One of the longest days of my life was April 17, 2008, the day of Dewey’s surgery to remove his primary tumour. We were very fortunate to have the best surgery team who gave us updates from the surgery room, and that his 4-6 hour surgery lasted less than three hours. You can read more about this here.
After Dewey was out of surgery and in the PICU, we were able to see him. Dewey has really long, beautiful, dark eyelashes. Due to the chemotherapy, all of his eyelashes fell out. He was down to one prior to surgery. They put this goop on their eyes so they don’t dry out. When we entered the PICU to see Dewey post-surgery, he was hooked up to all these tubes and his eyes were still closed. The first thing I noticed was his final eyelash on his shoulder. I was so sad.
The wonderful thing, other than he was still alive and we were still kicking cancer’s butt was this; every once and awhile, his eyes would flutter open. Whenever this would happen I would get in his face and smile my brightest smile to let him know that I was there. Every time, once his eyes focused and he knew I was there, he would relax and close his eyes again.
I knew he needed me, and the minute he knew I was there, he was reassured and would return to healing himself. I felt connected to him on so many levels that day. It felt like he was coming back to me every time his eyes focused on mine.
He did in fact need my presence. Hospital rules in the PICU are that the parents are not allowed to sleep in the room. (I really hated the PICU) They have these “sleeping rooms” that are pitch black that they sent me to, but had to come and get me every couple of hours or so, because every time Dewey would wake up and he couldn’t see me, he would freak out and not calm down until he saw me. The minute he could see me he would chill right out and go back to sleep. It was a rough night, but I knew how much he needed me, so I was okay with it.
He told me later that he had a dream that he was in a white tunnel, but he could see my face and hear my voice and that’s what kept bringing him back to me.
I love that kid so much and I would die of a broken heart if he wasn’t in my life. I am so thankful to be blessed enough to have him still with me. I am certain I nor my family would have survived if he was taken from us.