An update: Why I’m still less engaged, and likely to be

A few folks may have read this May 2018 post explaining why I wouldn’t be around much in late June/early July–to wit, prostate cancer and a robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostatectomy (just call it RALRP)–and why that might delay pieces of this year’s GOAJ project.

The latter didn’t happen: thanks to increasing comfort with what I’ll call “template spreadsheets”–workbooks with multiple sheets, using pivot tables in a manner that means replacing the rows on the first sheet means a whole new set of graphs and tables with essentially no additional work–the country view and subject supplements were both done well before June 26, date of the surgery.

The surgery itself went very well (my wife thinks it took about five hours; I was, of course, Not There during that time–my first experience with general anesthesia, and thanks to anti-nausea drugs nausea was never a problem). The ten days following, stage one of the long recovery process, were annoying because of catheter-related stuff and lack of energy, but my wife helped see to it that I didn’t veg out entirely, was off opioids within four days, was walking inside every day and outside three days later, and was up to mile-plus outside walks by July 6, Removal Day.

Now I’m engaged in in stage two, which will last weeks, months, possibly years to some extent. Energy is still a mild problem, but I’m getting back to normal by stages. July 7 brought exceedingly good news: the pathology report, showing negative results for adjacent matter and (removed) lymph nodes. This makes the long-term prognosis MUCH more positive, according to Dr. Thong, and is a much better outcome than expected.

A note that may be irrelevant if you’re not in Stanford HealthCare’s service area or are female: Dr. Alan Eih Chih Thong. MD, gets a 5* rating in my book. He *listened* to not only our concerns but to my family history, and indeed changed his recommended course of treatment based on my family history and health. Since he also did the surgery, and apparently did a great job, I have nothing but good things to say about Thong and his teem, including Jessica Rose Kee, PA-C, and others.

I should note that Dr. Hilary Petersmeyer Bagshaw, MD, did a fine job of explaining the initially-preferred course, radiation + hormone therapy, which would have been under her supervision. I’m sure she would have done a fine job, but if you have a likelihood of 20 more years’ survival, that course is best kept as Plan B if surgery doesn’t eliminate the problem. As I told her at the time, I hope not to need her services, even as I’m sure they’d be first-rate.

Other than energy and doing lots of Kegels in the hope that they’ll eventually help matters, what will slow done some writing stuff is focus and motivation. I don’t want to write about OA or at least another month; I’m not sure most other topics offer enough focus; and, frankly, sitting sipping coffee while the country is in self-inflicted flames isn’t just fine.

But I’ll be back: I’m not really going anywhere. Even if, as I read Twitter and Facebook, there are more and more occasions when I wish I could resign as a Straight White Man. But that’s another story…

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