Confidence or Presumption? - May 4, 2009
Last week I did something I have not done since this whole cancer affair started. Twice. What was this earthshaking event? Brace yourselves: I made plans. For dinner. AFTER Judgment Day #3. And both will be paid in advance! What's the big deal, you might ask yourself. It's really quite simple.
If the doctor sees anything suspicious in his cystoscope on May 14, he will schedule me for surgery, most likely on May 20. Based on the lab results (probably May 26), the worst case scenario is radical surgery within the next 4-12 weeks. I would have to get several surgical consults, do heavy research into "deviations" (where the urine is routed and stored, plus how it's expelled), surgeons, insurance, and the like. Then 12-24 weeks of recovery. Then a new and very different (and unpleasant) lifestyle. A less draconian alternative might involve chemotherapy and/or hyperthermia, investigations of different approaches and providers - all of which are out of state, and some may be out of the country! And the best outcome would be that the lab shows nothing problematic, and we go back to our regularly scheduled program of treatments, diet, and exercise. No matter what the outcome, the chances of being able to (or even wanting to) go out socially are pretty small.
On the other hand, if all goes well on May 14, there's no big deal at all. We will go to dinner with our wine club on the following Sunday, and on June 21 we will participate in a "tailgate party" to be followed by a live play making fun of Utah. (On this last item, you have to live here a while to understand. Utah is a beautiful and strange place. And often, like Camelot in Monty Python & The Holy Grail, it is a very silly place. Details: Saturday's Voyeur and heavily biased review)
What all this means is that, for the first time, I feel confident enough in the combination of medical and alternative therapies I am employing to make plans that hinge on all going well. Up to now I have flatly refused to do anything of the kind, because the odds of a good outcome are 50%. That's still the case for the next 13 months or so, but I think the alternative therapies have improved those odds. They have certainly improved my general health and outlook on, well, everything. Yet I do wonder, am I being confident or presumptuous in this feeling? In about 10 days we will know. It would be nice to live life more than three months at a time! For the first time, I am planning on it...
Posted by Steve Kelley