Sunday, August 26, 2012

Welcome Back
Under The Knife Part 2

Hey Honey!  Welcome back.  How d’ya feel?

Coming out of a general anesthetic is like waking up to find yourself in the middle of a David Lynch film.  Everything seems normal.  Kind of.  Everything seems normal until you realize everything isn’t normal.

In my case, The Drugs were doing a real number on me.  My head felt like someone had opened it up and stuffed it full of wet cotton.  My hands felt like they weren't attached to my arms any more.  My tongue felt like a loofah.

I’m thirsty.  Can I have some water?

I could feel the words forming in my mouth, but couldn’t tell if they were coming out.

I could feel the air conditioning in the room next door.  Somewhere, behind the radiator, there was singing.

In heaven, everything is fine ....

The words must have been working.  A face was hovering over mine.  A kind and loving face.  Sue’s face.  Her lips were moving.

Sure, Sweetie.  I’ll get you some water.  Are you in any pain?  The doctor said you could have some more medicine if you need it.

I think I shook my mead.  Sue went to a nearby pitcher and was pouring a glass of water .... I thought so anyway …. I kept thinking ….

Medicine?  Why do they keep calling  it medicine?  It’s hi-powered pain killers they’re talking about.  Demerol.  Dilaudid. Morphine.  Serious Shit Pain Killers.   But where’s The Pain?  There’s no Pain.

Sue brought the water over and I took a sip.  The ceiling wouldn’t stop undulating.  I closed my eyes.

Did they forget to do the marrow biopsy?

No Sweetie, they did the biopsy, why?

There’s no Pain.  Did they forget?

No Sweetie, they did everything. You rest now.

Resting was easy.  Too easy.  Back into the darkness……

Hi, Sweetie!  Y’okay?

The David Lynch film must have been winding down.   My tongue still felt like a loofah.

In heaven, everything ………

I don't know how long I'd been out, but things didn't seem quite so .... wrong.

Did they forget to do the marrow biopsy?

For some strange reason, I was fixating on this bone marrow biopsy.  I had been expecting a great deal of pain and there wasn't any.  At all.  They must have forgotten.  That, or it was just The Drugs.

No, Sweetie, they did everything.  Are you thirsty?

Are you sure?

I was drinking a glass of water when a nurse came in.  She introduced herself and said that the doctor said I could have some oral Dilaudid (or something like that) if I needed it, so just ask.  They were gonna keep me for another hour and then send me home.

The hour came and went.  I decided that I'd take them up on the Dilaudid offer just before we left.  I got dressed, got the complimentary wheelchair ride to the pickup area and went home.  I sat in My Comfy Chair for the rest of the day, watched TV and drooled a lot.

A week later I was in my oncologist's office going over the lab results.   This time they had enough tissue to make a proper diagnosis.  The verdict was Lymphoma (we already new that), Non-Hodgkin's and very low grade (we had suspected).  There would be no chemo or radiation therapy for the time being, but we'd watch things.  Come back in six months.

Have a nice day.

This was probably the best news I could have hoped for.  I was as happy as a person could be, given the circumstatnces, but I wasn't out of the woods yet.  It was still cancer.  It was still growing.  There was still a lot of shit to deal with.