“Wait….WHAT did you just say???”, I asked, bewildered.
“Lora thought that your surgery was going to be performed through your ‘taint‘.”, Jodie replied.
I couldn’t help but laugh a little.
For those of you who are just joining me on this crazy little adventure, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Prostate Cancer last October. Next week, on March 16th, I am scheduled to have a radical prostatectomy, or the removal of my prostate.
Now, back to Lora.
Being a good friend of mine with a great, if not odd, sense of humor, I felt like some enlightenment might be in order. A quick text exchange ensued …
“Okay, I think I set her straight”, I told Jodie, chuckling.
“By the way, you know how some people undergoing knee replacement Sharpie their knees prior to surgery to make sure the surgeon operates on the correct knee?”, she asked me, with a smirk.
“Uh, yeah…”, I replied, cautiously.
“How about we Sharpie your balls beforehand with big ‘NO’s. You know, just to be safe?”
Okay, friends and family. Here’s the thing: Although I appreciate the humor and laughs, the comedic doors are closing quickly. Post surgery, a belly laugh will likely make me pee my pants or, at worst, bust a stitch.
Who am I kidding?
I love you guys. I’ll just have to stock up on pads and diapers …
“I’m pretty sure I just bought a 200 dollar bottle of soap.”, I told Jodie while leaving a very quick pre-op appointment with Dr. Christoper Kane’s nurse practitioner.
His nurse had handed me a large bottle of pink soap. It looked alarmingly like the same stuff that dispenses from a gas station restroom.
“The insurance will probably pay for it…”, Jodie replied.
I haven’t had major surgery before so I was a little surprised that an intensive bathing regime was in order beforehand. I was told to shower using the soap twice the day before surgery and once on the day of the surgery. Each of those times I also need to lather, rinse and repeat. She also instructed me to make sure my sheets were freshly washed as well as the bath towels and any clothes I will wear the day of surgery.
“My surgery is at 5:30 AM. I’ll have to wake up even earlier to hose down!”, I complained.
“….and you’ll be sleeping the rest of the day.”, she replied.
Good point. I’ll be sleeping under general anesthesia. Jodie, on the other hand, will be doing anything but that.
The Meal Train has left the station
“This is addressed to you…”, I told Jodie, slapping down a fat envelope addressed to her.
She cut open the envelope to reveal several gift cards for The Loving Hut, one of our favorite vegan restaurants.
“Gift cards?”, she looked up at me, “But from who?”
A phone call later revealed that the Meal Train had left the station and Jodie’s best friend from High School, Jenny and her husband Adam had decided to take a ride. Jayme, Jodie’s twin-sister, had set up the Meal Train to help us out after my surgery. I had never heard of Meal Trains prior to having kids. Jodie introduced them to me as part of her Mom’s Club whereas mom’s would help out other “new” moms with newborns in the same manner. Jodie was the helping hands coordinator for her group for a long time and participated in a lot of them.
Later that day my Mom and Aunt stopped by and delivered more gift cards for Panera Bread. They too, were “on board” the train.
I’m honestly at a loss of words to describe how grateful I am, not just for the meals, but for the love and support in general. Thank you.
Let’s do this thing
My PSA score is still dropping after four months of hormone therapy. As of this week it has plummeted to .74 which is well within the normal range for PSA screening. Next week my radical prostatectomy, if successful, should bring that number even lower – ideally to undetectable levels.
I’ve been asked several times over the last few days if I am ready.
When surgery was first proposed immediately following my diagnosis my answer would have been a resounding, “Hell no!” Since then I’ve learned a lot and have had the chance to talk to a lot of people. My favorite advice, which I have taken to heart, was to train for surgery like a runner does a marathon.
“If you train well enough you will succeed.”, I was told.
Today, aside from having cancer, I’m probably the healthiest I have been in my entire life. I’ve been exercising daily, eating healthy, and reigning in my stress and anxiety. Does that make me ready? I don’t know about ready, but I am prepared as I’ll ever be. Fire the starting pistol and let’s get this thing started already….
Take care. Stay healthy. Live life.
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