Vignettes of Recovery

Here is a short photo journal (complete with insider anecdotes!) chronicling the first few days of Emily’s hospital stay following her surgery…

Emily and Miles prepare to say goodbye as she heads into surgery.

Six incredibly tense hours later, Miles hears the news from Dr. Flores that the surgery was a complete success. After hugs, tears, and a few phone calls, he collapses in exhaustion.

Shelley tends to Emily when she arrives in the ICU.

Before she can even speak, Miles asks Emily to show him where there is no more cancer. Emily places her hand on the right side of her chest, and gives the thumbs up.

When Dr. Flores delivers the spectacular news that Emily has No Evidence of Disease (NED), 6’6” Miles tapes a sign that reads: “NED 2/9/2013” to the top of the TV that hangs from the ceiling so Emily can view it as she reclines in her bed. The nursing staff (who are all on the shorter side) crane their heads to read it and contemplate if it just might be there forever.

When Dr. Flores tells a very thirsty Emily (seen here wetting her lips) that she can’t have anything to drink for several days to prevent pneumonia, she smiles sweetly and agrees. Then as soon as he leaves, Emily flags down her nurse and says: “I’ll give you $100 for a glass of water.”

Every hour, Emily works to expand her lung, with Miles coaching her to reach new levels and then raising the bar as soon as she hits it.

Emily moves from the ICU to a private room with dedicated nursing thanks to the generosity of family and friends. And it just happens to include a magical view of Central Park, children sledding, and the NYC skyline.

The Emily Taylor sisters (who recently learned that, in addition to the same name, they also share the same blood type) dine together for EmBen’s first solid meal. The patient was thrilled: “OMG, who knew Jello was this good?! I can’t wait to go home and make a big bowl and eat it all at once. And the consistency is great! I wonder if I can get the hospital’s recipe..”

Family members make this beautiful trek several times a day from the hotel to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Emily laps the hospital halls, guided by her dual oxygen tank rocket boosters.

By the third day, she is walking a half mile, three times a day. To family members: “If you can’t hang with me, go sit on my hospital bed.”

When Miles decides to freshen things up with a newly designed route, the MBA grad miscalculates the distance and Emily ends up walking two miles instead of one. Any downfall? Yes, Miles’ feet were killing him.

Dorky, but loving parents, surprise Emily on her victory lap.

After the epidural is removed, Emily begins experiencing some of the pain she was told to expect. Dr. Flores asked her to describe it. “It feels like a midget is sitting on my chest.” That was not one he’d heard before, but apparently they have a drug for it because the beloved patient, who knows everyone’s name on the floor, will be discharged a day earlier than expected.

Happiness, gratitude, and love all around.

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11 thoughts on “Vignettes of Recovery

  1. Pingback: 60 Top Cancer Blogs for Advice, Support and Inspiration | Del Immune V

  2. I recall meeting you in the bleachers as we watched the boys CMC basketball. You were rosey-cheeked, fresh, full of laughs and so lovely. Little did I know the foundation of that loveliness is sheer determination and strength! Love the dual oxygen tank rocket booster- will pass that term on to Tom! All the best to you and Miles.

  3. Tears of joy falling from my eyes as I read about this incredible journey! Emily, your my hero!!! Your strength, determination and stamina is amazing! The love you share for each other is written right on your faces!……Praise God!!! Keep you all in prayer!

  4. I do not know you Emily, or Miles and family, but through a friend I have been sharing your journey. I want you to know that I sit here, in tears of joy after reading your photo journal of the last few days. Emily, you are amazing. The love, the joy and the support in your life in truly inspiring. And know that this stranger is sending you all love and light. And THANK YOU.

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