You guys. YOU GUYS. THEY'RE GONNA TAKE THE TUBE OUT TOMORROW.
(You probably need a moment to put your phone or iPad down and whoop for joy. Maybe do a little happy dance or hug the unsuspecting stranger next to you on the bus. No, I totally get it. You celebrate. I'll wait.) Done? Okay. So they got 3.7 liters (sorry; we're in England: litres) of fluid off him yesterday. His hands now look like my Dad's hands rather than Mickey Mouse gloves. Dr. McLuckie said, and I quote, "Unless something changes drastically overnight, I don't see why we can't extubate him tomorrow." I may or may not have cried for joy (hint: It was the former).
I got really cheeky and asked one of the other doctors what the odds would be of the tube coming out before we leave for the airport at 11 tomorrow morning. He gave me a rock-solid "Maybe," for which I absolutely cannot blame him (must pause to answer my phone. ...ah. It was Copernicus, calling to say the world doesn't revolve around me). Auntie Barbara and I made valiant attempts not to get our hopes up, all of which have failed spectacularly. But I do honestly feel that getting on that plane knowing it will happen within hours is the next best thing to being there for it. And there's always FaceTime.
Today's highlight: Like every day, I was singing to him. It was after either "Danny Boy" or "Eidelweiss" that I went to walk away from his bed for a moment and realized I couldn't, because he still had a vice-like grip on my hand. When I turned to face him again, he let go, raised his hand to my face, and gently patted my cheek. Completely overwhelmed, all I could do was cover his hand with mine, smile, and say, "Hi, Dad. Hi."
He will stay on dialysis and oxygen for a while, which means he'll still have to be in the ICU, but that's okay. Because then we can get down to the business of getting him strong enough to fly home, and THEN we're gonna send that cancer running for its life. So as you can see, Team Eric, there's an awful lot of work yet to be done. But for now, you've earned a break. Take a moment to sit back, relax, and realize that every kind, supportive word you have written, every goofy dog photo and creative wrinkle thought you have sent, every prayer you have said, and--yes--every tear you have cried has led to this moment. You have been a shining beacon to my family through some very dark and fearsome days indeed, and we will never, EVER stop being grateful to you for it. To conclude: Ladies and gentlemen, IT'S TEAM ERIC FOR THE WIN!!!!!!
(P.S. I will continue to serve as Official Team Eric Success Chronicler from home, so please continue to look for and share my posts. Mom will keep you updated through me.)