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I Have Cancer: Now What?: Post Surgery and Outlook

Cancer is a subject I never desired to talk about personally. And, I never expected to have to look at it from a cancer patient's viewpoint.

I will do this again!

I will do this again!

Day of the Surgery

Monday, June 13th, 5:00 AM I arrive for my surgery. They check me in and take me back to the prep area. I am told to take all my clothes off and dress in that cute little wraparound number they give you, the one that exposes the rear end. I do, and together my wife and I sit and wait.

Then, a nurse comes in and proceeds to tell me to lie down and lift my skirt. She needs to shave me "balls to belly", until she remembers this doctor only goes belly to above the genitals. Whew!

After she completes this, she leaves and comes back about twenty minutes later to tell me she was wrong, and she DOES need "balls to belly" for this doctor. Skirt back up, legs spread, shave, shave, shave. Embarrass much? Yeah, I do.

I ask for a notary to sign a Power of Attorney for my wife to have control of me should something go wrong and I not wake up from the surgery. We get that done, because I want to cover every eventuality just in case.

Then, it's 6:45 AM and they take me back to get ready for the 7:00 AM surgery. The nurses and doctors speak with me a bit, explaining what will take place before covering my nose and mouth with an oxygen mask. I think to myself "Man, they have this thing clamped down tight to the point it is almost uncomfortable" and boom, I am out.

I Wake Up

I wake up sometime later, no idea how long it's been. Very groggy, but awake enough to hear my wife. Thank God! After a few more minutes I become cognoscente enough to open my eyes and speak. My throat hurts like hell and I see a cup of ice water with a straw. I manage to grab it and take a few sips; not many. I am sitting up slightly and can make out the room and my wife beside me. We begin speaking but I do not remember about what. I slip back into a slumber.

Sometime later, I wake up more aware. It is then I learn that I was under from 7:00 AM until 10:30 AM, longer than originally planned by about an hour or more. It is now 1:00 PM and I ask how it went. According to my wife and the nurse, it went well. Evidently my belly got in the way and caused the doctor a bit of a problem, but nothing he couldn't handle.

Later that afternoon, I learn the truth. It wasn't just my belly that was a problem, the tumor was larger than expected. Instead of being apple sized, it turned out to be softball sized and he had trouble getting it out of the incision he had cut. He did it, but it was a struggle.

I asked about cancer escaping and making its way elsewhere, and the nurse said it should not happen. They bagged the prostate before removing it, thereby encapsulating the entire tumor before tugging and pulling it out.

I Am In Pain

As the med's wear off, the pain sets in. They give me what turns out to be morphine and I sleep again. I awake around 7:00 PM, and am slightly hungry. I am cleared for broth, so broth it is. A few sips of that, a Jello and I am full. I drink the water and some Sprite and fall asleep again.

Around 1:00 AM I wake and am in severe pain, maybe 8 out of a 10. I call the nurse but she doesn't come. I call again, and still nothing. I end up getting out of bed to go look for her. I find her at her station talking to another nurse. I ask for something because I hurt so badly, not the incisions but my rectum. I cannot poop. I get some apple juice then a suppository but no relief. The next day, more morphine helps but I really do not want to continue taking that.

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As the day wears on, I still hurt from not being able to poop but nothing can be done. I am not allowed to push or strain for fear of ripping the stitches, both interior and exterior. They release me at noon to my wife, who has bought me some laxatives, enemas, and suppositories. Once I get home, I take the laxatives and another suppository.

Later, I poop! Yay!! Sweet relief! One thing here: no one told me or let me know to clean out my colon before coming into the hospital for the surgery. I wish they had, as that would have relieved a lot of the pain I was feeling.

One Week Later

Tuesday through Monday I laid in bed, only getting up to try and use the bathroom. Of course, I had a catheter in so could not pee, only try and poop. It took a full week to get semi normal at that again, but each day was a slight improvement.

Tuesday I visited doctor's office. They had me have some xrays done with some kind of fluid sent up the catheter into my bladder to look for leaks. They found none, so they took the catheter out.

I was told to come back in six weeks for another check, and to not lift anything over ten pounds until then. Continue with the meds they gave me, for pain, bladder spasms and a laxative and take it easy. My diligence in not doing too much will play a huge part in regaining my bladder control in the future.

So, I stay down most of the time. I have gotten up and went to store a couple of times but not too long at a time. I get tired and the pain of the interior incisions starts up again and I have to lay down. I have grilled twice, standing quietly outside before coming back inside. I want to go but my body says not yet.

Tomorrow I am going to take a little trip, about an hour away. This will tell me how I might be recovering. I will drive up on no pain meds and my wife will drive back while I am on the pain med if I need it. I am wearing some Depends with a liner because I constantly leak urine right now. The more I take it easy and go to pee the better I do, but driving that long with the vibration? Not feeling confident.

Anyway, the prognosis is good, I just have to take my time and take it easy. Don't push it, don't lift too much, and do not use any equipment like lawn mowers, tillers, or weedeaters as they will cause problems. I can walk, cook, drive short distances but not much more. Then, in September, we will see. And the next six months will tell me how my bladder control will be.

I Received My Risk Assessment

I learned that the tumor they removed was 25% cancerous, more than originally thought and the areas around it had no cancer to be found. So, all the cancer was contained in the prostate. I will undergo quarterly checks for the next year, then if I am doing well, twice annually for a while. As of today, I am cancer free.

I cannot thank my wife enough for caring for me through this ordeal. Through the hell of Treehouse, her mother's stroke, fixing her house up and cleaning it out in order to sell it, she still cared for me. God I love her!

For now, I am done with this narrative. I hope someone out there finds this and reads through these articles in order to learn what might lie ahead for them or their loved one, and find a glimmer of hope. You can beat this! Take care everyone, and God Bless.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Mr Archer

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