Thursday, October 21, 2010


Good news, indeed.

But first, my day.

I had a blurry, uncomfortable, dimly-remembered day and evening last night. The pain and nausea from the 7" long incision nearly got the better of me and I was hooked up to a morphine pain button all day and night. I kept requesting more antinausea meds but they would decline, telling me I'd had all I could have for one day. Morphine makes me groggy yet antsy, doesn't actually kill the pain, and makes me unable to sleep well. Sleep, when it does come, is brief and filled with vivid colors, sounds and creative horrors. Not what I'd recommend.

Fresh out of recovery, I had a hard time focusing my eyes on anything and visiting with the army of well-wishers waiting in my room was tiring and felt like a carnival ride. Faces kept sliding in and out of focus. I was pleased and surprised at the crowd, but also self conscious since I felt like crap and clearly looked it as well. The Ill fitting floral blue and white hospital Mumu doesn't help my self image.

That day and night I had 2 IV's, a nasal oxygen cannula, a catheter, a blood pressure cuff, a fingertip pulse oximeter, and two inflating cuffs attached to my calves to keep from developing a clot. Thus encumbered, moving was nearly impossible, and painful when I did manage it. This is the part if surgery that I hate most: the first night hooked into tubes and wires, beeping machinery glowing through the night, attentive nurses checking on me every 1/2 hour or so, their well intentioned visits interrupting my fitful sleep. The pain and meds fight each other until eventually they call a truce and sheer exhaustion leads to moments of black sleep.

Morning, blessed morning. Dr. Teenager and Dr Hunter give me the good news from the day before and see how I'm doing. They reiterate that I should be able to leave on Thursday, which is great news. They are clearly pleased with the result: the urothelial cell carcinoma is not normally a good candidate for the partial cystectomy due to it's aggressive nature and the way that it spreads. But they got it all, and I'm now classified as N.E.D.: No Evidence of Disease. Great news, and now it seems more and more that -- other than regular checkups for the rest of my life -- I will soon gave this behind me and everyone can get back to some semblance of normality. A welcome change.


Nickster said...

Yay, the worst is over! Looking forward to seeing you on your feet, Mike!

Wendy said...

That comes full circle for me. I had a nodule on my thyroid and I named it Nodule Ned. It was non cancerous - I had to have aspirations every 2-3 months - that was NO FUN! But, I was hesitant to have the surgery for a year or so, and therefore named the foreign mass Ned. I was relieved when I finally evicted Ned from my throat.

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