Just a week from tomorrow Mike will be in surgery, God willing.
How can I talk about being deeply moved and wildly grateful and hope-fully excited while occasionally frozen by the seriousness and reality of major surgery? Let’s be honest; it’s going to be a full week ahead.
Mike is determined to eat all the good rare beef and runny eggs and maybe sushi that he can get in this week 🙂 Lifelong anti-rejection meds and the subsequent immunocompromised body will prohibit him from any raw or “undercooked” proteins for the rest of his life. It’s a small sacrifice, comparatively, of course. But food memories should be lovely.
On Wednesday we have the actual pre-op appointment. I have a list of questions to ask about post-op life. We know next to nothing. I think that’s by design, since most folks want to know what they need to know when they need to know it. Mike is one of those people, I suppose. I am not. So Wednesday to Cincinnati (about an hour south of us) for education and screening and whatever else they throw our way.
On Friday, we are scheduled to meet a generous and kind priest friend and pray Divine Mercy together, and he will communicate the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to get Mike holistically prepared. Friday is also the anniversary of Mike’s baptism day, so hopefully he can renew his baptismal promises with our friend.
Yesterday I made a pile of freezable chicken things for dinners. I know we will have people here to help, and others who have offered to cook (wow!). But I also know at some point, whether in two weeks or two months, I will need to just open the freezer and not have to think, between caring for Mike’s recovery and my own work, what to cook for dinner that night.
Saturday Mike’s parents will drive to Dayton. They are generously giving us two weeks. The first will start with the Cincinnati stay, and then they come back to Dayton to Frankie and Benny have care. They aren’t “cat people”folks – this is love. My mom flies direct to Cincy on Sunday and I will pick her up en route to the hotel. We are all staying on the hospital campus the first night and then mom hangs in with me at a nearby air bnb – a much less costly solution, with a homey feel just when we need a break from hospital walls.
Since day one contributions to our gofundme and in person have been a great relief and gift to us. Mike will be out of work for as long as two months, if all goes smoothly. Costs around the transplant, hospital, at-home medical post-op etc are far less daunting thanks to every person’s help. Without family here, it means so much to have friends and family who are taking good care of us from afar. Lately, I continue to tear up as folks we haven’t seen in years send love in this way, and friends who love us have been incredibly generous. Mike is so quiet about these things. But be assured he holds it all, like Mary, in his heart.
You have made this day possible. Your hopes, your calls and emails and cards and texts. Your phone calls to Mike in the wee hours of the misery of dialysis. Your willingness to listen to me as I sit on your couches among children and laundry. The SO MANY of you who filled out a form, or asked your doctors about potential donation, or who took blood tests and urine tests (!) and got turned down. Your constant, constant Prayers.
We know we have a couple of religious orders praying for Mike (it’s a perk to have an Aunt who’s a religious sister on our side 😉 ). We know family is praying. I know my mom, the noted novena-pray-er is hard at it.
WE NEED YOU too.
Please keep praying for peace, protection, and health for Mike and his donor… for clarity and precision and miracles for every person involved in ever step of the surgery, as for the team. You are our community and our hearts. We only ask as many prayers as you will share and ask for from others going forward. We are strengthened and fed by your gifts of presence, communication, and hope.