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Pat Dryburgh

I had expected to be here this evening writing that the surgery my mom was scheduled for today went well, that the doctors were able to successfully remove her right lung and that she was resting peacefully in the hospital recovery ward.

That’s what I expected.

The surgery was scheduled for 12pm and was to last for 6 hours. When I returned home from a meeting at one, my sister informed me that Mom’s surgery had been canceled. I stood in shock.

The plan had been to give my mom an epidural to alleviate the pain after the operation. My mom has had three children, and each time has not been able to receive an epidural. When my sister was born, the top anesthesiologist at the hospital—a man who for a long time had simply led his team rather than practiced directly—couldn’t give my mom an epidural. When my mom was discussing this operation with her surgeon and anesthesiologist, she told them it wouldn’t work.

It didn’t work.

In fact, during the application of the epidural my mom’s arm went numb. We were told she may have had a mini stroke (this, we were later told, was not the case). After a CT scan and some confusion about finding a room to admit her to, my mom finally found herself back in the same room she stayed in last year when this all started.

The plan now is to conduct some more tests and see what they can do about going through with the surgery, but no one is sure when that will now happen. It’s been a very frustrating experience for me and my family, having worked ourselves up to being ready for this day and to have it all suddenly fall apart. Plans have a way of doing that, sometimes.

I will be visit Mom tomorrow for a while. I’ll be showing her the amazing support my friends on Twitter and Facebook have shown, as well as share the stories of friends who have sent emails and text messages. You guys have made this day a whole lot more bearable. I am so incredibly thankful.

As soon as I know something more, I’ll be keeping you updated.

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