He saw my face!

Tony’s surgery was scheduled at 7:30 a.m yesterday morning., so I told him I would be there at 6:30.  I was running a couple minutes late, trying to get the dog outside since we would be gone for several hours.  He never did go outside, damn dog.

Hannah and I are half way to the hospital when he called and said that they were taking him to surgery  . . . now! My worst fear was realized when I thought I wouldn’t be able to see him before surgery.  But luckily, the porter who was taking him down said that we would be able to see him before surgery – whew!

He was so nervous, like he normally is before any surgery.  But I knew he was in good hands.  All the doctors and nurses were really nice, his anesthesiologist walked in and shook Tony’s hand as a fellow White Sox fan.  They ended up giving him transfusions to make sure his blood levels stayed well during surgery.

Then before we knew it, it was time to say good-bye.  I gave Tony my positive face, told him he was strong and he could get through the surgery.  It wasn’t until he was wheeled away that I let my emotions get to me for a couple minutes.  While its a relief to know he is getting taken care of, the waiting gets to you after a while.

I went and got an oatmeal in the cafeteria, with raisins, sliced banana and sugar free syrup – not bad for $1.50!

And I drank a lot of this during the day:

We were initially told that the surgery would last between 2 and 3 hours.  So in my head, I am thinking 10:30 a.m. at the latest.  At 11:00 a nurse hands me a phone.  It’s the ER nurse.  She tells me that the tumor is lower in his colon than they thought, and it will be another one to two hours.

Okay, at least I know that by 1:00 p.m. everything will be done.  At 12:30 the surgeon comes out, and he says that they found more cancer, and have to take out more colon than they thought, but Tony was stable, and it will be another couple hours.  The thought that they might find more cancer never crossed my mind at all.  😦

So we decided to go get lunch.  We first had Hannah bring up some soup for me and my Mom, but neither one of us was feeling it, so we went and got something else – it was okay – chipotle turkey, zucchini and I threw on the french fries for stress relief! 😀

So now I am thinking around 3:00 the doctor will come out and tell me everything is okay.  Although since we were sitting in the surgical waiting room all day we noticed that some doctors would just come right out, say “everything went as planned, your loved one is doing well” while other doctors would escort people into a private room.

We kind of joked and said “I hope we don’t have to go to the private room!”  Finally, at 3:30, the doctor came to us, looked at me and said “do you want to see him?”  I jumped up, we started to walk to recovery, when he starts describing the extra surgery he needed to do and then says “why don’t we talk in this room” and leads me to the private room

As I was walking I was like “no, don’t take me to the private room – only bad news is given in the private room!”  Turns out he just drew me a picture of what he did in the surgery so I could understand it – whew!  But can I tell you that the rest of the family in the waiting room had white faces when I got back!

But since the surgery was so long, it took him a couple hours to wake up.  And he was supposed to go to a floor after surgery that was somewhere between a regular room and ICU, but no bed was available.  So finally, at around 6:00 p.m., a nurse comes over and tells us that we can wait in the ICU waiting room – that of course made us concerned, but once we got there, I was calm.

My maiden name is Hills.  This is the name on the ICU waiting room.

I took this as a sign that all would be well!  And um, this place was amazing – private rooms with flat screen t.v.’s, reclining chairs – I would have liked to have spent all day in this waiting room!

Hannah and my Momma

We finally got to see Tony at 6:45 – 15 minutes before the nursing shift change.  They don’t allow visitors between the hours of 7-8 a.m. and p.m. during shift change.  I was just glad Tony was awake, I could kiss his lips and he saw my face so he knew everything was okay.

Hannah and I drove together in her car, so we picked up a pizza on the way home, and I was back at the hospital at 8:00 p.m. after the shift change.  When I walked into his room I saw this:

And while this may look scary to you, he was calm and sleeping, which is exactly what he needs.  He ended up waking up around 9:00 and then I left around 11:00 p.m.  His nurse only has him as a patient last night, so hopefully he was in good hands last night.

A huge thank you to my SIL Jody, my nephew Chris, my Mom and Hannah for being my moral support all day at the hospital, and for my parents in law and step-son Joe’s texts throughout the day.  And thank you for all your comments and emails throughout the day – it was like getting a virtual hug from all of you!

Today the plan is to get Tony walking so he doesn’t form blood clots, and to get him back into a regular room.  They previously said his hospital stay could be anywhere from 3 – 5 days, but I guess we’ll get a better handle on that today.

Go give your spouse, child, or significant other an extra kiss and hug today.  Sometimes our every day lives get lost in the shuffle and you forget to slow down, and appreciate what you have!



58 thoughts on “He saw my face!

  1. Thousands of hugs and prayers to you. Sent you an email already this morning. Thinking of Tony and YOU! May today be calmer and a bit lighter for all of you, and as comfortable as possible for Big T!

