15 Feb, 11

Today at 2 pm, received the radioactive seed implants.  They told me originally that I’d have between 3-5 wires, which means 6-10 holes (in one side and out another).  Because my tumor was apparently large, even though the external beam radiation seemed to have blasted it away, there was no way to be certain that all the microscopic cancer cells were wiped away.  And because there was a small tumor left in the neck, they were very convincing that I’d be better off going through this to be sure.

So during surgery when one’s mouth can be opened much wider than normal, they chose to make seven wires, or 14 holes.  And because I have so many radioactive wires, and their individual dosages are xx, I’ve only got to keep them in for 31.2 hours.  That means that about 9:15 tomorrow evening, they will taken out.  Until then, not many people want to come in my room.  Signs on the door read “keep out.”

I had asked the doctors that if visitors can’t stay for more than five minutes at a time and no more than 20 minutes per 24 hours (to eliminate risk of exposure), than how is it that I can be exposed for 32 hours?  The answer was that this is a very low dose equal to the amounts I was receiving during the daily external beam treatment in October/November.  The dose now is much lighter but it is planted locally on the area for a much longer time period so as to minimize downside.  Still, the exposure answer I’m not getting.

So after the doctor inserted the radioactive strips behind a portable lead wall next to my bed, the technicians from the company took radiation readings at various points around the room and toward the door, then they masked a boundary area about two feet around the door where a visitor could stay for no more than five minutes.

Speaking of visitors, when in the step-down unit, the guy across from me (maybe in his 40’s) had neck surgery and it looked radical.  It was two large slices horizontally from one side to the other across his neck so he also had a trachea.  Point is, his wife was just about always there, like GV, and on the weekend, his dad came and Sunday some of his buddies came for several hours. I was thinking ‘thanks that my family doesn’t live close, even though they’d still come,’ but they are respecting that I’d rather go through this without visitors, especially not being able to talk.  It’s not so fun to have to write everything out.  This is not a complaint, only being thankful. It’s a time of investing the time and plugging through a week of hell and then coming out of it and beginning again the recuperation process.

But it’s strange being here for sure, seeing other people walking around without stuff hanging out of them.  How wonderful it is to just walk around.  It’s being an active player full-on in the game of life (opposed to being on the injured list or the injured reserved). Going from active player to being sidelined is not fun.  But, it is humbling, and it’s a fact for some of us, either by plan or by accident that hopefully will only be that super temporary blip.

BTW, all the comments received are so much appreciated and are more valued given the circumstances than a visit would ever be.

7 thoughts on “15 Feb, 11

  1. JA

    thinking about you always and esp. in this journey. hopefully you are able to sleep for most of the time so it will pass more quickly than the norm. hugs/kisses. hi to GV and may those 5 minute blips be valued. love you both. stay strong – it’s almost over!

    Reply
  2. Susan Forney

    For someone on the injured list you’ve got an extensive cheering section. We’re all with you–in thought, and/or prayer, and/or sending good karma, and/or whatever–and even some (not me … too scary! , but probably Mom) who’d go through this for you if they could. Point is … know you are loved.
    Salutation, encomium, dithyramb: God’s speed … god-speed … godspeed … good speed … good-speed, or my personal favorite — Godfrey
    Good Godfrey to you man!!!

    Reply
  3. Mother

    Here you are giving us solace because we are not there. You have a great sense that we are like horses at the gate, panting to be near you. …but we honor you.
    You are a prince as are you sibs a royal breed. If you or GV ever need an advocate for these medical breeds: call out to the person of your choice. You will know who can do verbal martial arts with them and for you. You should understand what is happening to your body.

    What am I saying? I have promised to let the Cosmic Christ and all the Angels who were sent to your side to join your angels to do the heavy lifting. All that is seen and unseen is at your side. You simply have to be patient and endure. Easy fo me to say.
    Love you dearly. Mom

    Reply
  4. paul

    what a difficult place to be. can’t imagine. of course your photo’s ie picture’s “paint a thousand words”. a season – spring is on the way. new green shoots. warm breezes. and sun-light dazzeling upon the ocean waters.
    I remember our trip around the island of Iceland, and watching the sun never set as a small fishing boat putters out to sea from the north end of the island as we shared a bottle of wine. walking on top of an exploded volcano. swiming in a natural volcanic hot bath next to the glacier. running from the hot bath and jumping into water flowing off the glacier, then running back to the hot bath. changing the flat tire on the tundra road wrapping around the island, then our return to the country town of Keflavik, a town of many “fisk booths” ie fish shops.
    As you are room bound for these days with time to introspect perhaps you can also travel vicariously, reflecting on trips of days of old and in anticipation of what travels and adventures await you in the coming days. swiss alps, south america, perhaps a sailing adventure. next bike trip. or other adventures of different kinds.
    Perhaps the blogs that you have shared to date are a prelude to the ink on paper, or cyber blogs as colors in the hands of an artist on canvas, perhaps a series of novels. yea

    Reply
  5. Stryker Warren jr.

    Fred: What a visit to the hospital; the past two days’ chronicles are remarkable, simply remarkable. You are clearly up for the challenge and in attack mode. Thanks for sharing the details–both physical and mental. Your resolve continues to amaze and your perspective is very encouraging. The fan club is large and likely growing. Anxious to hear you are discharged and on the mend. Hope “solitary” ends quickly and that the recovery/rehab path is well-plotted and then well-plodded. . . U R the Warrior. Absolutely. Sentiment echoed: God-speed Freddie.

    Reply

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