So, I had an operation two weeks ago yesterday on my, uh, boy bits and things are feeling better. Mostly.
I won’t go into much detail as, well, I don’t want to, but things are working out OK for the most part.
When I went in for the surgery, the first thing I noticed was that the radio (not a CD player or anything) was playing Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” which was, honestly, a bit on the nose if you ask me. When I mentioned that to the doctor he said that the song plays around the same time every day and that the irony wasn’t lost on him either.
The surgery only took about 20 minutes and the worst part was when he injected the vas deferentia with the lidocaine. There was definitely, as the doc stated, a “pinch and a burn” when he gave me the shots on each side of the “area.” Once the stuff set in though, there wasn’t really any pain but I could definitely feel what he was doing. The burning flesh smell was a bit distracting though.
I was taken home by my buddy Caley and spent the next five and a half days recuperating in our bedroom with the TV, my XBox 360 and a bunch of books and DVDs. The swelling was pretty severe and a sock filled with a zip-top bag with frozen peas in it was a very close friend to me for that time.
Forward to two-weeks-and-a-day after the event and I’m still pretty sore but feeling better. The stitches have dissolved and/or fallen out but I still feel like I got kicked in the junk.
Many of you have been asking how my mom’s been dealing with her cancer and sending her your thoughts and prayers and they’re all appreciated. I got an email from mom today that I thought I’d share with you all. (Any emphasis is mine.)
Art and I have been home for 3 wks after 90 days in Seattle. I survived the transplant and all the poking and prodding after the fact and am doing very well. My doc here (Dr. Jafari) was thrilled to see me 2 wks ago and again yesterday, no more than we were glad to see him. All my #s are good and seem to be getting better, including my pesky liver function which is finally normal. My diagnosis was 1 year ago today and with any luck I have at least 20 more yrs!
Some of you have known me all or most of my life but I have known all of you for many years. I just have to tell you, and I KNOW you will all appreciate the irony: Jafari said I need to GAIN 10#s! I have waited all my life to have a doc say that to me! And Art was a witness! Having fought The Battle all my life, I nearly fell off the chair when he said that. But believe it or not am really am too thin. I have dropped almost 70#, not trying, just due to the therapies and treatments and this pesky metallic taste as my taste buds revive.
I will go back to work in the Fall, part-time again, but cannot go to see Junior play ball at Safeco this summer as I have to avoid crowds. Bummer. We do have some travel plans for summer, some driving, some flying. . .we had to cancel our Christmas trip to Hawaii, so hope to go in July, and we have a grandbaby’s 1st b’day July 3. (And a new one coming in Sept!!)
Are you bored yet? Well, I am done. . .thank you all for your love, support, friendship and prayers. I could not have done it without you!! Love to all
Mom started her chemo tonight. I mean, right now, as I type this they’re filling her with a poison designed to kill the cancer before it kills her. A little bitter? Damn right I am, but I’m happy for her more than anything.
Here’s how it started:
1. Got a call at home from my dad who tells Jen (I’m in the office working on a down server) that they found out what kind of lymphoma it is. It’s called Diffused Large D Cell Lymphoma.
2. I called my dad on his cell and he tells me that it’s a good thing that they caught it when they did, a few more weeks and she would have been “a goner.”
3. The steroids her doc gave her, it turns out, may very well be the only way she’s gonna get through this (and she is gonna get through this, the docs are super-confidant). God bless her doc, he had the foresight to get the treatment going soon and this helped stop or slow down the cancer.
4. Called mom at her hospital room, left a message. Called her cell (both per dad’s recommendation by the way) and got her voice mail. Left her a message.
I’m flying up to see them next week after my Microsoft seminar in Seattle. I fly up Tuesday, do my thing until Thursday afternoon and then haul ass up to my folks’ place for Thursday – Sunday then fly home and get back just in time for Claire’s nap to be done.
