The rest of my life, so far.

My operation was two weeks ago yesterday. I am at home with a schedule of meds, a twice per week Visiting Nurse service starting, and I’m told constantly that everything is going just fine.

I don’t really feel “fine”, but I am in no pain at all and have stopped all painkillers since about Friday. Taste and appetite are slowly returning to normal but will take a few more days.

My constant naps and various pills have disrupted my sleep cycle a bit, hence this 6am update.

I have a rubber drain tube that terminates in a grenade shaped suction ball that hangs out of my abdomen that I must empty and measure every day. I cannot wait to lose it, and I am told that it might come out as early as Wednesday next, my next appointment with the sainted Dr. Clancy.

Ah, the drain. When I had the last one removed, it was a pretty primitive procedure where I bit on a towel to muffle my cry while a surgeon yanked it out and I then got my first stitch ever in 66 years. With no anesthesia, it was just like being stabbed with a big needle 4 times in my tender abdomen. But now, less all my IVs and with only one tube remaining, I could get out of bed by myself to at least walk to the john with a tiny bit of residual dignity.

The rest of my stay was boring routine, sans all my IV buttons and umbilicals. I honestly cannot differentiate any individual day except for one. That was when Dr. Clancy told me at 6am Wednesday that I was healing, showed no sign of cancer and could go home that day “if I wanted”. I don’t really remember much of the voluminous, explicit instructions I received as all I could think of is “when”, when will I be walked to the door and released.

At 1PM, Nurse Bob helped me into the red Forrester and Betty and I drove triumphantly home. So good, so really good to leave the world class BWH and all those sick people behind. They are, as I remain, in the best of hands.

As of today, getting bored, walking around the house, eating whatever I wish although my taste and appetite are still lagging. It really sucks to hear: “Give him protein, calories be damned!” when I don’t really find most of my favorites all that enticing yet.

I am looking pretty wan and cadaverous and have lost about 30+ pounds. I am told that is because of all the ferocious healing going on in my gut that is stripping everything out of my system useful for the main, painless battle. This look, however, belies my condition, both psychological and physical, which are on the mend every day.

Con: I have gone from “no ass”, the standard Irish guy condition, to “negative ass” which severely compromises my ability to keep my pants up reliably. I mostly walk around holding up my waistband like Flavor Flav. Tomorrow, the suspenders go back on.

Pro: After regaining 10 or so pounds, I can begin specific exercising to keep that pot-belly away. I will look more like Brad Pitt at the beginning of Benjamin Button, no more like at the end.

This is getting to be too routine; great for my health but not really bloggable, so I will confine my health updates to once a week unless some milestone is reached.

I have a million ideas of what else to write about, and dammit, I finally have the time to do so.

Thank you all for everything. Especially you, TLB.

Jeff

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