So. Yesterday went fine. Hill and I had a nice walk down to the hospital partly through central park. A gorgeous fall morning. Pre-op check in was pretty painless, because I had mostly pre-registered on Friday. They whisked me off to a very cold pre-surgery assessment/waiting room, and that’s where things more or less ground to a halt. A bunch of other patients came and went as the tv played outdated sitcoms (Tim Allen, I think). A guy next to me had a little consultation with the anesthetist within earshot discussing what to expect from his catheter.. (“oh shit.. I’m going to have a catheter next week, huh?” I’m thinking.. That doesn’t sound fun. The doc was telling him “at first it’s annoying.. yeah.. I think that’s the best word for it.. annoying. It’s like a paper cut. At first it really bugs you and then you just get used to it..” hmm.. paper cut inside your penis.)
I waited there for two and a half hours. Hands and feet numb. Then in a whirlwind of activity I was on the table. Anesthesiology team asking me if I had any health problems.. “Besides rectal cancer, nothing. Perfect health.”
“yeah doc. That’s what we’re here for.”
“Um.. ok. Well in just a sec here we’ll give you something that’ll really make you relaxed”
“I’m feeling pretty relaxed already, doc, but knock yourself out!”
I woke up a while later with no clue where I was. “Hospital.. I seem to be the patient.. IV.. hmm, ouch!.. Oooh yeaaahhh.”
And that was that. The surgeon had spoken with Hill and my mom while I was still out. The verdict was: definitely cancer. The tumor (hey! I thought it was a lesion/ulcer!) was too deep in the muscle to remove entirely, but he took 3 big biopsies which gave him plenty of information, apparently. He was happy that it was entirely posterior and that there was no bone involvement. He said something about being able to see cancer cells on nerves. We’re not sure what that means.
Amputation is definite. The time is not. The surgery will be performed by two surgeons in tandem ( one from the front, one from the back *cough*) and he hadn’t lined up the second guy yet, just in case. It will most likely be next week. There is a slim possibility that it will be the beginning of the following. Hurry up and wait.
They gave me plenty of phentenol at the hospital, and sent me home with a script for percocet. I slept well last night until around 1:30, and then was up for three hours, for no particular reason. No pain anyway. This morning I feel fine. Though a little tired.
If this turns into a nearly 2 week wait, I’m clearly going to have to find a way to stay occupied. I may head out to the shop today to clean it up, and see if I’m able to work at all.
A little dry, but you’re up to date!
Mark Twain said, “One of life’s most over-valued pleasures is sexual intercourse; one of life’s least appreciated pleasures is defecation.“
I wonder what he would have said about both pleasures changing radically in one fell swoop!