Battlefield Update #1: Commence Operation Kick Ass Cancer

3 Nov

Hello everyone!  My time has come to assume my role as interim blog-poster, as you may have already read.  Before I continue, I must ask that you please don’t hold as high of expectations from me to write such lighthearted and funny posts as Em has, but to maintain the integrity of the blog, I will surely try my hardest to reach the bar she has set.

I met Em, Nick, and my dad at University Medical Center (UMC) at 6:30 this morning to prepare for her 8:30 surgery.  Em and Nick got all settled in the prep room and my dad and I were later brought back to meet them.  We walked through the most secure hospital unit I have ever seen only to enter into what seemed like a crazy zoo!  Every prep station was occupied with a patient and their family, machines were beeping left and right, and nurses pushing large machines through already cramped walkways.

After settling in with Em and Nick in her 8×8 pre-op curtained cell, we had plenty of time to chat with some doctors and her prep nurses, Ann and Rizalee, two Filipino sweethearts who told us more about things we probably didn’t really need to know.  At one point Rizalee shrieked while flipping through Em’s charts and began shaking her head saying, “Oh no!”  The four of us glanced at each other wondering what the issue was. Rizalee informed us it was nothing of our concern, it’s just that the doctors liked to “play tricks on her.”  Shortly after that she ran out of the room.  She came back a few minutes later in a huff telling us that she just almost had her car towed…she had parked it in the wrong lot this morning that was considered “illegal” parking for employees.  We just laughed it off and pretended to ignore the absurdities of the morning rush at the zoo.

One of the doctors came in to ask her a few questions: Why are you here? What is the goal of having the procedure? What’s your name and your birthday?  When he walked out I asked Em how confident she felt that her doctor who would be in on the procedure had to ask her those type of questions.  She explained that it was just a standard procedure (to make sure they are dealing with the correct patient with the right chart) – and then, in her true form and high spirit, told me that when asked what the goal of her surgery was she replied, “to come out with bigger boobs.”  Only Em.

Em in her sexy hospital get-up and Nick in his lucky sweater prior to surgery.

We remained waiting for a while longer with Ann and Rizalee checking in on us to see if the anesthesiologist or surgeon, Dr. Browder, had come to talk to us.  They hadn’t.  The nurses went to go figure out where she was, as she was supposed to meet us at 8:30 (and her office is right across the street). Finally, the anesthesiologist came to go over what his role was in the surgery game, and that he had absolutely no responsibility for the operating part.  Five minutes later, another anesthesiologist came by informing us that he was taking over the task.  At this point it was hard to feel like we were making any progress aside from getting Em dressed in her sexy hospital get-up…until…Dr. Browder finally showed up around 10:00.  She told us she would call us once the surgery was finished; she proceeded to write Nick’s phone number on the pant leg of her scrubs after I offered her a piece of paper, claiming she wouldn’t lose her pants…another element instilling complete confidence in us as members of the E-team fan club…

We were told that we wouldn’t hear anything for at least 2 hours from anyone while Dr. Browder operated.  Nora, Nick’s mom/Em’s mother-in-law, met the three of us at the hospital.  Over the next 4 hours we sat patiently waiting for any news.  Around 3:00 Dr. Browder came out to tell us that Em performed beautifully during surgery, maintained stability, and there were no issues.  She showed us pictures they had taken of the tumor and 6 inches of the colon they removed.  It was only a matter of time before the nurses woke up Em and let us see her in the recovery room. She was very groggy, but she was Emily Ihrke Akerberg, nonetheless.  She was doing her best to keep up with the jokes Nick and I were trying to crack about diverted fecal streams, suction catheters and the sort.

She is now all settled in her hospital room with a nice tray of hospital soup broth and a Popsicle, and Nick, Em, DJ (my boyfriend) and I sit listening to some Notorious B.I.G. as we bring the night to a close.  Tomorrow will be a better day, hopefully filled with books, boardgames and movies.  Thank you for your patience in these posts, and I plan to write again tomorrow.  Please keep your thoughts and prayers with her, they have been serving their purpose!

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4 Responses to “Battlefield Update #1: Commence Operation Kick Ass Cancer”

  1. Collette Chang-Hasegawa (DJ's Aunty) November 4, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    So happy to read that all went well with Em’s surgery! However, it’s what we expected! Now, here’s to a speedy recovery!
    You did a great job Jane…writing must run in the family! Can’t wait for Battlefield Update #2…

    Take care everyone! Aloha…Aunty Collette :o)

  2. Fabs November 4, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Jane great job writing the update =)
    I am so glad that the surgery was successful!!!!
    My thoughts and prayers are always with Em and you guys (her amazing family) =)
    Quote of the day!!!!
    ”If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.”
    Em you are amazing and

  3. Fabs November 4, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    ops I did not finish my message =)
    Em you are amazing and strong!!!!
    I know you are going to have an excellent recovery!!!

    Love fabs xoxo

  4. Rita Hartert November 4, 2010 at 9:42 am #

    We so appreciate the updates on Emily….that way, we back in Minnesota aren’t worrying so much. You did a nice job, Jane, and no one is surprised, however, I know for a fact that brother Bill is also very handy with the pen and words. Love, Rita
    P.S. Keep the good words coming!

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