Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3rd: Goodbye, third nipple, goodbye!

It's been a few weeks since I posted for all of you, and a lot has been going on as I've entered my new "thermonuclear phase" of treatments for my Lymphoma - daily treatments at the Radiation Oncology department.

The week after my last post was a monumental phase in my treatment - the removal of my "power port" injection apparatus/site - a.k.a. 'THE THIRD NIPPLE". Nothing like a little outpatient surgical action courtesy of your friends at Presbyterian/St Luke's Medical Center in sunny Denver, Colorado. I'll take the name of this hospital as a good omen, since I married a Presbyterian and am the son of a Catholic - even though I'm now on Team Methodist, the folks at P/SL are 'my peeps'.

It was a great step of progress - the removal of the port from my right chest. No longer will a third nipple be portruding from my right chest - the little three tipped (yes three) bump in my skin is now replaced with a Vietnamesque incision scar where they removed it. In the future, when the incision site heals, I've worked off my "chemo fat", am at the pool -I can tell people I got this 1" long scar "looking for Osama". After all, isn't the terrain of Afghanistan & Pakistan a lot like Colorado?

Back on subject - the port removal went well - I had forgotten how cool the nursing staff was in this area of the hospital. It was nothing but jokes all around. When I had the port put in, I was under some serious painkillers and minor anesthesia drugs, so the most I can remember from last time is laughing like crazy while they strapped me down and put it in there ( the port installation - get your minds out of the gutter!). Since I was only under a local this time, I could truly appreciate the humor of the nursing team. I wish I remembered their names - they all get a big 'thanks' for making another medical procedure in this journey reasonably pleasant. The worst part of the whole thing was when I heard a crunching sound - the doctor explained that my body had formed scar tissue around the port, and he was cutting through this 'shield' to be able to remove the device.


In other news, I've made it through 13 radiation treatments at the Cancer Center - so far no adverse visible effects - that is, if you don't count the daily blast of radioactivity 1000 times more powerful than a common X-ray. No sunburn, no chafing, and my 'boys' haven't fallen off due to their proximity to the beam. It's actually been pretty pleasant - the two techs who run the machine (Kierstan and Vivian) are pretty cool. It's pretty much a laugh fest in there all the time - we've been discussing the benefits of the show "Family Guy" and got a good chuckle out of my recently mailed gift from our good friend Craig in Columbus - the full banana body suit. Yes, folks - when you're beating cancer it's ALWAYS "Peanut Butter Jelly Time."

I am now the proud owner of a full-body banana costume. I'll wait to post pics until I can get the Slanket AND rasta hat on at the same time.

So what's the moral of this post? There is none. Do me a favor, savor every day - you never know when the doctor is going to look at you with sad eyes and serve you up one of life's big sh*t sandwiches.
Carpe diem.

P.S. Who dey! Who dey! Who dey say gonna beat dem Bengals? NOOOOOO-BODY! Let's go boys- beat Baltimore.