Eileen 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!)