Sunday, January 10th
It's been suggested that I write a blog of our trip to Mayo Clinic. I journal every day anyway, so why not?
I awoke at 6:15 as usual. My regular chores take about 1 1/2 hours so I got moving. We had link sausages (to clean out the refrigerator) to go with our usual protein shake (which used the last of the milk). It was almost 9 when we locked the gate on our drive. By 12:15 we were in Kansas City to stop for a quick lunch. North of Des Moines, the fields were covered in snow. Big drifts, 3 foot or so, against the fences. By 6pm the car said it was -4 degrees outside. When we arrived at Rochester, Minnesota at 7:30, it was -13 degrees.
We checked into our hotel, went to a Chinese buffet, and back to our room by 10pm.
Monday, January 11th
We got ready and left for the clinic. It's still below zero but our rental car started. At 9:20 am, the first parking garage, 10 stories tall, was completely full. I let Hal out at Mayo Clinic's front doors. The staff brought a wheel chair and brought him inside. I headed for the second 10 story parking garage a couple blocks away. Its elevator took me to the subway level where I made my way back to Hal.
He had appointments with his surgeon, blood drawn, and then a good lunch at the Mayo cafeteria. Then a couple more pre-surgery tests. We left the clinic about 5:20 and it was snowing. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. Back at the room, Hal had to shower with special soap in preparation for his surgery tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 12th
The timer went off at 4am. Hal had a restless night's sleep. He fell against the tub in the bathroom and hurt his left side. That would be the same side that he broke ribs on last March when he rolled the tractor.
It's cold this morning, -6 degrees, and the wind is up pushing the windchill to 28 below. We arrived at the hospital just befor 5:30. Lots of other people were there. It was typical Mayo Clinic organization; assistants were there with wheel chairs to help us get him loaded. I parked in the underground garage, found Hal in the 5:30 am check in line. There were other lines for 5:45 and 6 am check ins. All of the pre-surgery questions, health checks and verification. He took a full, cleansing shower (Not even really a shower, more like a wipe down) with antibacterial cloths. All that took til 7:30. I kissed him goodbye, told him I loved him, and told him to "be nice to the nurses" as they rolled his gurney away.
About 9:15, my nurse coordinator called who said they were "in the surgical site" meaning they had started opening him up. I was escorted to a different waiting room by the ICU where he will be after surgery. An hour later she called and said things were going fine and they were in the microscopic part of the surgery. It's 11:50 and our coordinator just let me know that they are starting to close the site. She said it would take about an hour. Just before 1pm, I met with Dr. Marsh. He said the surgery went well and he thinks they removed all the tumors. The derma had an "icing" tumor. This coating did not show up on the MRI we had done in December. Dr. Marsh was able to scrape a lot of that off. It'll be a couple of days before pathology comes in but he feels it will not have advanced to a cancerous level.
Finally, about 4:30 I got to see him. His bandages are wrapped like a turban. He's doing well and seems to be in good spirits. We both thank everyone for their prayers, calls, and good wishes!