Steve here. Not much new to report after Renee's great update. She is right: what with the "water feature", the whirring of the IV pumps and the view of The Mountain in the distance, it is indeed a relaxing place to hang out, up there on the surgery/oncology floor of Northwest Hospital. I don't know what's going on right now as I was told to vamoose and get some sleep. Last I saw Gabrielle, she and Daniel were heading down the hall on her final walk of the evening at a fairly brisk pace, IV pole in tow, with Daniel paying careful attention not to run over the back of her feet in the process. He is much better at this technique than yours truly.
Today, I got to see Gabrielle's incisions in all their glory for the first time. They consist of a long midline one going from the xiphoid process (lowest portion of the breastbone) all the way down, along with a couple of extra incisions on the sides where Dr. M. started with a laparoscopic approach, prior to proceding to the full "unzipping" (that's a bona fide medical term in my book, and if it didn't make the medical dictionary, it should). All the incisions have been closed with stainless steel staples. Being the curious doctor type that I am, I counted them: 41 in all! That number may be off by one or two. It is hard to count them in the vicinity of her oh-so-cute belly button which is a rather attractive "innie". As the incision dives down into the nether part of her umbilicus (another medical term for "innie"), I am not sure how many are down there, but I will be sure to snoop around later and get back to you on the final number.
As I looked at the staples, I was reminded of a sermon illustration today by Pastor Blake (full confession: I high-tailed it off to church rather than the sports bar. I needed the spiritual nourishment more thant some buffalo wings, a glass of warm beer and a view of what should have been a missed field goal). He showed a picture that had been given to him by Pastor Jan of a broken pot that had been fixed using the ancient Japanese technique of kintsugi which I had never heard of before. It means "golden joinery" and consists of sticking the separate pieces of broken pottery back together with a gold-infused lacquer creating a bright gold seam at the repair site. Rather than trying to hide the defect, the gold brings it out and turns the damage into a work of art. The result is that the final piece is more valuable in the "broken" state than the previous piece without the cracks. Imagine that!
As soon as Daniel comes home, I will try and upload a picture of this, hot off the internet. As he is under 30, he can figure these things out. Hopefully, the picture will go right here:
Is it there? Good! Daniel gets credit for that part. Isn't this a beautiful pot with golden seams? That's where the shards of pottery were stuck together. But to continue my story, I was fascinated by this illustration of broken things being more valuable and beautiful than before. Gabrielle has certainly been broken this week. She can never be more valuable to me than she already has been, but she is more beautiful than ever, especially sporting those staples. And here's the really interesting part. In researching kintsugi, I found out that it was apparently started (if you can believe Wikipedia) when a shogun from the 15th century was all upset that a broken pot he had sent off for repair had come back held together with "ugly metal staples" and had his craftsmen try and come up with a more aesthetic patch job. That's when they hit on the gold idea.
Well, all that may be well and good in 15th century Japan, but I have to confess that as far as "ugly metal staples" go, Gabrielle's are first rate and they look like the purest of golden seams to me for they tell me that she has been "broken open" for the cancer to be removed and what can be better than that? So here's to my very own piece of kintsugi art work! Gabrielle, you are indeed more precious to me than gold. Sweet dreams, dearest, I love you!