Well, its December 28th and there are 2 presents left unopened "under our tree".
I say "under our tree" in quotation marks because we decided, in keeping with the tradition of not having a Christmas tree when we have an 18 month old in the house (we didn't have a tree the year Laila was 18 months old), we didn't get a tree this year. Our presents still looked lovely stacked in front of our fireplace, our stockings were still hung by the chimney with care, the rainbow lights still adorned the outside of the house, our Christmas knick-knacks still made it out of the boxes (placed up high, mind you) and Christmas still came. Even without a Christmas tree.
It also came without the physical presence of Nonna and Papa. While we were face timing afternoon, Laila asked "Papa and Nonna, when will you be home?" Papa responded with something like "As soon as we can, sweetheart..." and she broke our hearts when she said "But its Christmas!"
We've been thinking that surely, SURELY they would be home next week. I told Laila so.
But they won't be.
Yesterday, Dr. Sands told Papa that he would need to stay in the hospital until or AND that he'll need to stay in Florida so that Dr. Sands can check him out until the following . So, at least another week until they can come home. At least another week until Papa will start Tasigna, the chemo that will keep those leftover cancer cells from growing.
To recap, a week after the surgery to remove the recurrent tumor, Papa developed a leak in the area of the rectum at the surgery site. This required that he go back into the hospital for a temporary colostomy, a second surgery, that would allow the damaged area time to heal. After several days, he was released from the hospital. During what we thought was a final follow-up to that second surgery, Dr Sands discovered an abscess in the wall of the rectum that needed to be flushed several times a day and drained in order to heal. It also required IV antibiotics which meant he had to be admitted to the hospital a third time... and he's still there.
And, get this, apparently a LOT of people in the world like to go to Miami for the week between Christmas and New Year. Like, a lot a lot. As a result, Nonna and Papa are having a super hard time finding a hotel room that actually has a double bed or bigger for less than $300/night. Like, theres no room in the inn sort of thing.
Friends, you can pray about that. An affordable place for Nonna and Papa to stay from the time they get out of the hospital to the time they are released to come home.
You can also pray for Dad as he continues to learn how to handle "the apparatus" as we like to call it... and for the pain he's experiencing, as that has been a continuous struggle.
I know that I usually end these sorts of updates with something about being positive and grateful.
Yes, we are grateful and, yes, we are focusing on the positive but the bottom line is that Nonna and Papa are weary... weary of living out of suitcases, from hotel to hotel, hospital room to hospital room, paying for rental cars, being woken in the night for blood draws, pain medicine, IVs, laying in a bed, sleeping in a chair and being away from their children and their grandchildren.
They are troopers, no doubt, but they are weary.
Even so, every time we talk, they are both full of encouragement for me, love for each other and for all of us, words of wisdom for whatever I've needed to vent about and gratitude for each of you and your prayers.