We are settling in the PICU room with Clay for the night after surgery that went as well as we could have hoped for. The three of us arrived at Hopkins at 7 a.m. (Four, if you are counting Clay's faithful and ever-present Mousey). There was a small "change order" thrown our way when our surgeon, Dr. Jallo, said he and the team had decided it would be best to remove TWO spinal tumors that were growing rather than the one we had discussed ("We are running a two for one snow-day special today...") In the stress of it all that didn't really register until the surgery was underway, and although the reasoning to get as much tumor as possible during one surgery certainly made sense, it was difficult news to absorb.
The surgery was planned for 4 to 4.5 hours, but the doctor emerged into the waiting room in just 2.5 hours, with a smile and news that all was well. He was able to remove most of the tumors with no obvious stress to Clay's spinal cord. By the time JD & I arrived in the PICU, Clay was awake, and alternately flirting and bossing his nurses around. Thank God. He is now on a morphine drip (Why is there no two for one special on THAT?), and we are only 4 hours into 24 hours of mandatory laying flat on his back. We are not out of the weeds, and the next few days will be critical to make sure Clay can sit up, walk, use the bathroom, and manage the pain. It is going to be a long night, but a happy one that a successful surgery is behind us and the healing can begin. We hope to move out of ICU in a day or two, to a "regular" room. Thank you for so many good wishes and prayers sent our way. We will give another update tomorrow.