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,



  1. Two things.

    1. I Googled your Dr.s name and, although I am disappointed he isn't the first person with his last name to come up on my search, there is some engineer chick before him, he is a respectable #2.

    2. He does appear to have gone to an accredited U.S. medical school.

    That being said, I am curious if you chose an Asian urologist based only on hand size. if so, you are very wise.

  2. nice use of pics to lighten the subject and to make me smile, and good luck getting that local, that applied with a needle...? ouch squared my friend...jk
    take care of yourself "numbnuts" =P