This may be a somewhat long post again because it’s been a while since I had a chance to update, so I apologize in advance.
So, we have had some ups and downs the last few days. Mark did not have any more seizures, but he was having a little more trouble with the right side of his body. Also, his nerves were really out of control for a couple of days. He was super irritable and worried about his surgery coming up. Thankfully we made it past those days.
One blessing I wanted to share is the one from last Thursday. At CLC, I was surrounded by a small group of AMAZING women who prayed over me. Hearing them talk to God about Mark just touched my heart. It was very emotional.
On Sunday, there was another group of women who came to help me do some gardening. They planted all of our flowers and some trees and bushes and now our yard just look great with all of the colors and life. That was a very nice blessing.
The surgery was yesterday, and it was a LONG day. It was tiring, emotional, and full of blessings! Mark and I got to the hospital early, so we were able to meet his Aunt and Uncle who had driven from Midland to be here for us. Then, my dad came to the hospital, so we got to spend some time with him as well. Mark went for his MRI and then people started showing up to wait with me during the surgery. One friend brought lunch for everybody. It was so nice of her to do that! So, we had Mark’s aunt and uncle, mom and dad. My mom and stepdad were here, my friend Kim, who brought the lunches, and my friend Regan. My mom and John’s pastor came by to visit. We were blessed with a visit from Neal Jeffrey, who had a nice prayer with us also. Mark’s surgery was delayed, so we had a very long wait before he went in. He did finally go into the operating room at about 2:15. His surgery lasted about 6 hours. During the surgery, we had more people come visit. A deacon from the church, Michelle Pinkston from CLC, Luann Ivy from the children’s ministry, and another family member, Jackie Durrett came. I am completely amazed at the amount of love and support we have received. Once Mark went back for surgery, I had a good cry. I completely trusted God to take care of the whole situation, but I had been holding back all of my tears and emotions all day so that Mark wouldn’t worry about anything else. It felt good to be able to release all of that and have my friends there to hold me and comfort me too. Once the surgery was over, Dr. Barnett came to talk to us. He told us several things and it wasn’t what I had prepared myself to hear, so it was a little difficult for me to handle it even though it wasn’t all terrible news. The doctor said that when they removed his skull, his brain was very "angry" and swollen. There had been quite a bit of growth/change in the mass since his last MRI. The radiologist at first said it could be an infection rather than a tumor, but during the surgery, they found no evidence of infection and it looked more like a tumor. We still don't know 100% which it is, but we hope to get pathology results back on Wednesday or Thursday. The doctor said that the mass (infection/tumor) was NOT encapsulated like they had thought at first, but it looks like, according to the interoperative MRI, that they got all of it. Since it did not have defined borders, they can't be sure if there are some "fingers" that were left in there or not. So, now we just wait for pathology to see if Mark will need to do radiation or chemo or anything else. I had another good breakdown and cry after Dr. Barnett told us all of this. I just had prepared for him to come out and tell us that it was a tiny benign mass that was totally contained and that he very simply got it all out and that there is nothing more to be concerned about. Just hearing something different than that made me feel upset. My dad called shortly after the doctor talked to us and he could tell that I was upset, so he told his manager he needed to leave and he came right over to sit with me. He stayed in ICU with me and Mark until 12:30. I was so very tired because I had only gotten about 2 hours of sleep the night before. It was very helpful to have my dad there to help keep me calm and to help look after Mark. I had planned on staying in my hotel room, but Mark was really afraid of staying in ICU alone, so I stayed the night in his room with him, so I got a little bit of sleep on and off. I went ahead and checked out of the hotel and moved my stuff into Mark’s room, so I will just stay with him for the rest of the time that he is here. As far as recovering from the surgery, Mark is doing GREAT! He does not want to know any details about the surgery or what the doctor said. So, I am just trying to focus on helping him to do better. He had an okay night last night in ICU, but he did have quite a bit of pain. He threw up a few times. We think that the anesthesia might have had something to do with that. They gave him morphine in his IV, but it didn’t help his pain so they had to give him oral pain meds and those seemed to help more. He has a central line to give him fluids and other medications. He was able to sleep off and on last night and then they took him at 3 this morning for a CT scan. They were checking for swelling and bleeding in his head. Apparently that was all clear because he was moved earlier today from ICU to a regular room. I can't believe it! I had to leave ICU at 6 this morning and I wasn't allowed back in until 8. When I went back in, he was sitting up in the bed eating (liquid diet). He looked really good and he said he felt good. They took out several of his lines and got him moved to the regular room. He got to eat solid food for lunch and he just devoured it. The physical therapist came to work with him and she said he looks pretty good. He just has some weakness on his right side, so she gave him exercises to do to help get his strength back. His mind seems pretty clear and his speech is just fine. I am amazed that he is in so little pain now. That's a blessing for sure. We had so many people call and come by. It was so nice!
My mom and John came by this morning and stayed for a while. Mark’s parents came up for a little bit and brought the boys because they were sickish today. Colin threw up 12 times, so he couldn’t go to school. Mark’s parents kept him at our house and gave him some medicine to make him stop throwing up and then he started feeling a lot better. Carter just didn’t want to go to CLC since Colin was staying home, so Mark’s mom asked if they could keep him home also. I told her that would be fine. I noticed when Carter was up here this evening that he felt hot so I asked Mark’s mom to take his temperature when they got home. She did, and it was 100.6. She gave him some medicine, so I’m hoping he doesn’t get really sick now. Our friends Joe and Terria came by this morning. It was really good to see them. We got a visit from another deacon at our church and a special visit from Mike Buster and Pastor Graham. I know that meant so much to Mark. I got a lot of phone calls this afternoon from people checking in on us. We have felt so much love since we’ve been here at the hospital! Well, I’m gonna end this crazy long post for now and hopefully get some sleep.