Thursday, December 18, 2014
So the last surgery did not work out exactly how I planned. Instead of removing a small benign tumor, the good doctor “roto-rootered” me—his very words—which would explain why this eighth procedure has been a particularly rough one. Additionally, what he took out was, while not classified as invasive, nevertheless malignant. There is a possibility that within months he’ll suggest surgically removing my bladder, which I will decline. Then he told me to forget about it, have good holidays and come back to see him in three months.
My only response, when the doctor told me all this, was “Yikes.” Quite a while back, I decided that I have no desire to live with a permanent catheter installed in my gut. My resolution may fail with time, but I remember my dad who, after undergoing prostate surgery when such procedures were not routine, was forced for months to wear a colostomy bag. Though he healed and eventually recovered, he was never the same. The surgery was brutal and its aftermath demeaning. He became the shell of who he’d been, hating his sudden dependence on others to assist him through cruel times. I can’t see myself going through such a change. But of course, I’ve said many “I can’t…” over the years.
In the meantime, I’ve had a CT scan because there appears to be some unwanted lumps forming in my abdominal area. I’d never had such a procedure; I thought they might wave a kitten over my stomach (CAT Scan, get it?) but no, it’s somewhat more complex than that. They shoot iodine into your veins and do what is essentially an X-ray. A very nice nurse told me to pull my pants down and though every fiber in my body screamed for a witty rejoinder, I kept quiet. I think the nurse was appreciative I hope to get the test results in a few days.
And last but not least, some nasty flu bug not covered by the flu shot I had weeks ago has taken up residence in my lungs. I suspect the raft of not-good news has left my resistance and immune system battered.
Friends have been, well, friends with offers of rides, soup, an ear to bend, corn muffins and brown rice sushi. I have entertained few offers. I am in slob mode—sweats, thermal socks, unshaven for the last couple of days and huddled under layers of blankets.
All this being said, one friend, a lovely woman and writer of adult fairy tales, has promised me things will get better after December 23rd. I’m not sure how she knows this but I’ll take it. Straws are perfectly valid things to grasp.