Back in the time that Amber had cancer, we did not have digital cameras. We were still in the film age of photography. Of course, we had cameras with us when we went to St. Jude from the first trip to the last. When Amber had surgery she was placed in a room that was called intermediate ICU if I remember correctly. That meant that we could be with her at all times if we chose. It also meant that on the other side of her room was a parent room that was just a small room with a bed and a two way window. If we got too tired and needed to sleep when she did, we could go to that room and rest but still be able to see her whenever we wanted through the window. This was just another one of the things that St. Jude does for the families.
Amber was only inpatient for two nights after surgery. I failed to mention that the surgery was to remove her right kidney and place a Hickman Line in her chest. We were fortunate that the tumor in her kidney was completely contained inside the kidney and was removed without rupturing. During the two nights that we were in the hospital, we were always with her. We would take turns being in the room and resting.
During the time that she was inpatient, we took a lot of pictures. Tammy had taken so many that she had to change rolls of film while in there. Later in time, she was ready to develop the pictures and discovered there was one roll of film missing. That roll just happened to be the one that had the pictures of Amber immediately after being moved into the room after surgery. They were the ones that would have been the hardest to look at. The were the ones that showed her hooked up to all of the equipment. With the loss of that roll of film, there would be no pictures of the worst time after surgery. We decided that this loss was for the best for us. We didn’t need to look back at those and remember how bad she looked. We only needed the ones that showed her improving. These things all happen for a reason.
This is a picture of Amber in her hospital bed after all of the tubes, etc. had been removed. The mesh top is to hold the Hickman Line in place. The red around her eyes is where she was allergic to the tape that they used to tape her eyes during surgery. As pale and weak as she looks in this picture, I can assure you that the ones with her hooked to tubes and wires would have been so much worse. I am thankful that our pictures consist of this and not what was on that lost roll of film. This is my baby on her way to being cancer free!