tears. The surgical waiting was a Glenda Cole party - a parade of loved ones - concerned about The Queen. We convinced one of the 2nd shift nurses to take a picture of the tumor after it had been removed. We'll wait till Mom gives us permission to post that pic - it's pretty gruesome looking and you can't see the kidney b/c the tumor just took over. Talking to Dr. Scott was tough for all of us. Marilyn, Claudia, Linda Z, Linda P, Bob, Janet, Vince, Linda Joy, and I were there to ask him questions. Thank GOD for all of them b/c they asked questions that I had never thought of. This cancer will take her life. Please know that Momma is ready, anyday, to go home to the Lord. She has been ready everyday of her life - that's the beautiful thing - death has no sting. She kept saying this morning "I'm ready!" She is. But not without a fight. She just wanted that tumor out of her body, there is still more life to live. We'll update more tomorrow.