Well howdy folks. I'm still up and getting back to peppy. The surgery went well (I was told) and the pathology came back just like we wanted it to. Big clear margins on the tumor and no cancer cells showing in the other lymph nodes in the area. My surgeon says she "dug around like a mad woman" in there for all the nodes she could find, "just like [she'd] like to be worked on." So I'm pretty confident with how things went and what was not found. She's going to have me scheduled in 2-3 weeks for the next surgery on the left side. This will be a repeat performance on the other side to cut out that tumor, and the hilar node over there as well. So I've got a short reprieve to get better quick and ready for round two.
Still in the hospital. They removed my chest tube and the epidural catheter yesterday. And far as I know, my x-ray from this morning is good; they haven't told me it's bad and typically I'd hear about that. So no additional air or leakage in the chest. I'm feeling much, much better and most of my pain is gone or minimal and bearable. I've not taken any narcotic pain meds for coming up on 24 hours, and that makes for a much more pleasant and relaxed me. Just some low level pain meds for the soreness that will stick around for a few days.
The only thing that is still keeping me in the hospital at this point is poop. It seems that all my hospital visits come down to that. They want to make sure that all systems are working before they let you go on your merry way. They've been feeding me 'moving agents' over the last day. So hopefully one or more of them will kick things into gear down there. I can definitely feel that my belly is tighter over stuff that isn't doing much. I always start getting really impatient at this point however. Other than my guts, I'm feeling pretty good considering and everything else is clearing all the parameters. We're just waiting for poo, which is not nearly as interesting or entertaining of an existential comedy as Beckett wrote. Nor Milne for that matter. I was originally expecting to be out today, but that may move to tomorrow if things don't get moving quick.
So it appears that I've mostly made it through this next surgery relatively unscathed and just about ready to go around again. It's been wonderful watching all the support flow through. Team Victoria is a pretty sweet team to hang out with. You guys almost make this all fun. I will repeat myself (ad nauseum) that you all make it easier. Some days I feel like pulling a Sally Field with the whole "you like me, you really really like me" speech. But I'd have a whole row of gold-hearted folks to work my way through, clutching at each of you with so much love.