Sunday, October 6, 2019

Scarred for life

Okay, this is the last blog I'm going to write about my recent colon resection surgery. I promise. I feel like the old geezer who goes around asking, unsolicited, "Hey, you want to see my incision?"

Actually, I have asked several people that. It's kind of surprising who wants to see it, and who doesn't. Not always who you'd expect.

Just for the record, the incision has healed nicely, but it's left a visible scar on my belly about three or four inches long, from my navel to my stomach. It sort of looks like a misplaced C-section (colon section?). But the healing has pleased my surgeon, who told me I could go ahead and wear those Speedos now.

Don't worry. I'm not posting any pictures.

Anyway, speaking of my surgeon, I had my post op follow-up with him on Monday, and the news was great. The pathology report showed that the enlarged and embedded polyp that he removed – along with about a foot of my colon – was benign, and that the lymph nodes were clear. Soooo, unless I get bopped on the head by a meteorite today and everything else being equal, I feel like I might have added a few more years to my lifespan.

But the pathology report was the news I wanted to share with you. It made me feel like I dodged a bullet at a time in my life when I no longer feel so bulletproof.

I won't go as far as to say that the surgery somehow changed me, although Kim senses that I've become even more sensitive to the world than before. I will say that the day I was released from the hospital, I stood in the sun, feeling its warmth, waiting for Kim to pick me up in the car. And when I got home and took my first stand-up shower since the surgery, the water massaging my skin felt especially cleansing. I sat on my seldom-used porch swing for hours one day, enjoying, well, just about everything. It's the little things, as they say.

Hell's bells, I even shaved off my goatee.

But I'm trying to keep this all in perspective. Since my release, I've seen several amputees. I've seen several people whose only mobility is a wheelchair. Some even carry their own oxygen. So it's been a there-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I reminder that my experience was basically a necessary inconvenience. There are others who deal with far greater challenges. I know that.

But I'm still grateful for my outcome.

If I could only remember where I put my Speedos.

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