Wednesday, June 27, 2012


There are two quotes on Adversity that I peeled from the web: the first, Nietzsche “That which does not kill me only makes me stronger.”  The other is, from some dark wit “That which does not kill me only delays the inevitable.”

As some may or may not know, I was scheduled to have had surgery two days ago, on Monday. However, at the last minute, last Thursday, the hospital called and said I had to be cleared by the cardiologist prior to getting opened up.

Now, I had some pretty justifiable anger at that, considering they had my EKG for a week, and notified me so late in the week that there was no way to get the necessary stress tests, etc. done in time to continue ahead with the surgery as planned. SO that was extremely frustrating. Then when I was told the cardiologist couldn’t see me until July 3rd….I was more than a little ticked. (Call me selfish…I would like to get this thing out of me, and get on with my life…)

I had some justifiable anger....
So, imagine my pleasant surprise when the Vascular Imaging people called Monday and told me they could squeeze me in yesterday for the stress test. Excellent. So I got that done. Then a few hours later, I was told the cardiologist, one Dr. Pautz (sounds like ‘pouts’) could see me today….AWESOME! Things were moving along nicely.

I just got back from Dr. Pautz.

Adversity. Remember, adversity? (We were speaking of it a moment back.) When this whole debacle is over I will be impervious.  A FUCKING SUPERMAN. Weird feelings right now, again. Sorry.

Lest you freak out, (not my intention), suffice to say not BAD news....but not *GOOD* news, either. More like, "What the f**k now, are you kidding me, when is this horse-shit gonna-end, really for serious, f**k, f**k, F**K." Kinda news."

For whatever it's worth, my perspective on a lot of shit has been radically yanked about the last few for any ensuing weirdness you may experience at my hands...I apologise in advance.(GRIN)

Remember? The nephrectomy!
Anyway, I am cleared to go ahead with the nephrectomy. At this time it is unknown when, but I am sure they will let me know soon enough.

  My love to you all.

Monday, June 18, 2012


So first off, an apology. Several people reminded me I hadn’t updated in a while (has it really been close to three weeks!?!? Egads!) so I realized I’d better fill everyone in.

Responding to the vegetarian lifestyle...
Ok. I saw Dr. Vanasupa last Friday, and saw Dr. April last Tuesday. Dr. April has been monitoring my blood glucose, cholesterol, et. al. and I am pleased to report that on all counts my numbers are improving. Fasting glucose is down, as are my A1C’s. Cholesterol has dropped already, and my blood pressure is going down.
So clearly I am responding fantastically to the mostly vegetarian lifestyle. 


Dr. V went over the procedure and what I can expect.


the da Vinci Surgical System
Not this da Vinci.
 I will be having a partial nephrectomy on my right kidney next Monday morning, at Swedish Edmonds. I can expect to be in hospital for 3-4 days recovering.  He will be using the da Vinci Surgical System, a ‘surgical robotic assist’.  The da Vinci allows the surgeon to reduce his movements to micro movements, making the entire procedure laproscopic, and giving a whole host of benefits, including faster recovery time, less chance of infection, and reduced pain (so they tell me).  

You can learn more about the da Vinci here:  da Vinci Surgical System

There is a great 5-minute video midway down the page, which, if you are so inclined, I recommend watching.

Only one thing causes me any concern… since the negative margins of the “mass” impinge on the urine collecting sac attached to the Ureter, Dr. V advised me he will be inserting a stint that will keep the ureter open as it travels to the bladder. 
Deep, deep, deep inside the body....

“It’s about yay long.” He tells me, holding his fingers a foot or so apart.

“Oh” says I. “And will it stay in permamnently?” Because, as we all know…that’s pretty deep in the gut, and that's a lot of tubing.

“Umm, no.”  Dr.V gives a sheepish grin.

“So you will need to open me up again?” I ask, resigned to more surgery.

“Umm, no.” Dr. V’s sheepish grin turns downright embarrassed.

“So…” I swallow, “it naturally melts over time?” hopeful desperation creeps into my voice.

“Errr..” Dr. V smiles apologetically. “Actually, Chuck…we remove it from the front…”

I feel my eye twitch. “How…umm…wide…is the diameter of the stint??”

Dr.V relaxes, back to dealing with facts. “Oh, about 4 millimeters!” He smiles.

I learn I will be roto-rootered.
I look horrified.  “Isn’t the pee hole only like a millmeter?!?! 
Dr. V looks away and starts scribbling notes…”I might be able to arrange a local…”

So I will be in hospital at from Monday thru at least next Wednesday, at Swedish Edmonds. My risk factors are low, and there is a .01% chance of anything really serious happening (like me dying.) So everything is in God's capable hands, and happening the way it should.  Feel free to pop in and say hi next week!

My love to you all,