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Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21, 2008

Due to the overwhelming lack of responses to my blog, I feel I must warn you, I am going to continue anyway.

If I remember correctly I left our hero (me of course) facing his doom. OK I am going to pause here, from now on I will refer to our hero in first tense, I mean what gives with the our; he, his, they etc? Now where were we? Oh yes, I remember. I believe I had just been told I was running head first toward my impending doom. My doctor knew of my fragile condition, and refused to alter his Monday day off policy, or his out of town leaving me to sweat policy. He left me to my own mercy for the week end. I of course did what anybody in my frame of mind could do,I carried on as if my doom really didn’t matter. It was business as usual.

Before I continue I really must start with a disclaimer: I really like my doctor, he is excellent and has treated me with respect along with giving me the utmost medical care.

With that being said and understood, remember I am facing certain doom. I am at my limits. My weekend has been ruined. I want immediate answers and solutions. I could ask the age old question "why me?" But instead I ask a brand new question "why can't the doctor work on Mondays? And what is so all fire important that he needs to be out of town in my hour of crisis?" By the way neither question was answered. My weekend progressed along just fine. The rest of the world apparently didn’t get the “impending doom of Raballard” news flash.

But I digress, the appointment was now etched in stone. (OK that's a metaphor, because I am pretty well sure my doctor has all the modern conveniences of an appointment calendar) I will hear all about my fate Wednesday, October 1, 2008. There was nothing I could do but comfort Mrs. Raballard.

The weekend for her was not kind, She is the worry-wart kind of person, and is prone to a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Also the weekend dragged very slow, as if someone had found a way to alter time, and not in a good way. Alas after millions of tears shed, family and friends notified, wills revised (not really I don't have a will) it was finally judgment day. Did I fail to tell you my appointment had been changed from the morning to the afternoon? So finally it was judgment day, a little later than I had planned but judgment day never the less.

We all went to my appointment, my wife, daughter and I. You don't think I am going to face this all alone do you? Remember, my wife is an emotional wreck. She doesn’t take it well with the gloom and doom stuff. Plus I needed someone to drive home, just in case I was too much an emotional wreck. It is very hard to drive with tears flowing down ones cheek.

We left Daugter Raballard in the reception area, just in case the doctor discussed nether regions that would embarrass her or me. Mrs. Raballard and I were escorted to the waiting for the other shoe to drop waiting room. I can see why they call them waiting rooms. We waited, and waited, and just for good measure we waited some more. After almost an hour the doctor came in, carrying my file. (Which is about the size of War and Peace.) He was also carrying a lovely color map of Venus. He showed me what I thought was the next NASA landing site on our nearest planet. I was soon to discover it wasn't a map of Venus or any other planet in our solar system. The lovely 8x10 was a map of my bear-trapped "keester". The landing site happened to be my cancer. (I had no idea that cancer was so colorful)

Daughter Raballard joined us after the color, model demonstration was complete. The doctor did not say anything to embarrass me. We settle down for some intense negotiating, problem solving, and solution finding. I was told I had four options.
Option 1: I could do nothing, prostate cancer is a slow moving cancer (well most of time) If I was to choose to do nothing he could almost guarantee maybe ten years of good life, with another three to five years of not such a good life.
Option 2: I could use radiation, which gets out the cancer most of the time.
Option 3: I could freeze the cancer out, which has the same results as the radiation.
Option 4: I could have the cancer surgically removed. He also said there are certain drawbacks when that option was chosen. I of course am too embarrassed to say those drawbacks. Suffice to say I had very little possibility of any chance of ever joining the Mile High Club.

We had already decided this was a no-brainer. We deliberated for about fifteen seconds on the previous Friday night. We were going to choose surgery. We told the doctor we would opt for surgery, and I crossed the Mile High Club off of my to do list. With the decision made the only thing left to do was to schedule the appointment for the surgery. I could only hope the surgery date landed on a day my doctor worked.

Within fifteen minutes my surgery was scheduled. The appointed date was to be October 28, 2008, a date that will live in infamy. I was ecstatic to learn it was a day my doctor worked, and a day he planned to be in town.

I also learned a very valuable lesson on the day of my impending doom, judgment day. I mean other than my "keester looks like Venus. The lesson was simple and to the point, there is no such thing as a "find out you have cancer-schedule your surgery and be done with it procedure" That is only the beginning. There are plenty of other lead up to the surgery procedures that had to be done.

