Friday, May 9, 2008

P to the Xth Power

Hi, everyone.  This has been an extraordinary week, filled with things starting with the letter "P".  The news is good, so I won't keep you in suspense, but here is what "P Week" has been to me.

On Monday, I went in for my weekly PICC line dressing change and decided to have the Gastroenterology Nurse look at my PEG which was sore, oozing and occasionally bleeding.  She looked and called a gastro doctor.  He told me that he wanted to schedule an endoscopy (tube down throat into stomach) to see the PEG from the inside.  But he also mentioned that the inflammation and soreness could have come from the PEG insertion which brought cancer to the PEG site.  Endoscopy scheduled for today.  Kernal Ken very PERPLEXED and koncerned...

Tuesday, the Queen Vee returned late, late in the evening.  Before we left for Walter Reed scans next AM early, she was concerned that I needed to gain back a few POUNDS that had been lost while I was feeding myself. 

The PET Scan at Walter Reed was the most PAINFUL experience of my cancer battle.  I had to keep my arms together over my head for 24 minutes, despite the residuals of two rotator cuff injuries from my military past.
I asked if there was any other way to do this, but there was not.  For 24 minutes I felt like John McCain in the Hanoi Hilton.  It was truly a Ranger gut check.

On Thursday, my PEG was getting progressively worse, when - out of the blue - the surgeon who inserted it called and said he had heard I had a problem.  I was astonished!  First, this Navy Lt. Cdr., Dr. PEARL,  was supposed to have deployed to Iraq two days after doing my surgery.  The Navy changed his orders at the last second!  He said he wanted to see the PEG, but would not be in the hospital on Friday.  So, at 3:30 PM, The Queen braved the absolute worst of the Washington area rush hour, and we raced to Bethesda at a snail's pace.  We arrived at about 5:15 to find that Doctor PEARL had waited after the clinic had closed at 4:00PM.  And his wife had a two week old baby, their first, waiting at home. What a Great American!

He looked at the PEG and noted that it had begun to work its way out of my stomach, hence all the irritation.  He removed the PEG and was preparing to put in another or keep the wound open, when the Queen and I convinced him to take it out and leave it out, since I hadn't used it in a week.  He dressed the wound and the stomach healed itself within two hours.  He was concerned that the ENT surgeon and radio-oncologist I was to meet on Friday would be upset.  We took on that burden. Dr. PEARL cancelled the endoscopy for today.

This morning, we met with Doctors Markwell and Dulge for more than an hour.  The PET and CT scans from Walter Reed were essentially clean, with a 6 millimeter area of suspicion near one of neck lymph nodes where
areas of concern would normally be measured in centimeters.  The site of the primary tumor had not shown on the PET scan and was clean and pink when Dr. Markwell put the Otoscope down  my nose to look at my throat.  I have pictures, but will spare you the pain of looking.  We talked over the state of the protocols and the options; then together decided to go ahead with the anticipated neck dissection - just to be sure something very small didn't start growing again.  I asked why I still needed a PICC line, and they could think of no reason.

So, with good news under our belt, we went to Medical Oncology and had the PICC line removed.  For the first time since January, I have no external PROTUBERENCES.  I came home feeling like a PERSON, not a PATIENT!

The POWER of PRAYER works, beyond any shadow of a doubt.  I am so thankful for all of you and your PRAYERS for me.  The neck surgery is scheduled for 9 June, a month from today.

My final thought after a "P Week" of emotional lows and highs is PRAISE THE LORD!

I'll see you on the high ground!


Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

You are a Patriot, having Perfected the Power of Positivity, Prayer and Patience. The Perfect Performances of your Physicians are Propitious. Now, Pamper your Precious Princess (well, Queen) on Sunday as best you can. I know you'll Pursue the end game of this Predicament with continued Passion.

Unknown said...

Praise the Lord,Pass the peas and Plead the fifth. Congradulations on getting all the alien hardware removed. Now the two of you enjoy some good quiet time together after the kids and you spoil the Queen on Sunday. She deserves it.
Congrads to your daughter and daughter-in-law for the walk.
Know you and your family are in our prayers and thoughts always.

Crazy Granny said...

you're still in our prayers.

AgentHammerYou said...

Dear Ken,
Your courage, grace, dignity, and humor continue to bless our lives. Thanks for sharing your amazing faith and experiences with us. We will continue to pray for you.

Matt said...

Yeah!!!! This is all around good news! Glad to know that you are back to being normal and are no longer part cyborg. Well, at least normal physically. (-;

Tobi said...

DARN BORG PARTS! It's about time you got those out. I'm so happy for you Ken.

Tell Queen Vee Happy Mother's Day from the Wilkinson's.

Sue said...

Whoo-Hoo! Power to the Papa! So happy to hear the good news.

Won't you please indulge me and post the gruesome pictures? C'mon, it'll be fun!

Jim said...

We, too, praise the Lord for your progress! We continue to pray for you.