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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

That Dreaded "C" Word

 Cancer Ribbon Decal - Bladder Cancer (Marigold/Blue/Purple)

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.

I was restricted to only washing my clothes after asking my wife “what’s the load size, wash/rinse temperature, and knits and dedicates' about on the clothes washer selector..I didn't get to ask her about all those selections on the dryer. She remembers the last time I went to the grocery store when I only bought name brands, and apparently I spent more money than I should have.  I think she will follow me to the grocery store today after her doctor visit, and I will be restricted to placing items in the grocery cart.  I'm thrilled to have her back home but how does she keep up with it all?  Its only been a week, and I'm exhausted, but I’m not complaining because our prayers were answered.


Edith Ann said...

I had been missing you on the blog, and now I see why you have been in my thoughts! I am so sorry to hear of your wife's medical diagnosis, and I sincerely hope she enjoys a very swift and complete recovery with no further ado!

Learning that a loved one has cancer is sobering to say the least and it brings out stuff in the rest of use that we might have thought we had forgotten!

You hang in there and I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Mike said...

Thank you very much but I don't have to tell you that in times like this it seems like there is no time for rest.

Actually it took me three days to write this blog on my iPad whenever I got some downtime.

I didn't used to care what hospital we went to but it's our last time at CMC...The nurses were friendly but I kid you not, the hospital was operating on shoe box budget...I was getting some coffee at the Starbucks which is about 70 ft. from the admitting desk but I could hear the clerk asking the people to pay at least 30% of their outstanding bill. She was using he outside voice at 7:30 AM.....In my wife's three day stay,I didn't see one janitor so I guess they work after visiting hours.....I guess the hospital no longer gives their patients a copy of the Advocate with their breakfast because I had to bring ours.

Edith Ann said...

According to folks who would know, the business is down at CMC, and not just recently becasue of the news story.

The hospital cancelled it 465 subscriptions to the VA when they posted the first story about the docs sueing.

Yeah, things are bad over there, and it's not looking promising for things to improve in the immedicate future!

But did you see the happy new helicopter? It's still owned by PHI, but look at that big Valentine on the side--the Heart Hospital! Sure, if Yahagi doesn't kill you...

born2Bme said...

Oh gee, I was wondering where you were and now I know why you haven't been around . I'm so happy that everything turned out so great.
Like EA said, you hang in there and try not to mess up too many things. :P J/K
You sound like a very caring and loving husband. Your wife is very lucky to have you there to take such good care of her.

Mike said...

Thank you very much born.