When I started this journey I didn’t know what to do….I didn’t know what to say, or how to say it. Now that I am sitting in my own house, trying to recover from my surgery, just a few days after I was laying on an operating table in Rochester, MN, all I can think about is how amazing life is. Saying that you are thankful and blessed is rarely said at the same time as cancer, but I really feel blessed and thankful. I feel blessed for all of the things that I said in my previous email, from the love and support I received from an outstanding wife and family, to the fact that I had kidney stone, to the fact that I was able to go to the Mayo clinic, to the fact that my cancer was Stage 1a.
I really do feel blessed and thankful, and all I can do now is thank God for everything – period. All I can do now is stop and appreciate the fact that:
- I have a loving and wonderful wife,
- phenomenal family and friends who called, emailed, and texted, and yes prayed.
- outstanding doctors, nurses, and clinicians at Mayo and locally who “did their thing” in a very remarkable way,
So, with that said, I wanted to let you know that I was “lucky” to have only a partial nephrectomy on Friday in order to remove my tumor. The tumor was cancerous but it was a low grade cancer – stage 1a. My surgeon and his team preformed a laparoscopic procedure to remove part of my right kidney and the tumor (robotic assisted) and he and his team were outstanding. I was discharged on Sunday and spent the night in Rochester since they ask that I stay in town for an extra day before traveling just in case. We traveled back to Kansas City on Monday stopping every 1.5 hours to allow me to walk around. Right now they are saving that no additional treatment is required – just future CT scans to make sure that nothing else appears. Thus, I will be living a life of a new normal. A life of uncertainty and monitoring similar to dad.
A repeat of my statement of fact:
Mayo is an outstanding place – a friendly and efficient place. Period. I have not seen anything like this.
The Latest details:
- 1 chest x-ray
- 16 total tubes of blood given (5 to help with research – so those are on me)
- 2 great doctor appointments
- 1 pre-op visit with anesthesiologist
- One weird tummy shave (needed because of the surgery)
- Blood pressure prior to surgery 118/78 (calm, cool and collected)
- One 4 hour surgery
- One stage 1a 2.4cm Renal Cell Carcinoma tumor removed
- Part of one kidney removed
- 6 holes in my stomach from the surgery (healing slowly but nicely)
- Two different hospital rooms
- Multiple nurses
- Multiple shots to prevent blood clots
- Leg compressions to also prevent blood clots – I am styling some pretty cool stockings right now
- Around 900 miles driven
- One picture of my favorite shirt taking in the hotel room after surgery – Life is Good.
So with that said, I want to extend a personal thank you to all you of who lifted us up in your prayers, and to those who sent us your kind words and best wishes throughout this journey. Life is going to be different. Life is going to be uncertain. But life is good.