(15) Good to go!

imgresEileen and I spent yesterday in Iowa City talking with the team that will perform and oversee my bladder removal surgery next Thursday. It was a non-stop stream of people, including the surgeon, his assistant, his nurse, the dietitian, a frailty assessor (I’m not), and even a research scientist…  Yes, I am donating my bladder and other assorted removed body parts to science.  They will be frozen for future generations of scientists to study.  As part of the agreement, I will also give them a couple vials of blood every time I go to Iowa for a follow up, and fill out a questionnaire,  for the rest of my life.

On October 1, I’ll check into surgery at 7:30 am, and they’re thinking I’ll be out at soon as 3 pm or as late as 6 pm. This is for the ileal conduit (the tapper). I decided against the neo bladder after a long discussion with my surgeon. Not only would the neo surgery be several hours longer, but I had to assess my desire/willingness to deal with a year or two of training, along with the almost certainty of complications and emergency room visits. I chose the tried and true.  Eileen and I then met with the “stoma” nurse.  I now have a purple bulls-eye on my stomach.

Even if I don’t get out of surgery until 6 pm, they say they’ll have me out of bed and walking the same day. If all goes well, I could be in the hospital 4 days. Eileen will be staying in a nearby motel.

I did get a high contrast CT scan yesterday and it showed that there is nothing outside the bladder. This means removing the bladder should remove all the cancer.

The surgeon says I’ll be restricted to lifting no more than 10 pounds for several months, but after that I can slowly increase the amount.  It does appear that my snow shoveling will be off limits this winter, but moving bales of hay and pulling weeds can be part of next summer.

Since they get me out of bed so soon, I’ll use that time to update everyone on how the surgery went and how I feel.  Thank you again for all of your kind thoughts, prayers, and good wishes.

(PS – Tomorrow we’re heading to Minnesota to our favorite bike path near Lanesboro.  We’re meeting 6 of our friend there and we’ll be camping out near the river.  Weather looks like it’ll be great!)


10 thoughts on “(15) Good to go!”

  1. No worries about shoveling this winter, Mike…give me a call, I’ll send my husband over :). Hey, will you be able to make the SCWG 20th anniversary party? Lotta folks would love to see you. Susan Cook will be there, along with several of the old Farm Party days writers. I certainly hope you be up to it. And it should go without saying, but hoping all will go well and you’ll be back to regular activities in short order. xo

  2. Mike – so glad visit went well. All signals go. Your positive spirit is inspiring to all throughout this detour in life. Have a terrific weekend in MN. Take care. God bless you!

  3. Indomitable spirits prevail. I hope the bike ride is glorious and you have a wonderful safe get away. I heard Mike’s been working out and is in good shape going into the surgery. Still Praying for you, Mike (and Eileen) -Sort of a pea and pod…

  4. All in all, sounds like uplifting news from the CT scan results (insert power pose here!!) right down to the planned getaway this weekend. Happy biking!

  5. Mike (and Eileen)

    You will both be in our thoughts and prayers. Your attitude is inspiring! And to think, that at the end of all this you’ll be “cancer free”. Can’t get better than that. We continue to think/dream about coming to visit you guys…we’ll celebrate big time!!!
    Love, Judy and Marty

  6. Hi Mike, Good to hear that soon you’ll be healing and getting on with your life. A biketrip and camping outing sound like a perfect way to prepare for surgery! You will be in my thoughts. Warm Regards, Bonnie

  7. Hi Mike and Eileen,

    My thoughts are with you–have been thinking about you both. So glad you had the bike ride over the weekend with good friends, a wonderful fall thing in any case, but I’m sure very special as the introduction to this week’s endeavor.
    As I am not an official praying person, I can say only that my heart is with you, that I am sure that things will go well for two people as fine and as tough as you both are, and that as new as this life will feel at moments, it will be as good as the as the one BC.
    Hugs, Ann

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