I may be crazy, but I assure you, I am not this crazy:
This is indeed what it looks like: a hospital admit tag with my name on it. They tagged me and bagged me today. Tomorrow morning at 11am I will trade it in (if I am able to tell them my birthday) for yet another surgery (or maybe three!).
Yes, I am having another port put in my chest. There is concern that the vein that the port needs to access will not be able to support the port tube since it has been punctured so many times.
If so, surgery #1 will be to find that out. Surgery #2 (on Friday) would be for angioplasty to make the vein accessible again. Surgery #3 (on Saturday) would be to actually place the port.
A friend said to me today, “You always do everything in a big way, Ed.”
I did have a good intake procedure, though, answering all of the Ebola questions (not something to joke about, apparently) and meeting with the chief of security (something about a follow-up because of an “incident” last time I was here).
There was also something said about handcuffing me to the gurney this time.
“Ed, what on earth is going on?” Well, let me give you a picture:
Unless you think this is a chart of your stock portfolio, this is NOT good news. My PSA (measures prostate cancer growth) has broken through all medical barriers we have erected so far and my cancer is running about unhindered in my body.
We had such high hopes for all the drugs and treatments we have thrown at it, but it continues to laugh at us. As my oncologist put it, “Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, you are in trouble with few good options.”
But he also said, “I do not like giving up . . . and am capable of being a bit crazy so I would have a few crazy ideas before this is all over.”
This is a world-renown physician who admits he is “a bit crazy.” Would you pray that his sanity would continue to leave him?
While Dr. Sartor cooks up some more crazy ideas, I am going to do something crazy myself. Monday at 10am (if I can get a damn port in my chest), I am going to start chemo (ominous sound of drums beating).
I know, I know, I broke up with chemo before after a short and abusive relationship. This, however, is not the same type of chemo (actually, the side effects can be worse). But I have a buddy who is on this type (Jevtana). He is getting one week in hell and then two “near normal” weeks.
“Near normal”? I haven’t seen near normal in so long it makes me cry to think about it.
“Are you sure the chemo will work, Ed?” We don’t know. Four things have to happen:
- I will need to be able to tolerate it (without me being strafed by friendly fire).
- It needs to be effective in killing my cancer.
- I will need to be able to tolerate it over time without the cumulative impact overwhelming me
- It needs to keep the cancer at bay over time (it is not curative) so I can get some more months out of life.
Would you pray about these things for me?
Chemo is a little like dropping napalm and then hoping that grass will grow there again one day after the raging fireball goes out.
“What’s the alternative, Ed?”
Go off all treatment until I die.
You want to know why I can’t do that yet?
Because of you.
I don’t want to leave you yet, dear friends. You have taught me so much, loved me so well, and cared for me in such amazing ways that I just stumble around these days in tears.
I want to stay around to give back something of what each of you have given to me. Each of you did something crazy – you joined me in this journey.
So the going back to the hospital today, the surgery tomorrow and the chemo starting on Monday – whatever this looks like and however it comes out –
This is for you.
I won’t give up because none of you have given up on me. So let’s rally together and insist that none of us lose heart in this latest development. Remember, the plan is to concede nothing until they throw dirt in our faces.
In the meantime, how about we do another round on the roller coaster together? I claim dibs on the front row!
With great love and admiration for you all,