(1) Reasons to be calm

Here are some quotes from recent posts on the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network that I find encouraging as I look ahead to my RC (Radical Cystectomy). It will be performed by Dr. Amit Gupta at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. An RC is the process of having my bladder removed.  The doctor is planning on replacing it with a neo bladder…

cropped-hopper1.jpgFrom jennyssis: “No one in their right mind WANTS to have their bladder removed, but wanting to live takes precedence to what sounds like the most horrific surgery you could imagine. Our imaginations run wild on this, though, and the reality is not as bad as we imagine.”

From mikefro: “I had an RC with neo-bladder procedure in June of last year. I did not want to have my bladder removed, I was afraid of what life would be like afterwards. I am now 9 months post-surgery and am back to doing everything I did before surgery. We made two recent plane trips without any problems. “

From Cliffsider: “The single most important factor in life after RC is the confidence that you have chosen the very most effective plan of care; one that maximizes the likelihood of having a long cancer-free life!”

From seymourf: “My own experience is that I had RC and a neobladder installed 13 weeks ago. My life is pretty much back to normal. I am back to work and I am working out at the gym. My diet is normal. My neobladder gives me around 6 hours of sleep at night.”

From Thosmas0366: “I think there is almost nothing to fear about the surgery compared to the disease.”

And I think this one sums up how I feel:

From jennyssis: “The whole experience is pretty much a “grit your teeth” and go for it so that you can stay alive with your family and friends for a nice long time.”

That means you.  Thank you for your support.

(2) Thank you, Eileen

IMG_0905IMG_0904My garden is looking exceptionally nice this year.  Thank you, Eileen. She’s been weeding regularly and doing all that she can to make my life easier. Plus, this year I was unable to start my plants from seeds.  So I bought them from Menard’s and Lowe’s. I felt like I was cheating, but the plants are big so quickly (already ate a small tomato) that I think I’ve set a precedent for coming years.  Now the challenge will be to convince Eileen next year that she needs to weed my garden.

(3) A Volatile Combination…

IMG_0906Most of you know that I am a writer.  Now I have a blog.  AND there are dozens of you who have said you will read what I write. Wow! That’s why I promise that I will stick to the topic and I will not post something every hour (even though I’m certain it would be extremely interesting).

The picture included with this post features a plant given to me by Ann, Tim, and Lauren (Ann is Eileen’s sister, Tim is her husband, and Lauren is their daughter, my niece). I was struck by the thought that this amazing plant came into my life solely because I have bladder cancer. I’m certain Buddha or a Zen Master would smile and say that on balance, I am a very lucky person. I would readily agree.  Thank you Ann, Tim, and Lauren.