All systems ”Go.” The CT scan, X-ray, and physical all came out fine, so I’ve been given the green light to go ahead with the surgery next week.
You would have thought coming out of the doctor’s office after the physical, that I would have been relieved and upbeat. I wasn’t expecting the, “Oh, s**t, this is really happening… SOON!” reaction. It was as though someone instantly turned up the anxiety knob. My life is about to be irreversibly changed forever. Oh crap.
I try to remember the key four-letter word in that last paragraph: Life. I’m doing this to extend my life as long as possible, but the reality of all of the changes that will be coming make keeping that perspective a challenge.
That said, as the surgery grows closer, I am being optimistic about the outcome, but I’m also being pragmatic about it as well.
To me, the surgery is only the first step in becoming cancer-free. Just because the prostate is yanked out doesn’t guarantee that I’ll be cancer free. The same thing applies to any lymph nodes that may be taken during the surgery. The only thing the surgery will tell us is how far the cancer has gone, and we’ll have to wait a week or so to get the pathology results back on the prostate and lymph nodes before we even know that answer.
Even if the pathology comes back negative for positive margins (meaning no cancer cells at the incision point), or if the lymph nodes are negative, I’ll still have another step to take before knowing that I’m cancer-free. That’s waiting the 8-12 weeks for the post-surgery PSA test.
So while I’m confident the mechanical part of the surgery will go as planned without complications, you probably won’t see me popping champagne corks or doing a little celebratory jig until sometime in April.
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t commented much about my sleeping pattern lately. That’s because it’s actually been quite good. Except for one weird thing.
On those nights when I do wake up in the middle of the night, nine times out of ten (check my spreadsheet!), it’s between 1:00 AM and 2:00 AM (mostly between 1:00 AM and 1:30 AM). Weird, huh? I think so.
It doesn’t seem to be tied to running to the bathroom or what time I go to bed; nor can I think of any external influence that’s causing it—furnace kicking in, neighbor coming home, train passing through town three blocks away, etc. It’s not every night that it happens, but when it does, it’s usually at that time. In fact, two nights I rolled over and looked at the clock and it was 1:09 AM. Both times. (Cue the “Twilight Zone” theme…)
The good news is that I can fall back asleep in short order after looking at the clock and saying, “One o’clock again…”
Just a meaningless observation…