Oh, friends, what a long and difficult journey we’re on right now.
I know it’s been about three weeks — and what feels to me like a lifetime — since I’ve chimed in here.
I’m aware that many of you have been following our journey on Caringbridge.com or Instagram, so feel free to gloss over any redundancies or repeats of things you’ve heard already.
If you’re still with me and would like an update, here you go.
Before David’s surgery, we tried to make the most of relative normalcy.
We had the fantastic Seattle trip I told you about last time, and then David’s mom Ruth came up and we celebrated his birthday.
We had a scrumptious dinner at Nostrana
and on another day, we enjoyed fantastic offerings at Laurelhurst Market.
We started with a deconstructed shrimp salad that rocked me to my core (it was finished with a smoked shrimp aioli, people!)
moved onto a wedge salad which was scrumptious
and finished with five orders of Steak Frites.
Their version is sublime!
After Ruth left us, we had just a few days before surgery.
On Tuesday D and I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am and I came prepared for a very long day (I ended up being there 14 hours that day, came home, and returned later that night.
I brought two big bags with me that day (this was the contents of just one of them)
and I sat for hours waiting for that little buzzer to go off, meaning that there was word from his surgeon.
Truly, I’ve never felt more nervous in my entire life. Or powerless.
Luckily I was able to wait some of the time outdoors in a quiet patio at the hospital with the kids by my side for much of the day.
We even managed to eat some salads the kids had picked up for us to share.
I was so grateful for their company.
The good news.
David survived this grisly surgery and it appears that the doctor was able to remove the cancerous tumor and all the lymph nodes infected with cancer. In the days that followed, he recovered from both infection and pneumonia and was able to make it back home this week, two weeks after the surgery (some people are in the hospital even months afterwards).
The bad news.
Unfortunately, we now know that not only was the tumor still there at the time of surgery but it was growing, despite intense chemo and radiation.
Yes, the tumor is gone but the worry now is that we don’t know if David had clean margins and if cancer is now lurking somewhere else in his body, ready to wreak havoc. If that’s the case, our options are limited. We won’t know his status and possible treatment for at least a couple weeks or months so for now it’s wait and see. And time to focus on this recovery for David.
I have to say that in the many dark days that followed, it was heartbreaking to see David ride these terrible tsunamis of unfathomable pain. Poor guy –they’d cracked open both his chest and abdomen, removed his esophagus, half his stomach, and all his nearby lymph nodes and then stitched and stapled him back together.
And so that’s been our world.
Back and forth between the worry and the misery at the hospital,
and then struggling outside the hospital to find as much joy and summer goodness as we possibly could.
I’ve been trying to keep my energy and spirits up by finding time with the kids or a friend to go to food carts
or taking Porter out somewhere beautiful
and then it’s back to David, first at the hospital
and now home, trying to help him from losing weight and manage his still-terrible pain.
As always, my kids have been spectacular throughout, selfless and helpful despite the tremendous stress we’re all under.
Here they are as we headed off this week to get braces put on Charlotte.
There’s so much going on and yet so many questions still remain.
Meanwhile, in two weeks Oliver, Charlotte and I head to DC to send Oliver off to school while David’s ex and dear friend, Anita, will stay here to keep on top of things and help David along with his recovery. I’m so grateful that Anita and I are so close and she’s willing to devote so much time to help out our family. She’s incredible and I’m blessed to have her support and friendship.
Thanks to all of you — far too many too count — who’ve mailed packages, cards, dropped off treats and flowers and so much more.
No exaggeration, every day at least one thing shows up in my mailbox or front porch
and it’s like the most wonderful kind of advent calendar deliveries.
A new day, a new offering.
I’ve even had one friend/reader/blogger (Rebecca Ringquist from Dropcloth Samplers) bring me treats found at the Bins.
So big big thanks, friends. Your thoughtfulness has sustained me.
I don’t know when I’ll be back here but feel free to check out my Caringbridge posts for further news about David.
(Or for my Instagram handle to see what we’re up to now and the big move ahead).
Here’s one last thought for me to hold dear — and I hope it resonates with you, too.
Please keep those prayers going and continue sending love and luck our way.
Right now we are especially grateful for every bit of love we can get.
I love you all.
Sarah Kline says
LOVE you more. Hope all is going well Chez Baskin and the pre-launch is clicking along. Looking forward to catching up when our schedules allow for it. HUGS.
Mary Britton says
I hope you find this post. There is an off license medication that many doctors and pharmacists use with cancer patients. It is not a miracle hoax or other nutty unscientific drug thng.
You can find out more by looking up the LDN Trust. https://mailchi.mp/ldnresearchtrust.org/the-ldn-2017-conference-is-now-available-to-all-p8406cj096
You may also contact me for information on prescribing physicians in Portland.
Eileen McDargh says
You all are amazing. Fro, Dosinia Dr. kn Dana point–prayers continue
Sarah Kline says
Eileen, I can’t believe I still haven’t been able to connect with you. My BAD — just so much going on here. I would love to talk to you about my Mom and so much more. Maybe after I bring Oliver to DC, in September? In the meantime, lots of love! Sarah
Larry and Sheila says
Sarah, in the Jewish religion there is a wish that Sheila and I want to pass on to you and your family
khazak ve’ematz/חזק ואמץ
Be strong and courageous
Our thoughts are with you.
Sarah Kline says
Larry and Sheila, thanks so much for taking the time to offer support and strength. I’m so sorry we didn’t get to spend time with each other in June. Much much love to you all and I hope this note finds you well! XO
My thoughts and best wishes are with you and your family. Stay strong!
Sarah Kline says
Sandy, thanks so much for your good wishes. XO
I’ve always enjoyed your blog. Sending love, light and hope from Ohio to you and your family.
Nicki Weber says
Dear Sarah and David and lovely children, I watch with love and empathy as you travel on this journey.
Your genuine infuses all you write and I feel it deeply. Wishing all of you the very best results and
future joy. Love, Nicki Webeer
Kathi A Lauinger says
So Sorry That We Have To Face So Much Uncertainty In Our Blessed Lives.
Hard to Stay Strong when We’ve got such huge obstacles Blocking Our Path.
Lift Your Hands and Heart, for he will Carry You and your children to Higher, Safe Mountains,
With Peace & Prayers,
Love you all
We love you guys and are pulling for David everyday from afar. Kids are so handsome and gorgeous! Can’t believe we have college kids! All the best to Oliver and mama as he begins this new journey. Xoxox
PS- We had dinner in Paris w Katie and Nat and boys and shared fond memories of our SF days and we’ll wishes for David’s recovery.