Some good news at last. Even though the report from the motility specialists wasn't that great, my surgeon thinks there is no problem going ahead and repairing the prolapsed rectum and then proceeding according to the original plan and opening my colon. No colostomy. It will take two operations however. The first is scheduled for May 5 at John Muir Hospital in Concord (east of Oakland) where I had the original surgery. They are a first rate outfit and they took very good care of me before. This will be a one day/night operation and I should be able to go home the day after the operation if the pain is under control.
The first surgery will repair my prolapsed rectum. Dr Kim is going to do it from the bottom, so it won't be all that invasive. He will sever the bottom of the rectum and remove the excess that hangs down into my anus. It will then be resected and he will probably also do some work to tighten my sphincter and the muscles in the pelvic floor. The report from the specialists pointed out these weaknesses. Recovery should be complete in about three weeks.
Following the three week recovery period, he will schedule the second surgery to undo the ileostomy and open my colon as originally planned. This hospitalization will probably be three to five days to make sure everything is working properly again. Once this is done, I will be a whole man again, albeit with a reconstructed rectum. It will take up to two years to learn how to use my muscles to completely control bowel movement, so I am thinking of buying stock in Depends. But if all works out, I will have a great deal more freedom than with a colostomy bag. Since I have had one for about nine months now, I know from experience what that entails.
So, keep your fingers crossed. There are still a couple hurdles to overcome, but there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Things are going pretty good here despite the fact that I can only stand around and tell people what to do. Susie has been working like a yeoman, putting in five days a week at the office, and working the whole weekend with the crew and even packing the plants for the week's orders. We have had a crew of people here every weekend to help clean up the nursery and get ready for another season. It's a tremendous amount of work and I usually couldn't do it alone even when I was healthy. In fact, the place is in better shape this year than it has been in a long time, but it has cost us some money. Hopefully that will all come back through the business, which remains good considering the state of the economy. The orders just keep coming in, not as many as usual, but a good steady supply that keeps the lights on and the bills paid. I think the fact that we have been doing this for so long and have such a loyal clientèle is making the difference. Well over half of our orders are from repeat customers. To all those who keep ordering, all I can say is Thanks!
The weather has been fabulous- it continues to RAIN! We have had cloudy and rainy weather for weeks, which really beats the dickens out of 90 to 100F weather, which has been our norm for the last few springs. We really need the rain and the plants are loving the cool wet weather. We usually have a hard frost every spring that damages the plants to some degree, but not this year so far. We only have about another week to go before we are out of that frost window, and cool possibly wet weather has been forecast for early next week.
Well, my fingers are beginning to ache.
I still have neuropathy (tingling and numbness) in my hands and feet even after five months since the chemotherapy ended. It should have stopped
months ago, but it hasn't and the doctor can't explain it. Just
another glitch in this long ordeal. But, as they say, it's better
than the alternative!