Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

Prognosis: Cautious optimism

Points East

I stayed under anesthesia at UK for a tad over four hours last Friday, three of which included removing cancer from my bladder and installing a stent in one kidney where the cancer had it blocked, and another hour of chemo sprayed up my urinary tract to coat the lining of my bladder in an attempt to kill any cancer cells the surgery didn’t get.

I am, by no means, out of the woods, but the team of five urologists who worked on my plumbing are cautiously optimistic. They have me scheduled to be put back under in three months to replace the stent and determine whether or not I will need more surgery beyond the stent replacement.

In the meantime, I survived this round, and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your prayers. Please don’t let up. I expect this is going to last for the rest of the year plus whatever complications that may pop up with prostate and bone cancer. At least medication seems to have those two under control over the last six months.

I’d had this exact bladder surgery almost a year ago in March, but it came back while another urologist was far more concerned with the prostate cancer. This newest operation could much likely have been prevented if I’d had a round of chemo after the first one but there’s no use crying over spilt milk.

In any event, I spent weeks dreading this one far worse than I’d ever dreaded anything in my life because the first one was the most painful two weeks of my life. I actually wanted to die.

This time I had some major aggravation because I was hooked up to a catheter for over 20 hours and a constant flow of fluids flushing the chemo out of system. It was uncomfortable but Tylenol and a couple of Tramadol pills kept the pain at bay. The first time around they used a strong opioid that resulted in extremely painful constipation that was far worse than the surgery related pain and absolutely nothing helped it. A common, across the counter, stool softener takes care of the Tramadol problem.

I’ve been dealing with big time bladder incontinence for the last six months and had hoped this surgery might cure that, but the docs all say, all seven of them, that’s not likely and that the inconsistence is probably caused by Parkinson’s. I’ve already gotten used to changing pads about once every two hours and waking up before I wet the bed.

Right now I’m so weak I have to ask Loretta to help get me through the house and out to the porch where I sat and watched Andy plow and plant potatoes, onions, cabbage and two varieties of Romaine lettuce plants this afternoon. He had already planted, nearly two weeks ago, two varieties of peas, two of leaf lettuce, spinach and a couple of other things that worry made me forget.

Hopefully by this time next week, I’ll have enough get up and go to get the column back up to full. Please bear with me. Right now I’m functioning on pure stubbornness.

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