Many of you have enjoyed Hook's unique bug Christmas cards for the last dozen years or so. For 2012, we still have an insect to share by way of a public Christmas card to our family, friends, and all the good people of the world who have been keeping up with our blog (72 countries … Continue reading Merry Christmas Mates!
As I sit in the hospital cafeteria and dream of life outside the walls of St. David’s, my POW-stricken husband lies in his 5th floor room being poked, prodded, picked, and occasionally pampered. With a hollowed, gaunt look of someone who has been starved and beaten, Hook’s recovery continues but his appetite struggles to rise … Continue reading The Great Hook Escape
What a treat. The good professor has a second message for everyone. On the doctor thing: Hook doesn't mind if little kids call him Dr. Hook and he insists that his students either call him "Professor Hook" or "Dr. Hook" but never just 'Hook' -- show some respect! -- but if adults call him "Dr. … Continue reading Beaming Up Some Dr. Hook
As promised, a message from Allan (that he typed himself). For those who have never heard me say his given name, Allan is Hook, sometimes called "Al" by colleagues and only called Allan by me when I'm upset with him or when I feel very loving toward him -- keeps him on his toes! And, … Continue reading A Message from Allan
You all must have been praying double-time because from about 7 o’clock yesterday evening to most of today, Hook's situation has improved: Sunday 7:00PM: A great second shift weekend nurse, Justin, entered the hospital scene. I was looking forward to having Nurse Daniel back because I didn’t want to break in another night nurse. But … Continue reading Getting Back on Schedule
The frustration with hospitals is that they are in the business of treating patients instead of people and those closest to the front lines, nurses and technicians, get caught in the political middle ... but the body that pays is the one strapped to a bed completely dependent upon those around him. FRIDAY late afternoon: … Continue reading From Room 232
I guess when you’ve had part of your stomach removed, then eating falls down the list of priorities in the healing process. Oh, Hook receives basic nutrients from one of the half dozen tubes going into his body so no worries that they’re starving him to death, but those tubes tangle with the other half … Continue reading Ice Chips as an Entree
The first words Hook spoke to me when I saw him in ICU were, “I guess I made it.” As I rubbed his little, bald head, I whispered, “Of course you did.” That was the last lucid conversation Hook had with me until this afternoon. Yesterday, the nurses were kind enough to allow me to … Continue reading Musings from an Intensive Care Unit
3:21pm We got the third call from the surgical assistant that the surgeon was closing Hook up and that the surgeon would be by to talk with us. Sagging my shoulders with relief, I let out the deep breath I didn't even realize I was holding in. 3:25pm A second surgical assistant walked us from … Continue reading Surgery a Success!
11:41am – We got the second update from the surgical assistant who said “everything looked great” but that there was no real new information. I did get a chance to ask him if he was actually in the surgical room and he said, “Yes, I am standing in the surgical room.” He let me know … Continue reading Time Rolls Slowly in a Surgery Waiting Room
At 9:12am, I received a phone call from the surgical assistant that Hook was anesthetized with all IVs running at full speed and that everything looked good. Wow! They call you from—what?—a medium clean room or maybe the cell is in a plastic bag and the surgical assistant is punching the numbers with a gloved … Continue reading It’s All About the Surgeon
Exciting might be the wrong adjective. Intense, queasy-filling, thought-vomiting … should I continue? I had no idea the amount of preparation that goes into even the simplest of surgeries let alone the super duper we-are-going-to-cut-you-MEGAWIDE-open ones. I had major surgery 15 years ago, so specialized in nature I still can’t pronounce or spell what it … Continue reading Just How Exciting is Surgery Anyway?
I didn’t miss posting about Thanksgiving in Australia simply because there is no Thanksgiving in Australia at least not in the month of November. Thanksgiving is one of the few U.S. holidays that is unique to Americans and oddly enough not grossly over commercialized. We're too busy giving thanks I guess. Australia's Thanksgiving Australians have … Continue reading The Beginning of Thanks not the End of It
Is it kosher to get excited about a pancreas? We’re not frying it up in a pan or planning to serve it for Thanksgiving or anything, but we are pretty jazzed about Hook’s pancreas right now. (Those are jazz hands on that tumor by the way.) And just so you know how excited, this morning’s … Continue reading Where a Pancreas and Halloween Collide
But First: Vashon Island I'm drinking coffee on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound while writing this blog post which I find amusing considering I made fun of Seattle in one of my previous posts. I take back anything I wrote on the state of Washington and instead make claim that I confused it with some … Continue reading Australians Are Fun for a Reason
When I started this blog back in April 2012, my purpose was to share with readers how the Hooks were preparing for a life overseas, what we were doing to get our lives in order, and how incredibly AWESOME this whole experience felt. A few short months into it, the blog morphed into a How … Continue reading The Great Australian Exploration
Hook has gained two pounds. I’ve gained five. Who gains weight during chemo? It’s good news of course because Hook had already lost 10 pounds which was one of the red flags that brought us to the Hooks here and now. But I barely reach 5’4” in height so five pounds on me looks like … Continue reading Gaining Everything But Australia
It is 3:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday and I am drinking a glass of champagne. I’m not celebrating anything or I’m celebrating everything. I do not know which. Earlier, I cried to no one because no one was here which is usually how I prefer to lick my wounds: in private. Yet here … Continue reading God Moved to Australia and He Did Not Take Us with Him
I hadn't even thought about it -- immunizations that is -- they hadn't even made the 1,000 Things To Do Before We Get on the Plane to Australia list. I had a conversation with a business acquaintance yesterday and she asked, "So when do you leave?" and I said, "July 1st," and she replied, "Oh, … Continue reading Immunizations