As I write today, I am heavily drugged. I had a feeding tube placed yesterday, and am really loaded up on pain killers. I'm kind of interested to see how this turns out.
As I remember the time around my surgery, I don't really have a linear narrative in my mind. More like a series of loosely connected episodes that fade in and out.
Arrive at the hospital, suitcase in hand. A very kind lady talks to us about how to get financial aid.
Ride the elevator to a large atrium/waiting area.
Follow a nurse through many, many doors after giving Mrs P my wedding ring.
Paper robe. Gurney.
Tim, our priest pops in to my pre-op cubicle. We don't really know one another very well, but I am very grateful for his company. He sits with me for a long time.
Doctors and nurses with clipboards ask me questions. They stick me with needles.
Groups of loved ones stick their heads through the curtain like farm hands welcoming Dorothy back from Oz. We laugh and pray. Mrs P is being brave.
I am in the operating room. There are lots of tables and instruments laid out along the walls. I remember thinking that these people are planning to be here for a while. I scoot off the gurney onto the operating table.
Mrs P is smiling at me. "You're finished." She tells me I was in surgery for six hours.
In a new room. Bigger. Dr Colin in scrubs. "Was it Cancer?" Yes, but they were able to get everything visible or palpable. He asks me to pucker my lips. The muscles around my mouth still work.
Holy cow! I am peeing through a catheter!
I am in Intensive Care. Big room. Glass doors. Just like Princeton Plainsboro. A nurse removes an IV line from an artery in my hand. It takes a long time to get the bleeding to stop.
I fall asleep with a cup of ice water resting on my chest and spill it on my lap. I am awake.
Two voices are discussing my incision. Dr. Colin does such beautiful work.
Am I in pain? Yes, very much. Morphine into the IV line, chased by a little anti-nausea medicine. POOF! Pain's gone.
A hazy, angelic presence enters the room, approaches the bed, and very gently pulls about fifteen feet of rubber hose out of my privates.
Dr Colin is standing above me. It is early in the morning.
I eat a hearty breakfast of Jello, Cream of Wheat, and Ensure. The phone rings, and it is Mum. Yes, it was Cancer. They got it all. It's going to be OK. My voice sounds good. She'll be here in two days.
Mrs P brings me a book and my Rosary. She looks very tired and very beautiful.
In order to confirm that my kidneys are functioning, I have to pee in a bottle and call a nurse to contemplate it. They are pumping IV fluids into me. I have to pee a lot.
I am sitting in the chair, reading a book. Is this really all there is to Cancer? A couple of days in the hospital? What's the big deal?
I am in a wheelchair moving from ICU to a regular room. The person moving me says, "Well, at least now you'll have a male nurse." I try to think of a single way in which this is an advantage.
Is it easier to ask a man to help you empty your urinal? No.
Mrs P brings me my phone. I call the family and a couple of friends. I kind of wish there were room for two on this bed.
Restless night as I take stock. Voice? Check. Tonsil? Hideous scar, hurts like the devil. Neck? Huge incision from my ear to the middle of my throat where it meets my chest. Numb from my jaw to my collarbone. I have no sensation in my right ear. I can hear with it, I just can't feel it. There is a little rubber bottle attached to a hose in my neck. Fluid drains out of the incision site into this bottle and someone empties it every few hours. I doze from time to time, but am awake more than asleep. Can't quite figure out where to put my head.
Dr Colin comes in before the sun is up. I'm going home today, as soon as the little drain is removed. I call and get Mrs P out of bed.
One last pee in the bottle.
Wheelchair ride. Into the car. Back to the house. Into my own bed.
