Dear Fellow Clotters,
Dennis is home. It has been a week and a day since we made the trek to the
Dr. Mulvihill performed a very successful classic Whipple on Dennis, and all went quite well. They thought they might have to “harvest his carotid” during the procedure, but that turned out to be unnecessary. There was minimal blood loss, and all the contingencies that were so meticulously prepared for did not occur. Dr. Mulvihill says Dennis is NED, (No Evidence of Disease) to the naked eye. This was our goal, and we were successful. The Clot is still celebrating.
Tuesday was singular to say the least. It was more “tsunami” than “super,” but that was only a portion of the day. Brodi and Erin were quite articulate in their narration of events, and I must say, they express themselves very well. But in the interest of fair and accurate reporting, I thought it would be appropriate to include an “op ed” addition to their report. To begin with, these girls have shown courage and fortitude and single-mindedness that has galvanized and fortified our entire family. I know the source of their strength. But I guess it takes great adversity to understand the depth of that strength. Dr. Mulvihill said we might experience a let-down during this whole process. That was like saying Vesuvius was a mere pyrotechnic display! But he put things in perspective, and reassured us that things are still on track.
When order was restored once more, and all the body parts were correctly distributed and re-assembled, the girls recognized that we needed a blessing to close out the day. Our bishopric arrived to salve the rawness, mend our hearts and feed our souls. They even looked at the graphic pictures of the resection that Dr. Mulvihill had shown us, and all commented on how remarkable and very clear those pictures were. The Clot was quite impressed because these weren’t exactly photos of the grandchildren. No one lost consciousness, however. We suggested this might be a good time to humiliate and hurl insults at the mass, but this offer was politely declined since the men were all in suits and ties. These things must be done delicately. How grateful we are for men such as these.
We cannot express how much we love our daughters, and how proud we are of them. They are elect. They did not ask for this task, but they do not shrink from it. Just because they cried doesn’t mean they lost their composure. Where there is much devotion, there is much emotion. We have agreed that we will not let the rain beat us down. When asked if there will be light at the end of the tunnel, we simply explain that we are not in a tunnel. All we see is light.
And each of you has been a source of that light. In fact, when I spoke with a friend, I told her that Tuesday had not been “super” at all. Renee said, “Joan, you only lost a few delegates. You will sweep the rest of the nation and go on to win the election!” Oh, the power of the positive image!
Preparing Dennis for discharge was an exercise in the surreal. First of all, Dr. Fenton informed us with great joy that because of Dennis’ remarkable progress, he (Dr. Fenton) was going to pull his (Dennis’)grenades! Think about it. That has the same visual impact as being informed that they are going to “harvest his carotid!” For only the second time in my life, I managed to stifle responding, “Touch his grenades and die, Buddy!” I am glad I managed to restrain the lips, because Dennis would no doubt have detonated those grenades had I spoken on impulse.
The grenades are actually drains…that drain stuff. Again we get into medical terminology too complex for me to understand what I’m talking about. Suffice it to say that the removal of these grenades…HURTS! Of course, I immediately demanded that the staff call in the entire pain management squad. I even remembered to request Tylenol for Dennis!
The process of grenade extraction seemed to go on forever. But you know Dennis. He bore it stoically, the only indication of pain being facial distortion. However, at one point, he uttered an “audible” that verified he was indeed an alumnus of West High. This sent me into convulsions of agony, and by the end of the procedure, I was a twisted piece of wreckage collapsed quivering, shaking and moist by his bedside. Vicarious grenade extraction is not as fun as it sounds! Afterward, I had to lie down on the couch to recover. I was exhausted. The next thing I knew, Dennis was tucking a blanket around me. I was never any good with arranging covers. It’s his forte.
Prayer is such holy domain. You have extended sacred hospitality by inviting us to be guests in your prayers. We are especially touched by the prayers of the children on our behalf. You have provided shelter, and a sense of safety and protection. You have helped to sweeten the bitter cup. There are not the words to express our love and gratitude. But please know that you are all in our prayers of thanksgiving, and will be so tonight.