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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The "We're Well, Thank You!!" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Sitting in front of my iMac typing and crying.  Not sure why I'm crying, but it happens frequently.  But, that's beside the point, since the real purpose for my story today is to give you an update on my recovery from prostate cancer and Carol's recovery from breast cancer.  Carol and I visited her surgeon a few days ago and he pulled up her various scans on his computer and began to show her the section of her breast that he removed.  Had a "marker" in the section removed which was to show Carol that he took the entire area around the "marker" which was placed in her breast a few weeks ago when she had a variety of procedures completed.  The reason for the titanium marker was to help the surgeon when he performed her surgery.  That marker, as well as another marker which was shaped differently, had been placed in her breast about a month before the surgery when she had her biopsy.  He examined her and pronounced that, "Looks like I really beat you up."  She has some swelling as well as discoloration, but we now know that the cancer has been removed.  She is still not in the clear, since she must undergo six weeks of five-days-a-week radiation treatments to make sure that all the cancer has been eradicated.  A bit more about Carol's visit to her surgeon after surgery: She phoned her surgeon's office before we made our visit to find what the results were from the surgery and she was told that there was no cancer in the lymph node removed or in the lump removed.  She told them that's not possible or why would she have had to have a lump removed that wasn't malignant.  They checked and said that when they did the biopsy they must have removed all the cancer.  Carol asked if maybe they removed the wrong lump and the one that was cancerous was still in her breast.  The nurse on the other end of the phone was silent for a moment, but then told her that there is no way they removed the wrong lump.  They said they were positive, but doubt still remained in Carol's mind.  When we made our visit to the Ann Barshinger Cancer Institute in Lancaster, Pennsylvania her doctor was ready with view after view of where the lump was, what the marker looked like in the lump that was malignant and showing that the lump he removed had that same marker in it.  He knew she was concerned and wanted to make certain that she knew he removed the correct lump.  Well, we left for vacation shortly after for three weeks in St. Martin.  When we return she will begin her post-op radiation treatments.  As for me, I had a series of four shots a few weeks before my prostate surgery which were meant to reduce my prostate in size to make it easier for my doctor to freeze it.  I was given the four doses of the drug Firmagon directly into my stomach by injection, one month apart.  The drug has many side effects and one is heat flashes.  The shots simulate the many problems woman have when they go through menopause. The heat flashes hit multiple times a day and cause outbreaks of sweat on my bald head.  I was told they will last for a few more months. Carol also told me she noticed that I seem to be more emotional than I used to be and suggested it is caused by the Firmagon.  I tear up when talking about a variety of topics, and when I think of our cat being without us for three weeks, I get very emotional.  She said, "You are crying like a female and your emotions seem more like a female."  I must stop typing now because I am having a hard time seeing the keys due to the tears in my eyes and I need to wipe the sweat off my forehead before it drips on my keyboard!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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