Happy New Year, it’s Thursday, January 2, 2014.
A cold, wet, dreary, Thursday, more specifically. It’s eight in the morning with an overcast so thick that the streetlights are still burning. I’m off from work today because I have to work this coming weekend. That means I get one weekday off before the weekend and another weekday afterwards. Work a weekend, off the next two—and repeat. Unless you switch with someone, which just leads to confusion—where’s my pocket calendar?
Anyway, I’m driving along, splashing through puddles as the windshield wipers beat along to a tune on the CD player. Oh joy, I’m heading for another cystoscopy. You remember—the fun-filled occasions when Surgeon rams a quarter-inch diameter, fourteen inch-or-so-long flexible rod up my urethra for a look see inside my bladder.
Fun, fun, fun. I’m ecstatic. (By the way, I’m still praying for success. It’s just that the Almighty still hasn’t told me what’s going to happen. He keeps me in the dark. He wants me to trust Him. Well, I’m trying.)
I park the truck and process my way thorough check in. Surprise, the clerk remembers me!
“Good morning, Mr. New, and Happy New Year. Too bad it’s nasty out.”
“Morning, yeah, it’s a wet one. Happy New Year to you, too. Thanks.” She hands me the paperwork.
“Second floor, second left. Have a good day, Mr. New.”
“Same to you. Bye.”
Off I go to the Urinary Clinic.
“Mr. New, come on back,” calls Tech 3. She points to the right. “We’ll need another sample, okay?”
“Sure,” I say. “Mid-stream, right?”
“Correct. Bring it to the room at the end of the hall, like last time.”
I nod. I’m so compliant.
I’m standing in the exam room, looking out the window at the cheerless, depressiveness of the clammy wet. On the counter, sits my urine sample. It’s still warm.
“Okay, Mr. New,” breezes Tech 3, “you remember the drill? Sign here, please.”
She lays a consent form for the procedure on the counter. It specifies what may go wrong, what may go right, and the variances in between. Some of the deviations could lead to emergency surgery.
Great, but I know this. I sign, print, initial, and date where indicated.
“Thank you, Mr. New. Okay, shoes off, drop your pants and your drawers, then have a seat on the table here and you can cover yourself up with this sheet. I’ll be back in a sec.” Tech 3 smiles as she leaves. Oh, so cheery.
I do as I’m told. Is that my complacency or my compliancy at work? I’ll have to check my thesaurus. They’re probably the same, or similar.
There’s a knock on the door before Tech 3 strides back in. “Okay, Mr. New, scoot back further on the table”—I do so—“lie down”—I do so—“place your feet in the stirrups”—I do so—“raise your rump”—I do so—“and spread your knees and relax”—I do so. Geez!
“Good! Now, I’ll spread this sterile sheet out and place it around you”—she does so—“here comes the iodine”—three cold, soaked sponges are applied—“here goes the numbing jelly, your best friend right now”—I feel the jelly rushing in—“and the penis clamp”—I’m not sure what I feel.
Tech 3 bustles around. She hooks up the sterile water line to the cystoscope and plugs the cystoscope’s electronics connection into the computer sitting below the monitor. “Ready for some pictures? Don’t go nowhere. I’ll find Surgeon.”
Right. Not only is it cold and dreary outside, it’s cold and dreary in this room. Just not as wet. I wish I could be as cheery as Tech 3.
“Good morning, Mr. New,” announces Surgeon, as he strides into the room and snaps on a pair of sterile gloves. He takes his position between my spread-eagled legs and grasps the cystoscope. He drags the tip of the thing through some additional goop on a sterile towel that must help with the lubrication. “Ready?”
“Sure.” What else am I gonna say? I turn my head toward the screen.
“Okay. Some water, pressure …”
I remember to breath.
“… and we’re in! Okay, looking around, umm, hmm, umm, looking good, umm, hmm, umm, … there’s the right ureter … and the left ureter … hmm, umm, hmm … nice and clean. Great, Mr. New, we found nothing new! How ‘bout that?”
“Well, that is good! Great, in fact!” I say.
“Yes it is. You’re doing very well. Okay, pulling out …”
I feel something slip-sliding away.
“And we’re done, Mr. New. Fantastic,” says Surgeon. He removes his sterile gloves and sticks out his hand. I grasp it. “Right now, you are free and clear of any new tumors, which is very good. So, based on that, I’m going to schedule you for another maintenance run of BCG, three more treatments two months out, with a follow-up cystoscopy the month after that. Sound good?”
“Sounds good. Thanks.”
“Good. I’ll leave Tech 3 to clean up while I go and write my notes.” He glances at my urine sample still sitting on the counter. “I see there is plenty of your urine for a urinalysis and a cell screening. Make sure that is done, Tech 3. Okay, see you next time, Mr. New.”
Surgeon leaves the room.
Tech 3 is busy cleaning up. “Okay, Mr. New, you can wipe yourself down with these clean wipes, and then get dressed. Just open the door when you’re ready.” And she leaves the room.
In less than two minutes, I’m dressed. I open the door.
“All right, Mr. New, here is your paper work. Have a good day and the rest room is just down the hall there.”
“Great. I got to pee.”
Final Results: No new tumor growths! Yea! Three maintenance BCG treatments to follow with another cystoscopy afterwards. Oh yeah, I also have another visit in April with Doc (after another Kidney-Urine-Bladder X-ray) for another update on the kidney stone situation. However, the cancer seems to be under control!
It might be dreary and nasty outside, but it’s sun-shiny inside! Maybe that should be Son-shiny! Thank you Jesus and thank you God!