On July 13, 2 weeks ago, I went to the emergency room with an unknown ailment. 3 Days later, July 16, I was released, still sick, the cause unknown. Finally, yesterday, July 25, I felt 100% again. I feel very healthy right now, very strong and vital, the way people sometimes feel after recovering from an illness.
However, in the hospital, while trying to figure out what was making me feel sick, one of the tests they did found something completely unrelated: a CT scan of my abdomen revealed a tumor in my right kidney. In fact, my right kidney is now more tumor than kidney. The tumor shows all of the signs of being cancer.
The good news is, there is no sign of cancer anywhere else in my body. On August 1st, I will go back to the hospital for surgery, to have the kidney removed. The hope is that once the kidney is removed, I will be completely cancer-free.
Still, I am under no illusion about the fact that I may die soon: the surgery will be pretty major, with all of the risks of any major surgery. And maybe the cancer has already spread beyond my kidney.
But, to my surprise, I'm not afraid of dying. I had often pictured being confronted with a potentially fatal medical condition, and the thought had always frightened me. Now that I actually know that I have cancer and am going to have a kidney removed, I'm not afraid. I'm going to do the best I can to follow all of the medical advice, and hope for a complete recovery and a long life after that, but if things don't turn out that way, well then, they don't.
Again, let me emphasize: the hope -- no, the expectation is that this surgery will leave me cancer-free. Also, the surgeon, when he and I looked at the CT scan together, said that my left kidney is "perfect. This is exactly what we want to see." His exact words. So, you know, things could be a lot worse.
I'm expected to stay one or two nights in the hospital after the surgery. When I'm back home, Meals on Wheels will look in on me. I just got off the phone with the insurance company, arranging transportation to and from the hospital. I think I got all the details pretty much handled. I'm ready to go and do this thing and get it over with. The main thing that's bothering me now is them telling me that after surgery, I'm not supposed to lift 10 pounds for 6 weeks.
I may be a Great Big Fat Guy -- in fact, there's no maybe about it -- but a lot of that fat is muscle, and I tend to absentmindedly pick up objects weighing 100 pounds or more, carrying them around and stacking and un-stacking them and so forth, without really thinking about it, the way that some people stretch and yawn. The thought of 6 weeks without doing even 1 rep of 1/10 of that is disturbing.
Imagine if your doctor told you that you were going to have to go for 6 weeks without stretching and yawning.
Oh well. I gotta do what I gotta do cause that's what I'm gonna do cause I gotta and I yam what I yam. If I don't make it through the surgery, go out and stomp the living crap out of the Republicans in the November mid-terms in my name. Avenge me! #HugeBlueTsunami If I do come through the surgery just fine, which is very likely, of course, I may have some interesting things to tell you about surgery.