Today I went back to my 2nd home-Methodist Hospital. I was definitely dragging my feet on this one. I have been feeling pretty good, got my appetite back and even walked 11 miles over the past 2 days. I walk slow and not with great form, but I made it. I literally feel like a warrior that is in a battle. The scars are starting to add up-5 total between my waist and neck now. Today they added 2 more to my chest. Throw in 2 broken noses that didn’t heal right when I was 17 and a knee surgery when I was 9 and my body would make one great Med School pop quiz.
First I met with my Colorectal surgeon, Dr. Belzer. He seemed very impressed with my progress and how I looked. He, however, was not impressed that my bowels had not returned to normal. Don’t you hate when everything is going well in a Dr. appointment and then you share one small bit of information and you find yourself in trouble? Dr. Belzer thinks there is a chance that I have some type of bacteria now in my colon. He prescribed a drug that is supposed to kill the bacteria and set my body right. The only problem is it also makes everything taste a little metallic and can possibly cause me to lose feeling in my fingers and toes. Those side effects are very similar to chemo. so he double-checked with the Oncologist to make sure they wouldn’t interfere before prescribing. All in all I am happy with the surgery but not excited to add a drug to my regiment, after all I just got my appetite back.
After that appointment, Brian and I headed toward the other side of the campus to get to my surgery on time. Today they installed the port into my chest. Here are some examples of what they look like:
The tube part goes into the vein in your chest. The bigger circular area is the part they insert the needle into. The port is below the skin so you just see a small lump on my chest. Each time they need to either draw blood or administer chemo., they need to stick a needle into my chest and pierce the middle of the eye of the port. As horrible as that sounds, I have been told by several other patients that this method is the best vs. your arms always getting so abused. The Port stays in me until I am finished with chemo.
Todays surgery went smooth and I was pleasantly surprised to be at home around 4 p.m. with little or no side effects. The Doctor was an hour behind schedule and they screwed up one of my IV’s, but other than that I felt pretty good. During the procedure you are partially knocked out-similar to a Colonoscopy. The drug cocktail they gave me was great. It calmed me down, took away almost all the pain and also settled my stomach. Tonight I am just worn out and ready to continue my healing. My chest feels weird and it hurts a little, but very tolerable. I walk around very slow and move like I have a chest brace on. All in all I am glad to have one more thing behind me and to be back at home.
One very weird/awkward moment I have to share-hopefully it puts a smile on your faces. As I was getting ready to leave my nurse was getting ready to release me and was addressing Brian Banick ( my friend and babysitter for the day) on how to best take care of my new wounds. She said something to the effect of how nice it was for me to have someone like Brian taking care of me at home through all of this. Apparently she had decided since there was not a girl there waiting by my bedside, that we were gay. At this point we had to delicately explain to her that my wife would be taking care of me at home, not my “friend”.
Thanks for all the love, prayers and support. All those prayers helped me have a relatively smooth day.