Whacked! (02/13/2014 Update)

Dr. Knol successfully whacks another mole!

Thank you Dr. Knol and UMHS team, for being one of the best facilities in the country and for taking such good care of me. Thank you Jesus for Dr. Knol and for UMHS. Thank you family (especially Connie, Mary & Jim, George) for spending too many hours with me throughout this process. Thank you Cancer Survivor Network forum members, for being so supportive and informative throughout this most recent battle AND since the beginning of this war. And thank you for calling and checking up on me, for your countless prayers and support!!!

This surgery, like the last, was amazingly near-painless. Having a half-Mercedes incision (pretty big cut across the abdomen) was a scary prospect, but the epidural once again negated the pain. The doctors and nurses made sure I understood that I was lucky; not all epidurals do such an amazing job.

This past week was very similar to previous experiences. My wife Connie and I left our house around 9am. We arrived at UMHS around 10:30am. We met up with my sister Mary and her husband Jim on the way to checking in.

They were supporting me as I was wheeled away on the gurney. The surgery team were reassuring as they transferred me to the operating table and administered the anesthesia.

Connie, Mary, and Jim patiently waited as the four hour surgery was executed. And then they waited longer as I was revived back into consciousness. As soon as I could remember Connie was there with me, at my side. And reporting on the success of the surgery.

A little while later (I had no concept of time at this point in the process) I was wheeled up into a hospital room. Mary, Jim, and Connie stayed with me until we were all assured that I was comfortable and ready to rest.

Since I sleep through more than half of this day I really have to step back and appreciate their commitment in this process.

And if that wasn’t enough Connie, Mary, and my brother George spent countless boring hours with me, throughout the week, as I slowly progressed.

Thank you Connie, Mary & Jim, and George from the bottom of my heart. I love you and am forever indebted to you.

The Ice-Chip Debacle

I remember having an extremely dry mouth in the surgery-recovery room this time round. I somehow used my persuasive powers to connect with some ice chips. You can’t imagine how delicious these ice-chips tasted at that moment in time.

I continued to negotiate with relatives, nurse-aids, and nurses. And successfully used the ice-chips to help ease the irritation of having an “NG” tube through my nose, throat, into my stomach.

And as the doctors reported that my stomach was producing too much digestive fluids I attempted to attribute the excessive fluid to the ice chips that I was taking in…HomeSweetHome

On Sunday morning (when it was time to take the NG tube out) the doctor held my ice-chip cup three feet over the garbage can and firmly stated “No More Ice Chips” as she dropped the cup into the trash. She went on to explain that the ice chips were stimulating my stomach and it was pre-maturely “waking up” ahead of the rest of my digestive system. And she clearly stated the consequences – the NG tube was staying in until my stomach calmed down to more expected levels of fluid production.

The bottom line was that the ice chips cost me two additional days with that nasty NG tube. And that irritated the heck out of my throat. But on the good side, my family and the nurses were blessed with a very quiet me for a couple days. 

Other than this one set-back my recovery went amazingly well and I was released from the hospital today! And I am home sweet home, in time for Valentines day tomorrow.

I will see the surgeon at the end of February. My doctor appointment with Dr. Kraus (my oncologist) is scheduled in the latter part of March. I’ll keep you all posted as I learn more about next steps in this war. At this particular point in time we will all rest, knowing that the one and only tumor detected on scans was successfully removed with clear margins! Praise God!

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. And may God bless you on this joyous day!


2 Comments on “Whacked! (02/13/2014 Update)”

  1. Lisa says:

    So Happy for you! Prayers are answered. I totally relate to the desire for ice chips. Continued prayers for a quick return to “normal”.

  2. Krea Gregory says:

    Phil: Great news! Praise the Lord! I pray for your speedy recovery!

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