Tales from the Dark Side Aug 12, 2011

Family and Friends,

The surgery went well, and I live to tell the tale. Things got entertaining at the onset when the nursing assistant came in to shave my chest around the surgery site. Her eyes got big, and she looked at that hair like she was going to be in for the fight of her life. She grabbed the electric razor with two hands and started stabbing at the hair, like she was trying to cut off the head of a snake. You could almost see her lips move, saying "get 'em! get 'em!" She stabbed and scraped and stabbed and scraped, until all the hair was dead, and one nipple was raw from a misdirected attack. She offered to "even things up", but I told her I could manage the other side by myself later. I'm not sure which of us was more relieved.

When I woke up in the Recovery Room I had something sticking out of my chest. They called it a "chest tube", but I know better. I've seen that stuff sold in 50-foot rolls in Home Depot, and they called it a garden hose. If God would have intended us to do this to ourselves, Adam would have had two less ribs to begin with.

If you've never had IV morphine, you should know this. It's a great pain killer, but it can also make you nauseous and turn as pale as a sheet of paper before you can count to five. After more than a little IV morphine, I began projectile vomiting into a bag. Genevieve said that the bag shot out the way those little party favors uncurl when you blow air into them. I think air is a better choice. Perhaps because I was loaded to the gills on morphine and it didn't bother me in the least, it was almost worth it to see the look on Genevieve's face.

It's now two days after the surgery, and I am back at home. The surgery was a success and the biopsies were taken from all three right lobes. Dr. Handy had a pathologist in the operating room reviewing the samples immediately, but they still have no idea what I have. He was hoping that the answer would be clear before we left the operating room. Since it is not, he expects that we won't know for another three weeks, which is how long it will take for samples to be tested and cultured. Until then, we will know nothing more than we know today.

We have no idea how this is going to turn out. All we can do in the meantime is to enjoy life to the fullest, and count our blessings. None of us know how long we have.

I count each of you among my blessings.