I talked to her for a bit last night from her hospital at University of Washington. They’ve got her there for more tests and, if they can determine what specific type of lymphoma she’s got, might even begin treatment.
She’s in very good spirits and told me that the docs are taking fantastic care of her. Her room overlooks Lake Washington and she told me there’s a beautiful dogwood tree right outside her window. She’s got her own private room with its own phone number and internet access and the food, in her words, is delicious.
Just got off the phone with my dad and he had some pretty good news about my mom.
This sounds very weird to say, but the good news is that she’s “only” got lymphoma! The myelofibrosis isn’t there after they ran a few more marrow tests. Now that they know, they can start working on treating, if not curing the cancer. She’s going to UW next week for some meetings and they’ll probably work with her on scheduling out a treatment plan.
Sorry for no updates but we didn’t have any new information so I didn’t really have anything to post. Until today.
The good news is we now know what she has, and it ain’t LD. Turns out she’s got two separate things going on with her at the moment. The first is Myelofibrosis which is a “mild” type of cancer that affects the bone marrow’s ability to produce the “juice” it’s supposed to. It’s treatable, if not curable, by taking steroids.
The other thing she has is some sort of Lymphoma, but they’re not sure what type it is yet.
They can’t start treating the myelofibrosis yet though because they believe she still has some sort of infection and taking steroids would cause that infection to get worse.
Her breathing problems aren’t really breathing issues. Her lungs are processing the oxygen just fine, it’s her blood that isn’t. The myelofibrosis is causing her body to not produce enough blood cells to process the oxygen so she’s going to be attached to an O2 tank or O2 generator for the long term.
Everyone is optimistic and a huge weight has been taken off our shoulders since we now, at least, know what’s wrong with her and can start dealing with treatment.
I just wanted to thank all of you who have reached out over the last few weeks wishing my mom well. She, and I, really appreciate all your well wishes, so, thanks!
**UPDATE 3/20/2008 2:20 PM PDT**
Here’s a very informative link about myelofibrosis, also known as IM. It’s a PDF so it might load slowly.
Just got off the phone with my mom in her hospital room. She’s in good spirits and is hoping to be released today.
Here’s some things she’s told me:
* They’ve got her off of the IV antibiotics and she’s now taking antibiotics orally.
* She had a chest x-ray this morning and is waiting for the results.
* Still hasn’t been told what she’s got but she says she saw her doctor and the lung specialist talking in the hall a while ago.
* Hoping for news within the next hour or so.
* She says the hospital’s been treating her very well and has been very attentive and thorough.
* They gave her Ambien the last two night to help her sleep.
That’s all I’ve got for now, more information as I get it.
Thanks everyone for your well wishes by the way, I’m grateful (more than you know) for your thoughts.
I spoke to my mom this morning and they’d taken her off the IV drip but she’s still on O2 to help her get more blood oxygen. She was in good spirits and when my brother called me an hour or so later after visiting her I got another thumbs-up as well.
Just got a call from my dad 20 minutes ago letting me know that the docs were concerned about a blood test result and think she might have some fluid in her lungs so they’re, right now as I type this, scoping her lungs through her nose to take a better look. Dad and Erik are going to be swinging by the hospital this evening to check in with her.
My mom calls me yesterday from the hospital telling me that they think she has Legionnaires’ disease. Personally, I knew very little about the disease but did some research and now feel like I know more about the issue.
She’s in pretty good spirits and they’ve got her on IV antibiotics, but they’re still not 100% sure what she has, so they’re calling it “atypical pneumonia.” They running a culture on her sputum and will know for sure when those results come in, hopefully today.
I’m flying up to Seattle to drive up to their place on Friday, she says she should be home by then, to spend the weekend with her and my dad.
Keep her in your thoughts for me, but when caught early, it’s really not terrible dangerous.
Still, it’s (allegedly) Legionnaires’ Fucking Disease! when my mom gets sick, she doesn’t mess around, she goes balls out!