Small Steps = Great Victories

Today as you have read, Alannah and I spent the morning walking Double Bay visiting cafe’s and the bank. This meant that I got to visit Kirsten this afternoon.

Kirsten’s mum (Julie) took the opportunity to visit in the morning and had good things to report back on Kirsten’s recovery, the best news of the day is that the Lymph nodes are clear therefore no radiology is required.. YAY!!! 1st small step = 1st great victory

I’ve had a few questions from people asking about the outcomes of some of the possible complications or “on the fly” choices the surgeon’s may have had to make.

The first one is on the Mandibular branch of the facial nerve. I tried to call Dr P. to ask this simple question, but found him busy in another surgery, so, unperturbed I used my backup strategy.. email his receptionist and wait for an answer. I’m a patient person, I can wait for many things and I was surprised how much I needed to know this answer. Dr P. replied and his answer gives me confidence but really is a classic fence-sitting response.. and I quote..

“We are confident the mandibular branch of the facial nerve will be ok.

Only time will tell.”
Dr P. will be in Sydney on Thursday, so I hope to catch up with him in the morning to have a good chat on his general thoughts on Kirsten’s surgery and recovery.
2nd Small Step resulting in a Great Victory.
I received quite a shock when I first arrived to Kirsten’s ICU room, upon first glance the bed was empty.. EMPTY!!! it took me a few seconds to realise Kirsten was sitting in a chair beside the bed. As I was told by her, and the ICU nurse, this is the first steps in her physical recovery. The nurse informed me that Kirsten was given the option to have one more day in bed before attempting the move, but Kirsten being who she is shook her head and took her first steps in her physical recovery. All she wrote when I spoke with her about it.. HARD WORK!
Not long after I arrived, she needed to get back into bed, and this seemed to exhaust her. Her pain she said was 7 out of 10 and pretty much for the rest of my visit she slept and pushed that little green pain relief button. I could tell when she would stir from sleep as her heart rate would jump to the high 80’s due to pain and then drop almost immediately after the “hit” of Fentanyl.
3rd Small Step resulting in Great Victory
We did have a little set back if you could call it that, Kirsten did need to have the canine tooth removed from her left mandible. Dr P. considered the tooth too close to the tumour and they had plenty of fibula to compensate.
Small loss, but could you really call it that when its your health in question?
Kirsten seems in good spirits when she is with us, always concerned about Alannah so the first thing I talk to her about it everything that I can remember Alannah doing, saying (yelling really) or being a part of, this does bring a smile to her face and her eyes light up, so I feel good about bringing her some joy in her current world.
Quick thanks to a good friend of mine who dropped in this morning with probably 2 – 3 weeks of prepared meals for Alannah, I got word tonight from Julie that the Risotto was a hit!!


  1. I’m reading your posts every morning and rejoice with you over every victory.

  2. It is great to read that things are going so well. Sending lots of love your way.

  3. There’s another thing I just remembered. There are three drainage tubes coming from her neck, but they drain so very little that they just lie on wadded gauze. The leg is different. A large tube drains the wound in her left leg into a bag dangling from the end of the bed. I looked at it this morning and, frowning, asked the nurse (some sort of senior nurse, as she had a trainee with her) if the bag had been emptied since yesterday. To me it did not seem to have much more in it than I had seen yesterday. The nurse confirmed that it had not been emptied and that the fluid draining from the leg has lessened considerably. They have a benchmark (mm/hr or somesuch) and once the fluid being drained drops below this, the tube can be removed. This could happen as soon as tomorrow (Thursday). Sounds to me like a SS = GV!!

  4. To many more victories, great and small.

  5. Thank you for all your stand-in blogging, Darren. And for the supplements, Julie! Hanging out for the photos. All the best – to her and you.

  6. Yes, thanks Darren. You make a fantastic ghost writer. I look forward to more good news!

  7. Well done Kirst you are a champion! Following ur progress and sending love!! Great job with the blog Darren.

%d bloggers like this: