First..internet access has not been as easy to come by as we had hoped, so I apologize for the infrequency of my health updates for Brad. If it helps give you an idea...sometimes when we have asked about internet access, we have heard the reply, 'what is the internet?' Oh dear.
We arrived on Wednesday morning to the south-western tip of Germany to another 'little town' called Donaueschingen. It is about 3 and a half hours from Markt Berolzheim.
To put everything in perspective, coming to these areas of Germany for treatment would be like someone traveling from Berlin to Tolar, Texas for medical care. The population of Markt Berolzheim is about 1500 people (my high school was bigger....really). The town has one restaurant, one bakery, 2 churches, houses, cows... and that is about it. For a big-city girl like myself...it's a bigger adjustment than I would have expected.
On Tuesday Dr. Thaller scheduled surgery for Brad (by a vascular surgeon in Donaueschingen) to have 2 ports put in his chest. One going into his vein on the right side and the other going into his artery on the left side.
We got up early on Wednesday & checked into the hospital at 10 that morning. We went through admitting, then spoke with the doctor about the plans for Brad's surgery...going over all possible complications (this is the part where I started to lose it emotionally).
We spent Wednesday evening in the hospital (Sandra & David in the neighboring apartments), then had the surgery first thing this morning at 7am.
The surgery was supposed to last about 1 and a half hours, but instead went for over 3 hours. You could have cut the tension in the waiting room with a knife. The very good news is that Brad is out of surgery now and is resting well. Despite my overwhelming nervousness, this surgery seems to be one of the easier ones for him. He says that he feels very sore but overall...not too bad.
On a side note...the doctor came post-surgery to check on Brad and let us know that the reason the surgery took so long was due to the fact that Brad was 'so strong.' He went on and on stressing the difficulty he had in cutting through all that muscle. Of course...you know that Brad hated hearing that...ha! I'm certain Brad will be retelling that story over and over. :)
To be completely honest, since arriving in Donaueschingen I have been a complete mess emotionally. The lack of sleep, compiled with the extensive travel, plus the language barrier, and then facing surgery for Brad with a doctor I knew nothing about was really testing my emotions. I was SO nervous about this procedure...I cried almost the entire day before (& I'm not usually a big crier). Fortunately Brad was unwavering in his certainty that this was where he was supposed to be and what he was supposed to do. I kept retorically asking over & over why he had to keep suffering...why it seemed that his physical trials never seemed to end. Brad reassured me that his recovery would only give God more glory and bring others to be that much stronger in their own faith as a result of his trials & recovery.
I am doing much better now that the surgery is behind us and I got a good night's sleep. I am SO thankful that Brad is doing well...so relieved.
Thank you for all of your prayers for the treatments, the successful surgery and for our safe travel. My prayer now is that Brad continues without any complications (as with anything artificial, ports can sometimes become infected.) I pray for his stamina as he undergoes these upcoming weeks of therapy. I pray that he continues to heal from surgery and that he rests well each night. I pray for Brad's complete healing from his cancer.
Thank you for all of your support. May God receive all the glory & praise for a successful surgery today. Thank you for your continued prayers.