On Friday, April 5,2013 my wife went to see an urologist for her urinary tract infection(UTI). She never dreamed that her doctor would tell her that she had a 2 cm tumor that had to be surgically removed. The doctor was equally stunned because my wife has never smoked nor has she been around heavy smokers. I've never smoked, and neither has my children. Bladder cancer is not inherited, so the source of this terrible disease is still not known. The fact that we have health care is the primary reason the cancer was found in its early stages, and that's the reason I'm so adamant about preventive care.
The next step was to tell our family. After the crying, questions, and convincing everyone that the doctor's prognosis was correct, my wife defused any negative feelings in the room. She said"guys the worst-case scenario is that my bladder would be removed, and I would have to wear a catheter the rest of my life." She then reminded us that my mother had her bladder removed when the procedure was primitive, and we all know she led a very active life for many years. That message had to come from my wife, or it would not have had the same impact. The surgery was set for Tuesday April 9 at Citizens.
I'm not ashamed to say that on the Sunday before the surgery, I got on knees and prayed. Sure, I've prayed for a lot of things but somehow this time it was different.
Tuesday morning finally came, but we said very little to each other in the 5 minutes it took to get to the hospital. After 46 years of marriage, we both knew words couldn't express the anxiety we both were going through. Three hours later,the nurse came to take my wife to surgery and showed us the familiar waiting room.
Family members kept talking to me, but my mind was miles away. An hour later (although it seemed like an eternity)the doctor told us the tumor was actually 3 cm, but it was successfully removed but we now had to wait for the biopsy to see if a second surgery would be necessary. Friday April 12th was a joyous day because the biopsy came back negative ,the cancer was completely removed. My wife came home that Friday, and at this moment in time it was up to me to allow her to get the rest she needed for recovery.
Our two cats didn't take pity on me as soon as I got home in the evening, they started meowing to get fed and watered and get their litter boxes emptied. Yes, they have his and hers litter boxes. Pudge,our three-year-old Persian cat had a bad UTI case, and that breed is susceptible to them, so he has to eat special food, including a cranberry morsel everyday. My wife has him spoiled rotted, and he howls if he doesn't get his nightly brushing. The first two nights my wife was in the hospital Pudge laid down by the front door and let out a loud howl every few minutes until he finally fell asleep on her house shoes. When my wife got home, she immediately called the cats, and they came running to get their pats and baby talk. When she sat down in her recliner, Pudge jumped up in her lap and went to sleep.
It was now time to remember the poor domestic housework skills I acquired from my younger days.I still don’t know why I had to scrub all the dishes prior to putting them into the dishwasher, but I did learn that I didn’t have to remove the plastic covering from the dish-washing soap because the hot water melts it. I still think the old-fashioned sink method is a lot easier.