Upon arrival in New York, we pulled into the only parking space available… the one right in front of the entrance to our hotel. Once the wonderful staff helped us (and what seemed like our 5 million bags) to our room, we noticed all the soaps and shampoos read “Believe in Miracles.” Another little sign that we were in the right place.
The next morning, we were on our way to meet Dr. Harvey Pass. After meeting with several members of his staff, Dr. Pass entered, spending an hour or more with us. He explained in detail what he knew about Dad’s case and told us that he would like to perform surgery called a pleurectomy, removing the lining of the lung and taking out any trace of cancer that he could find. After answering all of our questions, none of which were too small, it was decided that the surgery would take place.
Dr. Pass told us that the surgery would be scheduled for some time in March, that we should go home and get the necessary pre-op tests. Dad asked Dr. Pass if there was any possible way that the surgery be done while we were there; he didn’t want to go home and have to think about the illness and surgery. When Dr. Pass looked at his schedule, he noticed that, for a reason unknown to him, February 15th had been left open. The surgery was scheduled for that open day, the day God wanted it to happen.
The next several days were spent doing a lot of waiting in doctor’s offices. Everyone at NYU Langone had been so kind to us, squeezing Dad in for testing and appointments so that everything would be ready for the following Wednesday. The pre-op tests all came back great, showing that Dad was a healthy candidate for surgery.
The night before the surgery, Dad’s brother and his Pastor and his wife came in from Pennsylvania to be there for Dad and for my Mom, my husband, and me. It was amazing having them there, a glimpse of home.
The morning of the surgery, we needed to be at the hospital at 6am. Dad was prepared, briefed, and ready to go. Dr. Pass came into the pre-op area, and gave us some good news: Dad’s scan had shown that the cancer was localized and had not spread to any other part of his body – another miracle. Watching Dad walk back to the operating room was pretty difficult, not knowing how the surgery would affect him, but it was such a hopeful scene at the same time. God was in control. All we could do was pray and wait.
The waiting was horrible. Every time a door would open, we would all jump up, waiting until it was our turn to hear how Dad was doing. Finally, Dr. Pass emerged, telling us that Dad had done great. All of the cancer was removed. We all cried tears of joy and waited to see him in recovery.
Seeing Dad and telling him the good news was an amazing moment. So much had fallen into place perfectly for us to get to that point. God took (and continues to take) care of everything and everyone.
Dad was able to bypass the intensive care unit and go right to a step down area. The next afternoon he was moved to a regular room and stayed there until Sunday, for a total of 5 days in the hospital. We stayed another week in the city and saw Dr. Pass for clearance to travel back home. Dr. Pass was happy with the way the surgery went and would be overseeing Dad’s chemotherapy from NYC.
We returned home on February 25, 2012. Mom and Dad stayed with us until March 2nd when they made their trip back, cancer free.