The LuLac Edition #522, July 22nd, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: BLOG EDITOR AT LAKE CAREY IN 1960, AT LONG BEACH ISLAND, NEW JERSEY, 2007.
AS I WAS SAYING…..
Well, after 9 days in the friendly confines of Wilkes Barre General Hospital, in a corner room which used to be the old Psych Unit on the seventh floor, (somehow that seems so appropriate) I am home to recover. I had a friend from the Mid Valley who was fond of saying that hanging out with me sometimes was like being in a movie. Surely this was a generous thought on her part. But for me, that was a dangerous reality. Needless to say I underestimated the type of surgery this was going to be and thought I’d be up and around after three or four days because, well, because I was after all David Yonki. Yeah, the medical Gods laughed their asses off at that!
The worst part for me was losing my independence. I was hooked up to tubes, catheters and all types of beeping machines that made me feel like I would never leave that bed. Even having my accident in 1999 which limited my mobility did not compare to this type of medical harness I was bound to. The staff at the Hospital was great, even though I know I was very difficult the first few days. My surgeon was a Cleveland Indians fan and in between talks of my surgical needs and plan for recovery, he and I exchanged stats and facts on our team like two nerds in a Chief Wahoo sports bar or chat room. He was fantastic though from the medical standpoint and got the job done.
Having been released from my tubes on the weekend, I began to roam the hallways making a nuisance of myself. But the bottom line medically was this: The surgery was supposed to be an hour, it went 3. I developed a blockage on Saturday night that kept me from getting home sooner. They took out 10 inches of colon and removed a very aggressive tumor that will be needed to be treated with chemo. They say some lymph nodes were involved at stage 3 and were removed but an aggressive (there's that word again) approach needs to be done to make sure my liver is not attacked. So my game plan is to do everything the doctor wants me to do. I got virtually no sleep in the hospital because of the bed and my back, so the first thing I did this afternoon was to crawl into bed and take a long snooze. Mindful of the fact that July is National Hot Dog Month, the staffers at the hospital did yeoman’s service by putting up with my snarling because I lived on ice chips Tuesday (July 15th) through Saturday (July 19th). The only visitors I allowed were the sainted Mrs. LuLac and my sister. But I got a lot of e mails, cards and calls which touched me deeply. My major complaint in my life is that I am not rich. I always thought I’d be a good rich guy using my money for good. The outpouring of support I have received (and this is going to sound so corny!!) has opened my eyes to the fact that I am indeed wealthy in friends, best wishes and prayers.
The other amazing thing about this medical adventure is that in just two short months, everything was accomplished from diagnosis to treatment. I have been going through this search for the source of my bleeding since the summer of 2006. I changed doctors in May after 1 and 1/2 years of a team that shrugged their shoulders at my symptoms. On May 15th I had my first appointment with a new Family Doctor. He set me up with a new gastro guy who found the tumor on a first try after I had numerous endoscopies and colonoscopies. That doctor in turn then set me up with a surgeon. By July 15th, I was on my way to an answer. After changing teams, it only took 2 months to accomplish what I needed to do in two years. And.......I might have gotten to the surgeon sooner if he wasn't on vacation in late June. My message will be, if you need to fire a Doctor, remember, they aren't God, so do it. It is your body, your money and you are a health care consumer with a wide array of choices and options. I will be embarking on some rounds of chemotherapy to make sure the reoccurrence of this is a slim factor in my life. In the meantime, look for no whining, no 452 part series of how they treated me medically and no furrowed brow at my newest title: cancer patient. We now move on to the ultimate goal: cancer survivor. Full speed ahead!!!