Just a quick update on Grandma Lee. She had her colon resection yesterday. Following is a brief description (and YES, I say “rectum” at least twice, possibly three or four times – so you can either ignore the paragraph altogether or just suck it up):

The surgery went pretty well. They removed the tumor, which sounded like it was even longer than any of the scan images I’ve seen. They took out the rectal stent (hallelujah). The surgeon was able to connect her intestines/colon to her rectum, but the tissue is fragile, swollen and whatnot (partially because of the radiation) and at one point they found a little fistula in part of her small intestines (which they fixed). Consequently, he did an illiostomy (looping part of the small intestine to keep some of the waste from going through rectum, giving it time to heal better in order to avoid a failure of the connection and a permanent colostomy).

She’s in intermediate care now – a step below the Intensive Care Unit – (largely due to her age – she’s 81) so that they can take closer care of her. She’s stable. I think her biggest complaint right now would be dry mouth (she’s going through those little spongy mouth moisteners like there was no tomorrow) because she can’t have anything – not even ice chips – until her bowels make some sort of appropriate “noise.” I don’t know what it’s supposed to be, but I hope it’s musical and happens very soon.

Thanks to everyone for their love and support.