  2. I can’t believe that it said Hills family waiting area! What are the odds of that? That gave me goose bumps.

    Glad you finally got to see him, what a long day. Tell Hannah, thanks for the texts and phone calls. Call me when you can today. I’ll have my phone at my desk all day.

    Love you! 🙂

  3. What a stressful day you guys had… but as soon as I saw the name of the waiting room I took a big breath. I believe in signs, remember? That has to mean “it’s all good.” And may I just say, I cannot believe you took photos of all your food for us, you nut! Hugs my friend!

  4. Glad everything went okay, even though it took much longer than you thought it would. That’s always the worst part for me. Hugs to all! 🙂

  5. Glad to hear Tony is doing well, what a long day of waiting. Hope he is up and about today and gets home soon!

  6. Sending love and hugs to you, Tony and your family, Biz! Prayers for a speedy recovery for Tony! xoxoxo

  7. Oh man – I went through a roller coaster of emotions reading this – I can’t even IMAGINE how you guys must be feeling! Tony is truly lucky to have such strong amazing people in his life that love him so fiercely! I’m so glad that the surgery went well (even though it did take longer than expected). Can’t wait to hear how quickly and fabulously his recovery goes! 😉

  8. Great news that the surgery went well. And hey, if there was more cancer, thank heavens they found and removed it during this surgery!!!

  9. Sending you guys a big “hug”
    I’m so happy t!o hear the surgery went well. Hope Tony is back on his feet soon

  10. I am happy to hear everything went o-k. Sending prayers your way.

  11. Hugs, just hugs. It will all be ok. 🙂

  12. Love and hugs for you all and a speedy recovery for Tony.
    PG the worst is behind you!!

  13. No matter how comfortable, a hospital waiting room is a jittery place to be. So glad the surgery is over and recovery is beginning!


  14. French fries make great stress relief! It does look comfortable there but I’ll bet you’d be willing never to return! My thoughts are with you guys!

  15. Oh Biz… Honey, your long day is done, but the long weeks to come will be a test. Stay strong, do all your research, follow orders and learn to make “real” chicken stock. Broth and noodles to start, soft vegetables and chicken… Centuries of Jewish mothers can’t be wrong…

    The bones from one Rotisserie chicken ($4.99 at Target), some water, a few carrots and celery and you have a easy and he can eat it soup. A few days later you can add the chicken you stripped from the bones and some pasta.

    Gives me an idea… When you meet with his nutritionist, drop us a note with what he can eat, ingredients or dishes. We all want to help, maybe a group recipe roundup will give us a chance to contribute to the ongoing goals.

    Make plans, it helps (him and you)


  16. Hugs to you guys! I’ll admit I got chills when you said your maiden name was Hills and it was in the ICU. That is a good sign. Hope the healing process moves along quickly for him. You are such a strong wife. I can’t imagine going through this. Nice of Hannah and your mom to sit with you.

    Thanks for keeping us updated.

  17. I knew today your blog would be the first I visited! So glad Tony and your whole family is doing well! I never thought of the more cancer scenario. But so glad they caught it!!! My prayers are with you both. Hope you take a good book to read, waiting for someone to recover can seem like forever if they are sleeping all the time.

  18. Hugs!! Even though the surgery went over, I’m so glad that everything went okay. I’m praying for a fast recovery for Tony. He really is lucky to have you as a wife by his side.

  19. I was eating my breakfast as I read this and it got harder and harder to swallow and I finally had to give up when I saw Tony in his hospital bed. There are few things worse to witness than somebody in a hospital bed, esp when they have a mask on and tubes coming out everywhere. It’s so scary, but I’m soooo happy and relieved that he came through OK–I prayed for him and the doctors yesterday (and you, of course). Bless you both, I’m just so happy that the worst part is over. YAY!

  20. Glad everything went ok. Thought and prayers are with you during the recovery 🙂

  21. :’) *BIG HUGS* Tony will back up making you his super stir-fry’s soon!!! 😀

  22. You and Tony are in my prayers. Take care ❤

  23. Sending lots of thoughs and prayers your way!

  24. I’m glad to hear surgery went okay. It’s good they got it all out!

  25. You and Tony and your family are all in my prayers today! So glad that Tony is awake and through the surgery!

  26. I’m so glad you got to see him and that the surgery went well. Hugs to you and your family!

  27. Wow, what a day you had. Tony is a lucky guy to have you at his side. Many hugs to all of you!!!

  28. Phew! I’m so happy that he’s out and alright. What a nervewracking experience and it wasn’t even my husband! Love and prayers coming your way!

  29. Hugs to all of you. The hard part is over now and healing can begin.

  30. I’m so sorry I haven’t commented before… I haven’t been reading blogs while feeling self obsessed and now I see that you’ve had a lot to deal with, so I want to send you hugs and good wishes very late. Now I’ve caught up I’m really impressed at your strength and positive attitude, and I know that it will be rewarded with the news you’re waiting for 😉
    All the best to Tony, the two of you are such a great couple and family, there’s nothing you can’t overcome together!!!

  31. I couldn’t be happier – He may be asleep, but the man looks good. 🙂 [nice color]

    All our best to you Biz. Love and hugs to you all.

  32. ICU is a scary place. Good thing that you were able to not panic and know he’s being taken care of. Sorry about the more cancer, but on the bright side you had a good thorough surgeon, right? Hoping and praying for a rapid and uncomplicated recovery.

  33. Your post just made me cry! I’m so glad you got to see him before surgery and that he made it out ok. Still always thinking about you guys!

  34. I am so glad things went well! you guys will be in my prayers!

  35. So glad the surgery is over and he’s in recovery now! You guys were definitely on my mind and in my prayers all yesterday!

  36. What a long day. I’m glad you had a good support system. Thinking of you guys and praying for smooth recovery!!!

  37. Oh, Biz, I am SO glad he’s recovering and you are able to be with him! I’m so thankful you have a lot of support there, too. Take care of yourself, and I pray you’ll be able to take your man home ASAP! 🙂

  38. Oh, thank goodness the surgery went well! Sounds like he had a good doctor, and it sounds like you had a great support crew. Best wishes for Tony’s speedy recovery!

  39. I’m glad to hear the surgery went well. I don’t check in too often, but I wanted to stop in and say hi. Thinking happy thoughts for you 😉

  40. I’m glad to hear the surgery, although longer than expected, ended well.

  41. Hang in there. These things are never easy but know we are all with you!

  42. Don’t think of the surgery as being too long…think of it as being THOROUGH!!!! I’m really glad things seemed to go well and I hope Tony’s recovery isn’t too bad. Chins up you guys!

  43. A zillion good thoughts and hugs to you all, Biz!!!!!! SO glad Tony is through the surgery, that the private room visit with the doc was just for a drawing, and that he’s on the road to recovery!!! Take care!!!!

  44. Biz, my heart was in my throat reading about the private room! OMG! So glad Tony’s out of surgery and on his way to recovering.

    You’re so right, treasure your loved ones every day! My thoughts are with you and your family. *HUGS* ❤

  45. So glad the private room wasn’t so scary! I totally know what you mean and ABSOLUTELY HATE that they found more. I’m sure you’re so disappointed but know that you guys will beat this – they will take more, and you will all stay positive!! Sending positive thoughts your way – hang in there!!!

  46. I’m so glad that the surgery went well…I’m so sorry that it took longer than expected! Sending you lots of hugs and prayers!

  47. I hope things are going smoothly. What a long day for all of you.
    Your mom is adorable, Hannah, it’s a given, but your mom looks like she’s a bundle of energy. Thinking about you guys.

  48. I have been busy, not having time to read any blogs this week, but I wanted to check on yours…so glad you updated and the surgery is behind you both now….now on to a speedy recovery! You seem both like very positive ppl, and I am guessing that that positive attitude will kick this cancer in the butt and far away from you both. Hugs!

  49. I’m glad he saw you. I’m glad he’s hanging in there. I glad you are too. You will be on my prayers until everything is did and done and really way beyond that.
    Take care my friend, God Bless!!

  50. Hugs to you all Biz. That was quite the long day. I am so glad that he is doing well and I will continue to keep you both in my prayers.

  51. Here is a gigantic virtual hug from me! I am so glad everything turned out okay, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading this. I send happy, positive, and love-filled thoughts your way! I hope recovery goes well too. My Dad, Mom and Grandma have all had to have various and a sundry surgeries and the waiting is the hardest thing (for us at least, I know surgery is no walk in the park!)…trying to think only positive things for hours and hours on end can be a very trying task.

  52. Biz, you are so strong. I wouldn’t have held it together that well. I’m glad Hannah was there to help make some jokes and keep the air light. I was thinking about you and Tony all day. I’m glad all went well. Keep us posted on his progress. HUGS!

  53. Am just now reading this…what a scare!

  54. hi biz! just read your recap of the surgery. hopefully posting everything helped relieve some of your day’s stress. i can’t believe the lucky waiting room omen! sounds like a good sign that came just when you needed it. xx

  55. I am thinking of you ❤

  56. Hi there – I just heard about your site through My Year on the Grill and just wanted to send you good thoughts and prayers. I enjoy your site and will be adding it to my blog roll and checking in regularly. Best to you – Gary

  57. Glad all went well. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers!

  58. Thank You for the great Birthday wish..I was very happy to read what you had to say about Tony. We will still keep all of you in our thoughts.

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