Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jared's Day at the Hospital

Krista and I arrived at the surgery center bright and early at 5:30 in the morning. Check-in was painless and we were pleased to find that we only had to pay a $150 co pay (I love working for Mary Kay, Inc.). After check-in Krista decided to walk laps around the waiting room to make sure she got her exercise in for the day. She wasn’t about to let her three year exercise streak be broken by having brain surgery. At 8:00 am Krista was finally wheeled into the OR. Her nurse told me that it would be about 6 hours before I would see her again and she directed me to the waiting room where I settled down for the long wait. This turned out to be the longest 6 hours I have ever endured. The staff at the waiting room were very nice and made sure that I knew where everything was and that there wasn’t anything that I needed but I couldn’t keep from worrying about Krista. Every once in a while I would get a call from the nurse assisting the procedure. She would keep me updated on how the procedure was going and how Krista was doing. After a while Krista’s parents came to wait with me. After 4 hours of waiting the Ashurts came to see how things were going and then the calls started. A constant barrage of friends, family and coworker called to see how things were going and if I knew the results of the initial biopsy. I could only tell them the information that the nurse told me. It was very heart warming to see how many people were concerned about Krista. Finally at 3:00 pm the doctor came to see me in the waiting room. The tumor was successfully removed but the initial biopsy showed that it was malignant. My mind went numb at the news. This means that Krista will have to endure chemo and radiation therapy in an attempt to fully destroy the cancer that possible is still in her brain. It hurt so bad knowing that my wife of 17 years and best friend for over 22 years had cancer. The doctor was optimistic about the fact that visually the tumor was completely removed and that it was smaller that a walnut. He told me most malignant brain tumors are the size of a small peach. Yet the fact that it was cancerous overshadowed the good news. Then Krista’s mom, with tears flowing down her face, gave me a hug, I couldn’t help having a good cry with her. Then the hard part started. I had a list of people to call and tell them how the surgery went. Telling people the bad news was harder than hearing it. I made call after call, while trying to hold back the tears, telling friends and family the results of the biopsy.
I was finally able to see Krista at about 6:00 pm. She was very groggy from having been under anesthesia for several hours. She hadn’t heard what the results of the biopsy were and asked me as soon as she knew I was there. When I told her of the results she looked at me softly said “I have cancer in my brain”. Hearing her say that broke my heart. I would gladly change places with her if it were anyway possible. But I know that God has a plan for us and for some reason it includes this new trial. I don’t know how it will end but I know that with help and support we will eventually get through it. Krista will remain at the hospital until Thursday December 16th. If anyone would like to contact her she is at:

Medical Center of Plano
3901 West 15th Street
Plano, TX 75075
(972) 569-6800

I would like to thank everyone that has offered help, support and prayers. They have been and continue to be a comfort to us at this time of our lives.



Lauren Reiser said...

Krista has been "on my mind" a lot the past few days. Thanks for keeping us informed on your difficult experiences and sharing your amazing positive outlook. Krista's strength is inspiring. I can only share in small part your pain through my own tears and best wishes for a bright future. Love to you both, Jared.


Faith said...

I've been thinking about Krista and your family frequently. I'm very sorry to hear the bad news, but am still hopeful for a good prognosis. Your family is in our prayers.


Lisa Smith said...

Dear Oakes family,
Krista, I have been a reader (lurker!) of all the postings on this great group, 2ofus4now. Your eloquent words have inspired me many times. I am sad to hear of what you are going through. My husband is a cancer survivor of almost 5 years now. I also work for a hospital and specifically I work for a neuro-oncologist. I know there is new research ongoing regarding various types of brain tumors, and treatment will obviously depend on pathology. Temodar a.k.a temozolomide, is an oral chemotherapy that has been used in a lot of brain tumors, sometimes concurrently with radiation treatment. I'm sure the physicians at your facility are taking good care of Krista. As I found out during my hubby's diagnosis, it is great to be an informed patient involved in asking lots of questions and getting second opinions if necessary. I know M.D. Anderson is a great cancer facility there in Texas. I hope for Krista's speedy recovery from the surgery and pray that you all will be comforted at this time.
Lisa Smith

heidi said...

Jared- thanks for the update. We were so sad when we got your Christmas card. Know that our prayers are with you both. If you need any help whatsoever you know Jerry and I are willing and able!
God Bless!