Life After Tube - April 15-30, 2008

With the hated tube finally removed, we gathered ourselves and headed home. I had deliberately avoided a lot of fluid intake, and slowly drank a pint of water on the way home. Recalling my post-scoping experience of "peeing razor blades" I was not anxious to do it again. But no point in delay. I started pounding fluids (tea, room temperature) when we got to the house and soon it was time.
Good news - no razor blades! Initiation required some extra concentration, and there was some discomfort - it did burn a little, but all in all was easily managed. Next episode was easier, with very good volume. There was soreness, especially when the bladder was just emptied, and the bladder complains pretty loudly before getting overly full. But by Thursday I was at 80% of normal, able to take stairs with ease, and to drive a stick shift vehicle.

I worked from home Wednesday through Friday, and one of my co-workers stopped by on Friday afternoon to collaborate on a presentation. The group at work had sent over a Schwan's frozen foods truck and $60 of credit. They are famous for ice cream, but they had all kinds of food. We got peach pie, cinnamon rolls, mahi mahi fillets, turkey pot pies, and a couple of ice cream flavors. So after we finished the presentation we shared the ice cream windfall. It was good to feel useful and productive. That evening we had steak and a good bottle of Cabernet, my first alcohol in 12 days.

From the experience I lost 7 pounds, but my appetite was back in full force, so some of that would be regained over the weekend. By Saturday I was up to 90% and feeling good. Attending church on Sunday was pretty normal, except for having to urinate more often than usual. If I ever get nominated for knighthood, I will be known as "Sir Peesalot."

Went to work as normal on Monday, and except for being the best customer in the restroom, no issues. Still a bit sore when the bladder was empty. Had one episode where a clot came out, and pee was orange for a couple of hours, but normal ever since. My endurance was still low, and my need for sleep high (9+ hours vs 7-8), and by Friday afternoon I was bushed. We were having dinner guests that night, so I bailed at 2PM and went home for a nap. Good call, as we enjoyed our guests and we laughed and talked until nearly midnight.

Saturday weather was excellent, and I did chores around the garage that involved some bending, twisting and lifting - including trailering the Polaris ATV and Toro snow thrower to their separate repair centers. Our winter snow was the worst I'd seen, and both machines had given their all for the snow removal efforts. On Sunday after church we went to some friends' house for lunch, after which we kicked a soccer ball around with their kids and played some whiffle ball. Plenty of daylight left for a motorcycle ride. But when I got home, things were not quite sore in the bladder/groin area, but a bit tender, so I took it easy. Hope to get on the bike next weekend!

Still a bit uncomfortable Monday, but fine Tuesday. Well enough to travel, so I flew to Tucson on Tuesday evening. Boy did my arms get tired! (sorry, old joke) Tucson is the infamous site where all this started. It was much warmer this time, 93 degrees when we landed at 6:30PM. I had a nice dinner, described in detail and reviewed here. Had a productive day of work and met an old friend, GB, for dinner at another good restaurant (so rare in Utah), also reviewed in detail here.

As the weekend approaches, there are a few things I am NOT looking forward to: I have to stop taking allopurinol again in prep for surgery, I need to research doctors to find a good second opinion person, and most difficult - I need to break the news to a few more folks. I have done many face-to-face, a few phone calls, and a couple of emails. The easy way out is to just email the blog address - but the url is a big give-away! The other notifications (phone or email) need to start out stressing that MY SITUATION IS NOT LIFE THREATENING, that it is serious, that I appreciate concerns, there's really nothing you can do besides pray or send positive waves, and that MY SITUATION IS NOT LIFE THREATENING.

There are some things I look forward to - riding the bike, dining out, church, cheering for the Cardinals, and learning to appreciate each and every day.


SVDon said...

Very informative blog, STeve. Turning a personal struggle into a public service is just like you. Hopefully you'll get through it quickly and we'll have a beer to celebrate your good health, in Taos at the end of June. Get well quickly, my friend.

Steve Kelley said...

Thanks for the kind thoughts! The good news is that there are no diet or drink restrictions (outside surgery times). I'm not supposed to smoke, but I never have!

Besther said...

WOW! I am so impressed with your writing. This is a GREAT way to keep up to date on your situation. I will be checking back regularly.

lee said...

As expressed on the phone, support is here as well via phone call or email. Always have viewed you, Dave, and Bill Lamberti the only redeeming bonus to attending Baylor.

***P.S. hurry up and get the new column started on the Blog ---- "SEX DURING BLADDER CANCER THERAPY"...hopefully better than watching a Dateline episode!

Steve Kelley said...

For those that don't know Lee, he is (mostly) kidding. One topic I have avoided discussing is "relations." It's a sensitive area (pun intended). Not planning to add any "adult content" in the near term. There IS a funny story, but I'm sworn to secrecy...