Just to let you know that Derek came through the surgery in very good shape. All his internal connections were "saved" for later re-use (click on Derek's blog; his URL link (penmachine.com) is shown at the left. Read his July 5 blog entry). We've just returned from the hospital recovery room, and Derek is of clear mind, if a bit sore. He's been chatting with the nurses - I guess his gregarious personality can't be suppressed. This is a big load off all our minds. More details at a later date. Thank you all for your thinking of us and your support.
An update at 9pm: We just went back to the hospital to pick up our daughter-in-law Airdrie, who spent the evening with Derek in his hospital room. She tells us that he is cracking jokes, and is back to his former, happy personality. Of course he's still on pain medication and there will be a lengthy adaptation time before he can take solid food, etc. We'll visit again tomorrow, and I'll have a progress report then.