Sarah had been having brain/head pains for a few weeks. After the memory foam pillows did nothing, she knew it was time to have it checked out. We made the necessary, last-minute arrangements at 9 pm to proceed to the nearest ER. Within 30 minutes of our arrival to Summit Medical Center, the doctor quickly came to our room with news that something was not right. A few hours later, we were in a Neuro ICU room at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Sarah had a tumor in the middle of her brain.
Questions, fears, tears, shock and endless thoughts filled our night. Where had this come from? I mean, our story has always been a little crazy: married nine months after meeting, child number one comes home the day before our one-year anniversary, child number two comes along three and a half years into marriage, I changed jobs six months ago, and we have moved three times in less than four years of marriage. But a brain tumor? Literally in the middle of Sarah's brain?
We spent another night at Vandy. We talked with the surgeon - Dr. Reid Thompson - an amazing man. We tried to get the word out. We learned that we would go home for a few days, then return the following Tuesday for a seven-plus hour open-brain surgery to remove the tumor.
You don't plan for this. You simply hope all goes well, and deal with the outcome.
The night before surgery, Sarah told me she had actually enjoyed the prior few days, because we were able to experience what most people never do, and a reaction that usually doesn't come until death. We had the honor of seeing just how much people love Sarah and our entire family. But especially Sarah.
Tuesday morning, December 13, 2011, 7:30 am in Nashville: some 30 people gather in the hospital lobby to support us through their presence, prayer, hugs, snacks, crossword puzzle books and yoga pants. All of those people...they were there for Sarah, for me, for Harvey, for Charlie. I was amazed.
From the lobby, I talked to Dr. Thompson on the phone around 3:30 that afternoon. He told me the surgery could not have gone better, and that he was quite certain they had removed all of the tumor. I was able to go to the recovery room a bit later to see my bride. That first image of her was a beautiful one. Seeing gorgeous Sarah resting after one of the most traumatic and invasive surgeries possible - there are no words to describe that sort of thankfulness.
It's currently a quiet Saturday afternoon here around the Neuro ICU at Vanderbilt, except for the occasional ding from one of Sarah's vital signs monitors (I'm convinced no one really knows why those things are dinging most of the time). As I sit here on this couch that has served as my bed for the past four nights, I am absolutely exhausted and simultaneously awestruck at the response from so many people over the past week and a half. Likely, you are one of those. Thank you. This would be an altogether different experience without the endless prayers, vibes, energies, thoughts, cards, hugs, tears and love coming our way.
As Sarah and I sit/lay here and try to prepare for what's next in life, please know that this is one of the hardest things we have ever dealt with. This is no fun. This is completely draining. This sucks.
But, it will be ok. Somehow, some way. We believe we are part of something far beyond us that hopefully is impacting many people for good.
As you read this, know that you are special. Know that you are important, and important to us. Know that we could not do this without you. Enjoy life. Enjoy your family and your friends. Do not take things for granted.
All Sarah wants to do right now is see and hold our precious little boys. Please join with me as we energetically await that moment. Please join with me as we wait for the fluid on Sarah's brain to drain off on its own. Please join with me as we adjust to a whole new life - one free of an unwelcome obstruction blocking the second most important part of Sarah's body, her brain.
It really is all about the heart, for without love, forget about it.
We love you, and we thank you for loving us.
After you're done here....
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