This ‘n That, Part 2
My story-A post surgery update
I recently posted a blog about my recent prostate cancer diagnosis and planned surgery. That surgery took place March 18th, 2016 at Covenant Hospital in Lubbock. My doctor was Giddish Vallabahn, M.D.
The day of cancer arrived without a lot of fanfare. The actual date had been established two months beforehand. That interlude provided us the opportunity to maintain some pre-cancer plans for a Costa Rican vacation and do as much preparation as possible. The preparation mainly involved getting as far ahead as possible with work and getting our mental game face on. I say, our, as my loving wife, L’Anna, has been my indispensable partner in facing this challenge. Neither of us felt that my cancer diagnosis was a fatalistic blow. However, just the mention of cancer has a very sobering effect. I cannot deny that there were a few sleepless nights as we considered the many variables that could impact our future. We are both committed Believers and each of us takes peace in knowing that whatever God has in our future, He will be walking with us and everything will be “all right”. I’d like to share with people that none of life’s happenings impact you without first passing through the screen of Jesus Christ. He is never caught unaware or unprepared. That gives me a lot of peace and coverage to face the unknowable in life.
Back to surgery preparation… The physical side of getting ready was not too arduous. Two nights before surgery, I had a jello meal, then the day before surgery, I was limited to clear liquids. We got up early the morning of the 18th so we could be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. I was the first procedure scheduled to start at 7:30. The admission and pre-op stuff went without a hitch, so then it was to a holding room and the fabulous hospital gown. L’Anna was with me and a couple of our kids stopped by before they took me in. The nurse that was wheeling me back to the O.R. told me that one of our estimators had recently visited his home to quote some home improvement work. He really wanted to use us, but our quote was significantly higher than another price he had. I spent my last several minute of consciousness justifying our higher quote and trying to build value. They put me to sleep before I could close him, so I guess I’ll have to wait for another time.
The surgical procedure lasted about 3 1/2 hours. My family was surrounded by a host of friends and church family. When L’Anna told me how many people were there, I was honored, yet humbled by the outpouring of support. The doctor saw them in the waiting room and gave them a most positive report. My first memory after surgery was in my hospital room with family. I wasn’t too comfortable. My primary problem, which persisted for several days, was bladder spasms. Imagine feeling that your bladder is about to bust and that you need to go to the bathroom really bad. However, you know that you are catheterized, so a full bladder is not the problem.
Fast forward to the next day when we left the hospital around 2:30 p.m. for our trip home. The next several days were spent lounging around the house and taking it easy. Our most capable staff kept things humming at the office. I had to opportunity to do a little work from home, but mostly rested. I had most excellent care from my bride.
The last contact we had was a follow-up appointment on the 23rd, six days after surgery. We met with the doctor. The removed the catheter and drain tube which gave me some much desired freedom. Most importantly, we got the pathology report which confirmed clear margins and no lymph node involvement. Praise the Lord!!
I’m feeling better each day and have not experienced any of the potential side effects that anyone fears with the surgery. That’s another praise! My only limitation is not lifting anything over 15 pounds for the next five weeks. In another month, I will have another appointment when they will start tracking my post surgery PSA levels which should bottom out. I am still glad that I chose surgery and I am anticipating a full recovery.
I thank all of you who have prayed for us and offered up your positive thoughts. Men, get your PSA levels checked. My early diagnosis has made this journey much easier.