Sadistic Jennifer, helping Cole with swallowing (just kidding she is not sadistic, she approved my use of the word!)

Today was a hard day for me. It was a hard day for Cole. I don’t know what Brian would say about it because we seem to be tag teaming with the hard days…I have one and he is strong, he has one and I am strong, etc. At any rate, I will start us off with some very incredibly, wonderfully, good news. The MRI from yesterday showed no trace of cancer. In fact, our neurosurgeon feels so good about the results that he is almost certain Cole will not need follow up radiation treatments. WhoooHOOO…absolutely incredible news!

That incredible news was slightly overshadowed today due to an incredibly difficult catheter removal. In fact, a Urologist had to be called in because our RN had never experienced a situation where the catheter became stuck. I will spare the details as living through it once was enough and quite painful even as an observer. In fact, our nurse was so distressed he initiated a prayer circle between the four of us (Brian, myself, Cole and Jonathan the nurse) before implementing a technique the doctor suggested over the phone before his arrival. Needless to say, Cole is now catheter free and doing his best to forget the pain of the day though it reminds him with every attempt at urination.

The other part of today was the move to the Acute Rehab Unit (also known from here on out at the AR). Essentially, it felt like the scene from Cinderella where with every stroke of midnight brought the progressive transformation back to the reality that her carriage was, in fact, a pumpkin. For with every turn of the corridor, and every hallway that we passed, it seemed our little ride in the glass carriage was fast transforming and Cole ended up plopped down into a shared room with a curtain between he and his roommate. From an area for me to sleep by his side to a one visitor chair accommodation. From the one to one ratio nursing to the one to ???. Now please don’t misunderstand this posting and please don’t chastise my perspective because we are still walking in complete gratitude for the fact that Cole is able to be in this acute rehab facility and that it is just a few miles from our door. His nurse who greeted us was very kind and seasoned. The rehab personnel welcoming. Yet it is still difficult to go from the Ritz like accommodations of ICU to that more in line with a Motel 6. More clinical or institutionalized if you can understand that.

Us leaving him was difficult to be sure, yet I can promise you it was nothing like the day, July 6, 2009, when we had to turn him over to the military. Now that was a difficult day indeed! At least with today, we know he is deposited into safe hands.