Well fan, and soon to be fan, my time is up. (I mean with the blog for today, not as in the meet your maker time is up) Look for part three of my adventure, coming to a blog near you.Please feel free to leave a comment on your way out to the lobby.

Until next time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17, 2008

It's been a while since I have been here. I do have a perfectly good excuse as to why I have let my blog grow dormant.I will tell you my excellent excuse.

I have been on an adventure since the last time I posted a blog. OK I know you are wondering what kind of adventure is so all important that I would leave my blog unattended. Yes, yes I know I am not the type of blogger to ignore the important task as the upkeep for a seldom read blog. In my defense it could not be helped. An adventure so compelling, so breathtaking, I could not resist.

My adventure began in the most unlikely location, but looking back now I suppose a lot of adventures begin exactly where mine began. My adventure began at my doctor's office. Yup you read me right.

I am not the type that choose a doctor's office to hang out in. If by chance I am found at any doctor's office, including my own doctor, you can rest assured I am there under duress. In this case I was fulfilling a request from Mrs. Raballard. She has a thing about me taking care of myself. Being the loving dutiful husband I try to humor her. I was there for my annual check-up. You know the one, the one that every male over the age of fifty needs every year. My doctor, which I secretly think is in league with her to keep me healthy began my adventure with a very simple statement, "We need to check your PSA." I was unaware at the time my journey had begun, but it had.

What could I do? They ganged up on me, Conspiracy complete, my PSA was checked. Don't expect results right away, nope it takes about five business days for the results to come back. I suppose that is because they send it off to some underground lab, where it will be dissected, bisected, or what ever sected is left. They did comfort me they would let you know either way. My fate was sealed. I left, actually sprinted from the office. The whoosh heard down the halls of the medical center was me. OK I didn't whoosh, I paid my co-pay, picked up my nifty sticker, and left.

Five business days came and went without as much as a "how do you do?" from my doctor. Obviously doctors don't have the concept of time to an OCD guy like myself, five days is five days. They also have no idea how impatient I can be. I have no idea my cable provider is included in the doctor/patient confidentiality, apparently they are. The phone call did not come. I couldn't stand it any longer, I had to know, so I called my doctor to see if my results had been returned. "No, the doctor will call when the results come in" (sounded like a rehearsed answer if you ask me). Two more days went by without an a phone call. I was a nervous wreck by this time. As opposed to my usual just plain wreck. On the 8th day I got a call from my doctor's receptionist requesting that I make an appointment for a biopsy. It seems as if my PSA is slightly elevated, something like three times normal. I was at the point of no return, my adventure had taken a slight detour. My adventure was now a train wreck in the making.

If any of you have never had a biopsy done in your nether regions, you are in for a treat. All I can say it is kind of like placing your "keester" in a bear trap, four to six times. Fun was had by all. After my biopsy I was informed that it usually took five business days for the results to come in. I know kind of deja-vu all over again, huh.

True to form the results had not been returned by the five days. I am sure my biopsy was under close scrutiny by the NSA, how else could the delay have been explained? Finally on Thursday, four days after the five business days I got the dreaded phone call from my doctor's receptionist "The test results are in, however the doctor doesn't work on Thursdays. He will be in Friday afternoon to read the results. He will call you after he has read them. (Aren't adventures such fun?)

On Friday afternoon my doctor called with my results. "We found cancer in the biopsy, it is just a small amount, but cancer never the less." He then waited for my reaction, tears welling up. "I will turn you over to my receptionist so you can make an appointment. We need to go over your options."

"Options? what options are there? I want it removed," was my immediate response.

"Make an appointment. We can discuss it at that time."

Remember this is Friday afternoon. I told the receptionist I would like an appointment first thing Monday morning. I mean, I had to face the weekend with the knowledge I had cancer, and I didn't want to prolong the agony one second later than I had to.

"He doesn't work on Mondays, and he will be out of town on Tuesday, the earliest I can fit you in would be ten o'clock on Wednesday."

Great! An extra three days of living in fear. At least it didn't have to wait five business days. I don't think I could take that.

I will finish the tale of my adventure on my next blog. I will be back in five business days.