Sunday, December 15, 2019

Recovering from Illness

Recovering from illness is a progressive experience depending on the illness. I had a cancer tumor removed from my bladder on the 22nd of October. I had a bladder infection post op which was the worst part of it all and the most debilitating. The infection necessitated a trip to the emergency room where they found considerable inflammation in the abdomen. Before I recovered my electrolytes needed a boast. Drink liquid IV which is a powder I put in a glass of water. The electrolyte deficiency effected my brain for a couple of days. Low sodium they said. My family doctor came to the rescue. My wife, a nurse, was a godsend. This past week I can say I feel better. I am more back to normal going to the Fitness Center exercise group twice a week. I can use the 5 pound bar bells again.

I don't know if I can use the word normal again. The doctor says he is 98% sure they retrieved all of the cancer tumor. The 2% makes the word normal vulnerable.

In the meantime I am grateful the tumor did not invade the wall of the bladder. That seems to be what the doctor verbalizes and that is apparent since his approach with my future care is nothing like a good friend whose cancer tumor was invasive. He is going to the University of Iowa Hospital. He starts chemotherapy next week.

I will have a biopsy on the 7th of January as part of getting a better picture on the future. I have opted to have this done at the Urology Clinic. I opted out of the full surgical approach by going back in the hospital again. Having a catheter in for a time is running the risk of another infection. If nothing turns up from the biopsy I will be monitored every three months.

The surgery for the removal of the tumor did have an unexpected opportunity. I asked for a spinal as the anesthesia. And the doctor who administered the spinal was a doctor I knew. He had given me several epidurals from the herniated disc in my back. That meant I was awake through the procedure and afterwards although they said they gave me something to cause me to not remember. I don't think it worked. When I turned my head left during the procedure a television screen showed the inside of my bladder and the apparatus they were using to remove the tumor. Amazing. I do believe they got it all even the stem that could have caused more damage. After the removal of the tumor I did receive a chemo therapy wash.

I will be back writing blogs again. I will do some reflecting on recovery. Psalm 80 would be a good start. I am going to add a verse from Psalm 90. verse 12

"Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom." This is us and we, I am not doing this alone. You are invited to join in the journey.

I see the number of page views hit an all time high with China and Japan providing readers. I hope they found them a benefit. (back in November now) Now the numbers have dropped off. Perhaps not adding a blog for some time makes a difference. My blog needs recovery time. Recovery becomes a metaphor one can move to more than one place involving more than one aspect of life.

Now in day 28 of January, 2020,  I had the scope procedure in the bladder to see what is happening. There is scar tissue but no cancer or tumor. Again it took over two weeks for the bladder to get back to some normal. Better again. Recovering from a procedure is part of the journey. My next scope is on the 7th of April. The story continues.

retired hospital chaplain

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