Going under the knife Tuesday, slow posting ahead


We’re looking forward with some trepidation to a unique event, our final piss.

Urination is curiously satisfying, a discrete act that begins with an urge and ends with a satisfying feeling of release and relief.

But after Tuesday, no more.

That’s the day we lose both our bladder and our prostate [and attendant lymph nodes], sacrificed to the discovery of what the pathologist describes as a “high grade invasive papillary urothelial carcinoma” with “areas of glandular differentiation and micropapillary differentiation” which are “immediately adjacent to the muscularia propria” and “within spaces that are suspicious for angiolymphatic invasion.”

In other words, is a particularly aggressive form of cancer at high risk of metastasizing.

Hence the radical surgery, technically a Radical Cystectomy with Ileal Conduit, with those latter two words describing the removal of a short section of intestine and its transformation into a conduit to conduct the flow of urine to an external bag.

Hence, the pee I take before the surgery Tuesday morning will be the last I ever take.

What happens following the surgery depends on the microscopic examination of the extracted tissues. If the cancer’s not escaped outside the bladder, then no chemotherapy would be required. If it has. . .

Tuesday’s surgery follows the first surgery on the 29th, a “transurethral resection” — or, in simpler terms, a high tech Roto-Rooter that took out the visible tumor via a tube sent up the ying-yang.

So I’ll be down and out for a time, doped up and stitched up while we learn the arts of the new plumbing arrangements.

I’m deeply grateful for the support of dear friends and family throughout this little crisis, and for kindly words from you, dear readers.

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2 responses to “Going under the knife Tuesday, slow posting ahead

  1. Richard,
    We are so sorry to hear about your health problems. We are speechless, but our hearts/minds are with you and wishing you the best recovery. If we can help, please let us know.
    In Loving Gratitude,
    Marcia Poole and Louis Cuneo

  2. Very grateful to hear of the new developments, and farewell to pissing which I shared with 2000 Facebookos while lauding your blog. Then I ran a search on
    ileal conduit happy
    and in “About 93,300 results” I learned what you already knew, this is something that works well, with far fewer complications than other solutions.

    I didn’t see anyone self-report as not happy, less than happy r anything like that. The results were: “I’m Nancy, a bladder cancer survivor with an Ileal Conduit. It suits me and my lifestyle. I am very happy that it is my diversion.” Here’s a nice one: “I have the ileal conduit and am very happy with it. I can swim even in hot springs, snorkle, scuba, hike, etc with it. No problems. I sleep all night …”

    So congratulations and best wishes are in order on this intimate transition. May you get through this with all the comforts and advantages that medicine, science and friendship have to offer. Would you like a bunch of movie disks to keep your mind off your loyal readers? :D

    Love from your admirers,
    Jay Sheckley & Jack Rems, Dark Carnival
    John Sawyer & cartoonist M Gorman

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