Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

*There is a gross picture at the end of this post; you have been warned.*

I have been home from the hospital for almost three weeks, and it has been an interesting respite.  

The Good:
  • I am allowed to stay in bed all day and watch TV.  
  • The semester is over, and there isn't any homework for me to do or papers to finish.
  • By not working I am able to spend a lot of time with my son, and we are enjoying this time to relax.
  • The results of the Lymph Node Dissection were fantastic!  All lymph nodes were cancer-free, so I do not need any chemotherapy at this time.  I will still have a number of blood tests and CT scans over the next few years to make sure that the cancer stays away, but this is really great news.  I can focus on recovery and getting back to work sooner.
The Bad:
  • I am close to getting cabin fever.  I occasionally get out for walks, but after a few days of being trapped inside, it can be scary to venture out into the Upper West Side.
  • I hate sleeping on my back--a lot.  I am now to the point where I can spend about 2 hours on my side, but then it hurts too much.
  • There is still a lot of pain, but it was a big surgery, so I am happy to have less pain today than yesterday.
The Ugly:
  • You might not want to see this, but I am going to share it.  This is part of my incision.  The surgeon opened up parts of it to allow fluids to drain.  It is gross, but I am used to it, and it is going to leave a really cool scar.

*I told you it was a nasty picture.*

Monday, May 07, 2012

Adventures in the Upper West Side

We had Gabriel for another weekend, and since this was my last chance to get out and play before the surgery, we decided to have another adventure.  Kim has a great set of cards that show places in the city that are perfect for kids to explore.  Our first trip was to the hippopotamus playground.  We took the scenic route down Riverside Park as we live so close to it.

Gabe stopped at every playground on the way there to show off his cool playground skills.

We found some dinosaurs.

They were pretty cool.

Kim and Gabe chased each other for awhile.

I took a lot of pictures of my pretty wife.

Yes, my son likes to walk like this, and I love it.  He has style!

We stopped at the Soldiers and Sailors monument. (It is really big, so google it if you want to see the rest of it)

We took some cheesy shots.

We took some warm and fuzzy shots.

Gabe took 15 shots of me walking to the camera. (Trust me, there were a lot of them)

We found the Hippo Playground!

There were baby hippos too.

Kim and Gabe found several ways to be goofy.

There was room for a child to climb inside, but Gabriel was no fool.

We also had some pleasant conversations.  Who knew hippos were so comfortable?

It was a great weekend, and I am truly blessed to have such an amazing family.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Retroperitoneal Transabdominal Lymphadenectomy Extensive Including Pelvic, Aortic, and Renal Nodes

The good news: my surgery has been approved by the insurance company.

The bad news: the surgery is going to happen.

I have been dreading this day for the last couple of months, and I had a great time keeping myself distracted with a busy semester at school full of classes, readings, and papers.  The surgery is commonly known as RPLND, and I have heard from reliable sources that it isn't too bad, but I am still traumatized from the orchiectomy (trust me, you don't want a link to read about that surgery) when my surgeon sent me home with a small prescription for Tylenol with Codeine... it was a very long and painful weekend until I got some Percocet.

However the words of Tennyson keep repeating in my mind "half a league, half a league, half a league onward."  The surgery was moved from Thursday the 10th to Tuesday the 8th, so I am ready to get this done.  I will be in the hospital for a few days, and depending on the level of painkillers I will either be reading books or staring at the wall in a daze.

This was not the type of Summer vacation I was expecting, but it is the vacation that I need.  After all, mine not to make reply, mine not to question why, mine but to do and thrive. (Obviously this is inspired by Tennyson, but I had to change the words for something a little more positive.)

For now, we are having a great weekend adventure in Manhattan because that is what this family loves to do!