No bed ever felt so good.
mrs p Cancer running lifting weights LIVESTRONG at the YMCA treadmill weight nutrition depression God Living Strong at the Y injury YMCA dogs mom walking radiation Weight Lifting cardio friends program theatre body fat long slow run love One for the Five aches elliptical race resistance bands stretching 5K Acting Jeff Galloway chemo doctor family mental health Church Pittsburgh Marathon bluegrass fundraising inspiration patience personal trainer recovery Flying Pig Marathon Jesus Johns Striders Race Report Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon bipolar frustration kentucky knees measurements morning promatx yoga Christmas Marathon Pennsy's Greatest Hits cats clothes heart rate hope lance armstrong life molly poetry rest side effects steelers swimming 10K Actors' Guild of Lexington Blog CT Scan Coach Carrie PET Scan cross training exercise fear feeling good groin healing ice cream livestrong nausea powerlifting run/walk/run stair climber surgery Cancer Fighter Cold Gear Hills Iron Horse Half-marathon Job LSR Mum Nike+ Shamrock Shuffle 3K achilles advent arboretum bmi bodyweight exercises changes charity circuit training cycling dad deadlift diabetes encouragement experts give up goals horses interval training jake kettlebells lean body mass new rules of lifting pacing personal best plateau prayer recumbent bike research shoes sleep strength teeth therapist toe video Blood Easter Endurance Funeral Garmin 405 Homecoming House Insurance Juicing Keeneland Legacy Night PR Pennsyltucky Pittsburgh Relapse Run This Town TRX Training Values aflac arnold ben-gay bench press chafing christian compression shorts dentist dreams faith fat fatigue foreclosure good day half marathon hospitality javarunner john's run/walk shop lou schuler new year nurse pains peg tube powercage progressive resistance. racing rain rapture reboot runners world squat sun block supplements team pennsy tired weather will rogers work #3rightThings 9-11 ACSM AIDS Aquaphor Blessings Bluegrass 10K CSN Cancer Boy Cedar Hill Charles Dickens Class of 82 Classes Colby Road College Compassion Courage Crowdrise Cystoscopy Dee Diet EFM Epiphany Fall Fartlek Fat Man Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Frankfort Gadgets Gramma Grampa Gratitude Grete Waitz Guest HITT HIV Hell Holding Hands Holy Saturday Homer Horse Capital Marathon IVP Ice bath Jacuzzi James Taylor Jesus wept Joe Cross John Izzo Joy KY LaDonna Leg Day Lent Lessons Lexington Little Pennsy Mental hospital Midsummer Night's Run Mindfulness MobileFit Negative Splits Old Frankfort Pike Pilates Podrunner Pre-race Priorities RICE Railrunner 10 Miler Random thoughts Resurrection Reunion Run Bob Run Run Report Run Review Run for the Gold 3K Running Form Running for Sabrina STUPID Shakespeare Skip Brown Speed Spinning Summer Of Speed Sunrise Supersets Tao Te Ching Thank You The Wall Three Right Things Toxic Passenger UK UK basketball Urine Urologist Victory Walk of Shame Warrior Westminster Whole Foods Wind Words Zumba ace bandages addicted agony alwyn cosgrove america anger antibiotic anxiety awake back baseball blood clots blood pressure body glide bonhoeffer books brad calories chinup colonoscopy consistency crazy cycles dentures dip dr. google dumbbells elevation facebook failure farts feet fight for life fitness forgiveness frankenpennsy fun getting started glucosamine glutes goal gremlin grenz grumpy hair hamstrings hiccups high school hot ice incarnation indian food jogging john lennon joint legacy trail liniment lunges machines maker's mark mapmyrun.com medicine ball meds mercy motivation motley fool music nature neighborhood new balance nike noah numbers pennsyltuckian periodization persistence phlebitis postmodern prison professional boundaries progress psychiatrist pullups pushups quads ramble rememberance renewal road running ronnie coleman rowing safety sauna scan-ziety sexy shopping shorts shower sick sleepless snow socks spandex star trek statistics steam room steroids stiff strained muscle strap strength training supination support surgeon survive swackett swiss balls table technology tempo terry bradshaw testicular torsion text thai food that's fit the five thighs walk breaks warm up water fitness water jogging weak wedding ring wellness wife winter workout writing yardwork