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Welcome to My Nightmare

I had the sounds of Alice Cooper’s “Welcome to My Nightmare” bouncing around in my head when I wrote the last entry. You see, now cancer is messing around with the most private and sensitive part(s) of my body (Google “how is a renal stent inserted on a man” and you’ll figure out what I am referring to).


My wife Diana will tell you how modest I am about things like this. I think back to high school gym class. One hour of running, or playing dodge ball or basketball, followed by the dreaded group shower. I never knew which to be more horrified of… contracting “athlete’s foot” from the shower floor or being in a group shower with 10 other dudes. Ugh.

So, the thought of having two thin plastic tubes shoved “up there” did not sit very well with me going into the surgery. In fact, I was horrified. But failing kidneys and being strapped to a dialysis machine sounded way worse, so away we go!


Prostate cancer yields many surprises for the guys that have it. You have probably read of the various side effects that come with treatment, none of which are ones you would choose. What you don’t often read about is what 10 years of treatment – prostate gland removal, radiation, and hormone (i.e. testosterone) deprivation – do to the male “anatomy.” I can tell you that it’s not good! So, if I wasn’t self-conscious before, I sure am now.


But hey, it is what it is. I reported to the hospital for the procedure three hours early for (a) my daily radiation treatment for the cancer in my L3 vertebrae and (b) “pre-op.” Good times indeed. Plenty of time to lay there and dread what was coming next. Thankfully, my high school sweetheart and wife of 40 years was by my side the whole time.


While waiting for surgery, we talked about how miraculous it is that we live in a time where bloodwork can identify a major problem, imaging techniques can identify the exact location of that problem, anesthesia can keep you from feeling pain or remembering the procedure, and that there are skilled, trained professionals that can use little robotic arms to insert or remove things from your body with minimal collateral damage. It’s truly fascinating.


Finally, the time for my surgery drew near. My surgeon came in to talk to me about the procedure, telling me he was hopeful and optimistic that the stents could be placed and that they would work. The alternative was that I would wake up with a nephrostomy tube. I had enough time to Google “nephrostomy tube” before surgery. Are you kidding me? How did we get here?


So now it’s go time. I jokingly told my surgeon that he might need a Hubble telescope to do his work today. He is Indian. I am American. Thankfully, the joke landed. We all laughed, and that’s the last thing I remember about the surgery.


Until next time,


Steve


1 Comment


Sue Marie
Sue Marie
Mar 29

I’m so sorry to hear of your latest struggles, Steve. I wanted to find something witty to write to match your wittiness but I got nothin! You continue to be in my prayers. 🙏🙏

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