This will seem almost recycled from an earlier time when I was rescued by action and food and optimistic about life in general again. Some of my current condition is extremely temporary and some not so much. I am pretty sure I could have lived in the same valued sense of hope without knowing that the purpose of getting stronger is to be fit enough to endure another major surgery.
My original doctor messed up. He begged some forgiveness and reminded me why he traversed so far and wide in my innards – the answer to which is he searched for hiding places for cancer cells. These were all the likely repositories, the 22 removed lymph nodes. It is also why I still wear a drain sank deep into my right hip which remains indescribably a pain in the ass, if I may. This drain, in fact, was the ostensible reason for the recent stay in the hospital. It was mega-infected. They wanted me on a treatment series of anti-biotics. At the same time that was when the current tribe of urology experts hopped in the picture, invited by my doctor to try and locate the source of all the drainage coming from my wound.
Well, after numerous CT Scans they found the culprit. The mucking around inside – or else the wholesale removal of so many lymph nodes, had produced a separated ureter – a tiny tube connecting a couple of organs (I’m not sure which) – which became unfixable even after trying to access it through my kidney in a memorably dreadful procedure.
My last days in the hospital saw a few rounds of visiting urologists, all of whom were straightforward and even a little brutal. The kidney drain they had put in cured the wound drainage which was a massive relief. Now instead of the ritual of multi-changes per day of the dressings for the wound, my wound is completely healed and does not require anything further.
But the parting words were related to the “next thing” – a major surgery aimed at putting it all back together. I liked that they reassured me that they’d “fix everything and then you’ll get your life back.” But I didn’t like that it very well might require a catheter for a couple weeks following the surgery. The datelines stretch into the future like things I cannot have.
Currently, all this has caused extremes of moodiness. Inasmuch as I also brought home a bedsore, my misery has picked up steam until I am in a similar space that I was over the last Christmas when I sat here at 143 pounds and losing, contemplating extremes of illness and death. It’s as if we have traveled back in time to my very least favorite period of my life.
I didn’t lose so much muscle tone as to be a disaster. I can get around the house OK, although I was pretty wobbly my first 2 days back. So I can walk. I look forward to my physical therapy nurses coming around again – so much. An active Steve is a far happier Steve. I am doing a few exercises on my own but my moods overwhelm my desire to get better. I believe I am reeling, trying to find that balance which can accommodate to this new temporary situation while still dealing with such a future.
I hope the girls can bring me back again, yet another time because I’m just not sure I am up to it.
Wow, what you’ve been through, my friend…..
I have always enjoyed your blogs. You are an eloquent man and I sure wish there was something I could do to help. Never having gone through the ordeal you have, I could only imagine my spirits would be more dismal than yours. You have led an active life, and I’m sure to be completely dependent upon others has to be difficult, at best.
Having a life-changing experience such as what you’ve gone through is tough for anyone. Just remember the misery you have now will be part of the healing process as you get better. I would like to think you’ve gone through the lowest of lows. Now the healing begins.
Take care, Steve, and I wish I would be of more help to you.
Oh, Steve, you have every right to be down hearted, even fatigued to the point of desperation. Or maybe, you are so tired of fighting and trying to be strong AND humorous for the comfort of other people, that you have no more energy to face another day, much less another major surgery. When things have gotten very dark for me, I have adopted the 20 minute rule. Maybe it will help you too. Don’t look back to what was…and don’t anticipate what hasn’t happened yet. As best you can…stay in the now, or at least only the next 20 minutes. The facts of any situation can change so quickly. Yes, wallow long and deep in depression for awhile, but no more than 20 min at a time. Listen to fabulous music, slowly savor something delicious you love to eat that brings happy memories with it. Go outside, look to your right…what do you see? What do you hear? Look to your left. Be silent and really hear the world. Remember today is not for ever. Tomorrow can bring anything. You have liitle control over the world, you only have control of how you think about the world and your place in it. When my daughter died at 21 yrs old, I didn’t think I could live through it. I didn’t want to live through it. Every day, every moment was too painful. And yet, I did not die. God had much more for me to do in my life. Now, I have Parkinsons disease, a non curable, progressively degenerative disease. It takes over one’s movement and thought processes. I will fight to keep my spirit! Allow yourself to grieve for what was…for awhile. Then, I am confident that you too will fight for what can and will be beautiful and full of grace again: your spirit.
You’ve been such a trouper through all this, and that in itself can be tiresome. Weary as you may be, you are moving ever closer to wellness. I’m sorry for the many detours your journey has taken and it’s no wonder you feel despondent at times. The advice from the earlier responder Barbara Brackett Hinton is worth following. Keep up the good work on all fronts — you have a place in our hearts, a presence and a purpose in our world.
Just have to agree 100 % with Barbara’s post.
You have the right to be sick & tired of this, Steve! This has been one long-ass haul! We understand! Bitch a bit, then get back to zen healing!
Wish I was closer so I could fluff your pillows & bring you some snacks, & flowers!
Be well, my friend! You are 7/8ths of the way done. Always darkest before the dawn!
Thank you all. Barbara, a very special, heartfelt soul-to-soul. I knew I liked you for the best reasons. 😉
I have always believed that no matter whatever bad happens in my life, I have three choices…to be angry, to cry, or to laugh…what always has worked for me was to do all three. (((((((STEVE)))))))
Hey Steve, I have “followed” your blog every so often just to keep up with you; I also noted your presence on Facebook a while back… Looks like a rough patch has found you, and I thought I’d write. Even tho’ our lives took separate paths you have never been forgotten… thinking of you now! It looks like you have a network of some real good friends who are helping keep your spirits up. Ill health is something none of us look forward to 🙁 … When it happens, the one thing we still have is choice. In the way we deal with it. I’m sure in your darkest hours you don’t feel this way, but it Looks to me like you are making some pretty good choices ! Thinking of you, your X- 🙂
Wow, I can’t thank you enough, Abi, for deciding to write. You are now one of those support system folks and I am at a loss to describe how meaningful that is. For the record, I also think about you fairly often usually sticking with the good stuff like Hawaii and getting beaten down by monster waves and watching you laugh. Ha ha, thanks for your mail – it means a lot.
Keeping you in our prayers tonight! I hope you get better soon!
Hey Steve. This is Greg aka GMAN from the UL smackboard. Glad to see you are still quite upbeat. Having watched many members of my family get ravaged by that dreaded disease, Ive seen what you’ve been going through. Glad to see you are still writing.
We miss ya over on the smackboard. I know you are enjoying this UK team. 🙂 Keep up the hard work.
Hey Greg, wow, nice to see you! Sending you an email response. Thanks for the comment.
Briggsky here. Sorry to hear all about your battles. I’ve been a fan of your thoughtful posts for several years. I’ve spent a lot of time with Uroligists myself in recent years. Things have turned around a lot over the last few years. My was reoccurring but solutions were relativity easy. Sometimes just the word is enough to reconsider immortality and wonder how much of my grandkids lives I would be part of. I did manage to keep my sense of humor through most of it.
One of the things I do is to visit the elderly and infirmed. I live right across Shelbyville Rd in Owl Creek. While I don’t in any way consider you elderly, I would like to help in any small way that I can. A trip to wherever or just anything would be fine. I’m sure you are surrounded by family, but anything even a discussion would be good. I didn’t realize how sick you were but glad to see you on the smack board. Have you already been through the second round yet?
If nothing is needed now, I would still like to take you to lunch and discuss many things.
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