I am at home, out of the hospital on the 23rd, and this is proving to be a far more interesting experience than I thought it would be. The good news is that the first battle is over and we won. The possible bad news is that we don’t know if we destroyed our enemy or if cancer still has reserves that have been dispersed and hidden to enable him to regroup and attack again from a different place in the present organ or a whole new area of the body. Some specimens were taken and sent for analysis which will be returned late this week or early next week to help determine if we are to know if these reserves exist and where they might be hiding. I have an appointment with my surgeon Rod McKee on Friday May 4th to hear about the results and am making an appointment with my oncologist Dan Simms for a visit right after that to talk about the need for future strategies and tactics and, if required, what these might be.
Meanwhile here is what took place. Apparently, late on the 18th my anesthesiologist, looking at my medical records, became uneasy with my apparent risk of a heart attack due to the stents in my heart. He wanted a stress test. One was hurriedly arranged for 9:00 AM on the 19th, the morning I was schedule for surgery at 11:00 AM. I arrived, took the test and apparently blew past it with flying colors. I went to pre op as scheduled at eleven and, after getting in suited up or perhaps down for the event is a better description, I met with the anesthesiologist to discuss and select a type of anesthesia, I selected the epidural type in which I could self control pain after the operation, he approved, and from that point on things get foggy. After, what I have been told was, about three hours and a half hours in the operating room I woke in the recovery room to meet my wife Joan and daughters Linda, Erica and Kristen. I was then delivered to the Intensive Care Unit. In the ICU I was hooked to a lot of instrumentation and receptacles for bodily fluids and closely monitored by a team of very nice and caring nurses and nursing assistants. I spent three quite comfortable days there due to the fact that the epidural drip effectively numbed the areas of my body that had been involved in the surgery on my demand. I ran a slightly high fever and was given antibiotics.
Sunday afternoon, Dr. McKee determined that one of the two drains connected to my chest, the catheter connected to my bladder and the feed to the epidural system could be discontinued and that I be moved to a bed in the surgical wing of the general area of the hospital. At that point I began to experience some pain and was given, initially, percocet and later morphine to ease it. I was told that I might go home on Monday but my fever returned and I was given another day's stay and more antibiotics. The last drain was removed on Monday afternoon and at noon on Tuesday I was released to the care of Nurse Joan and home. I was given a prescription for a supply of the antibiotic drug and one of oxycodone to continue the antibiotic course and to ease my healing pain. It is now Wednesday the 25th’s evening and I am in good enough shape to write my first post op entry to you, my blog readers. I have a lot more to say about the experience so I am going to write another entry over the next couple of days.
Meanwhile God bless all of you who have kept me in you mind and prayers and please continue to do so. We won this round, I am certain that your kind help and support were a large factor in our victory. We need to be ready for the next attack, should cancer be foolish enough to continue to challenge the strong combat force that we have built through Exeter Hospital and it’s fine and dedicated people, medical technology, a great medical team and your strong support and demonstration of faith and trust in God, the Universe and the sheer power of prayer and massed positive thought.