It is day 5 in the hospital and day 4 of drainage. They continued to release fluids from John’s chest every 6 hours…10 a.m., 4 p.m., 10 p.m. and 4 a.m…until this morning. At 10 a.m., the lung doctor came in, released the clamp on his tube and nothing happened. There was no drainage. It was unbelievable seeing the tube empty when for so long, we thought the rush his body was in to get rid of it was never going to end. For right now, he is done. I say “for right now” because the lung doctor indicated to us that he will more than likely be having a procedure on Tuesday to put in a flatter, more manageable, at home drain where we can do it ourselves. Their concern is getting him back on the treatment schedule and not keeping him in the hospital for the duration of chemotherapy...they want to send him home. If the buildup does happen again, John and I will be the ones responsible to get the mess out of his upper body. Home is where he wants to be. He has told me several times he does not want to think about home too often because he yearns to be there so much…even though he would be doing the same thing he is doing in the hospital…laying in bed.
You can imagine his lack of sleep on top of his lack of mobility can wear on him…on anyone really. It comes with the monotony, the restlessness, the anxiety, the interruptions for vitals, pain pills, and nausea medicine, and the constant chest pain of all organs moving back into place. Oh yeah, that’s right…all of his vital organs are now moving back into the correct place. This morning, the doctor proceeded to show us the x-rays from day one and today. On day one, John’s chest on the x-ray looked like it had a big white cloud engulfing his entire upper body. The lung doctor said, “Do you see this right here? (pointing to the far right side of his chest and side) Yeah, that is your heart and flattened out lungs.” We were floored. We could not believe he was storing all of that fluid for so long. The ‘after’ photo is completely different. It shows no white cloud and his heart and lungs in the proper place…more to the left side of his body. Soon thereafter, the nurse came into the hospital room to weigh John and this was another jaw dropping moment of the day. He basically lost 12 pounds of fluid the past 4 days of draining from his chest. It is incredible. He has been eating a lot more lately so we knew it was not body weight, it was fluid weight. He filled almost 5 full compartments that held over 2100 CC’s of liquid. Each time it would drain, he would begin to cough uncontrollably because of his lungs finally expanding after adjusting to the confined space they were in before. The words, “I have never seen so much fluid in one person’s chest,” keeps running through my mind from the lung doctor.
Other words keep running through my head and are always in the forefront of my thoughts as well. I share so much of this journey with everyone through this blog, but the words between my husband and I will always stay sacred and between the two of us. That is the bond we share in our marriage and something neither of us will break. There are certain things we discuss, share, laugh, cry and talk about that are intimate and worthy of no one else’s ears…but our own.
I am so thankful for the fight still left in John.