As it gets closer to Father’s Day, I think back to two years ago and it makes me sad again. It was just around that time two years ago that Terry began to show significant signs of degraded health and he began to have difficulty in getting out and about. No longer was he able to take long walks or to go to the gym or to get out and about to do anything fun. It was also at that time that visits from his family would begin. The months of mid June thru end of August were some really tough times requiring Terry to be admitted into the hospital on a regular basis so his doctors could tackle each new health challenge that developed as his cancer kept invading his body and organs without showing any real signs of progress from his chemotherapy, radiation or immunotherapy treatments. Seemed that each time he was discharged another piece of supportive equipment would be added to his body and our RV such as a walker, potable toilet. pain pump, G-tube, oxygen, total parenteral nutrition IV’s, wrapping his legs with specialized bandages due to lymphedema, etc. Essentially our RV transitioned into an off-site mobile hospital.
Ironically, two other people I know are now also suffering from bladder cancer. One person which I briefly mentioned before is a friend of mine who recently found out he has bladder cancer that has begun to spread into his muscle. I have been keeping close tabs with him and his partner as they wait out what the doctors plan for trying to eradicate his cancer. He most likely will undergo the same operative procedure that Terry went thru to have his bladder removed and to live the rest of his life with a urostomy bag and to continue his challenge to hopefully stop the further spread of his cancer. His symptoms as so similar to what I had experienced with Terry and it opens up old wounds and emotions for me.
In addition, then there’s my brother Randy who was diagnosed with bladder cancer about a year ago. He had to undervo an initial operation to remove his cancer which luckily was contained within the inner walls of his bladder. Then as a preventative measure he has been undergoing several weekly immunotherapy treatments on a quarterly basis to hopefully stop the cancer from resurfacing. However recently as he was having his quarterly check up his urologist discovered that his bladder cancer has come back, although the doctor thinks it’s superficial. He is in the process of being scheduled for a second operation to remove this new growth. What scares me is that this is what Terry went thru in Dallas when his cancer was first discovered. He went thru one operation and then had to go thru a second one several months later when the cancer resurfaced only to find out that his cancer was more aggressive than his urologist had originally thought as the pathology report showed it had quickly spread into his bladder muscle. So now I am worried what will happen to my brother Randy. Will the pathology report show the cancer to be superficial once again or be more aggressive like Terry’s? It will be a wait and see situation.
Now…when it rains it pours. Seems that I continue to also have new health challenges. I noticed several days ago that my right leg was becoming inflamed, painful and red.
I finally decided to go to the emergency room and to have it checked out. Looks like I have an infection that developed under the skin of my right leg, so I have been put on a 10 day regime of antibiotics to hopefully stop the infection from spreading. The symptoms are so similar to what I had experienced on the right side of my face several months ago that resulted in the scars I got on the right side of my nose.
Concerning my nose…I was expecting to go thru revision surgery in the dermatology office yesterday by the plastic surgeon. When I got back to Tampa in March, I saw the surgeon then who told me he wanted to wait 3 months before doing the revision. Well the 3 months have passed and I was hoping that he would do something yesterday, but when he saw how my nose was progressing he decided to wait a few months longer and to do the nose revision in the operating room rather than in his office as more precise surgical manipulation will be required to remove some of the underlying fatty tissue and to try to reopen and re-stich the gap between the two layers of skin to hopefully fuse better this time. The operation should happen in early August. So in the interim, I must continueto wear bandages on my nose for the next several months. This whole process has really been aggravating and despite trying to get out and about, I really do not feel at my best and seem to do more things with people I know already rather than to want to get involved with too many new groups and to meet new people while in this condition.
It seems that June has opened up a lot of old wounds for me as I see so many similarities to Terry’s condition in others who now have bladder cancer, while still dealing with new and old issues concerning my own health.
I still try to remain optimistic although sometimes very hard to do.
Have a great day.