Whew, What an Epic!

I was in the hospital for 6 days. Got out last Tuesday, July 20. Here’s the wrap up.

  • I had a very large abscess on my liver. It would have killed me.
  • The surgeon drained it by placing a stent into the abscess and routing it to dump out into my digestive system. This is a pretty radical deviation from the common practice of running the drain outside of the body. My digestion system was able to handle it fine.
  • He also ran a line from inside the abscess up and out my nose. After some misunderstandings he explained to me and all my nurses that this was not a drain, but a flush line, so now I inject 10ccs of fresh saline into it 3-4x per day and flush the abscess pocket out. The nasty flushed out through the internal stent. This makes so much sense that I embarrassed the surgeon with my opinions about his thinking.
  • I’m walking without assistance and very slowly regaining my strength. I can go up and down the stairs at the house without help and almost without holding the handrails. When I first got home a trip up the stairs would leave me winded, now I have to do it a lot faster to get the same degree of breathlessness, which is what I’m doing. I’m walking around the neighborhood now but not with the doggies yet.
  • I’ll have this flush line in my for at least another 3 weeks. I’ve got appointments for the surgeon, my infectious disease doc, & my oncologist all set up for August 3 along with another CT scan.
  • I’ve been sent home with a very strong, very specific antibiotic to get rid of the liver infection. I set up the infusions myself at home, once a day. The infusion pumps are very interesting self contained units, kinda like balloons that deliver the medication at the right pace. That goes for 39 days.
  • The antibiotic has killed off most if not all of my intestinal flora & fauna. I take Creon which helps me absorb the food that needs pancreatic enzymes to work, and now I’m also taking a variety of foods and supplements to at least temporarily bring in some benign bacteria to help absorb the other food components.
  • My digestive issues are serious enough that I really can’t leave home because when nature calls, it wants a response immediately. I’ve been taking Imodium to try and space out that activity but it hasn’t been working too well, so I just resumed taking opium to help stop me up and get this under control. Fingers crossed.
  • I’m still losing weight. Down to 142 lbs. It’s strange because I went back up to 155lbs last week after getting home but as I’ve been feeling and acting stronger my weight started falling. I’m eating a lot but I guess I’ll have to wick that up even more. It’s not too hard because now I’m starting to feel hungry again, so have actually been eating more and better foods.
  • The last chemo infusions were being effective so I will resume them after we’ve resolved this whole infection thing. I worry a little that this recovery might impeded the progress of the chemo, but there’s really no choice.
  • We’re treating me as a super-immune suppressed kinda guy. The infection probably started right after one of my recent infusions and some of the bugs made it up my stented bile duct and into the liver. We shall be ever wary from now on.
  • I might be able to resume a relatively normal life again in the fall. Fingers crossed.

No Burning Man of course, but I’m also not doing any online Ranger stuff at all. I’d been planning to train up to mediate online environments but this all started happening right as the training and planning began. It’s getting easier to give up stuff so I’m not too perturbed since I can nap without feeling guilty.

The house looks great with its new paint and outdoor lighting fixtures. It no longer sticks out as some kind of alien architecture in a conventional neighborhood. It still looks different, but in a warming and more neighborly manner. It just feels like it belongs there now.

I went a little mad while in the hospital and was thinking about how the heck I could replace the worn out battery in my 2015 MacBook Pro and finally decided to make the leap into Apple’s brave new world around their M1 chip. I ordered a MacBook Air with 16GB of RAM and a paltry 256GB of SSD. It should arrive next week. They’re giving me $599 trade in on the old MBP too, so really the total cost is about the same as if I just bought a newer used MBP. I think it’s better though since I can bypass the horror years when the MBP used those keyboards from hell. I had to study up on all the protocols associated with the USB-C connector type, which are the only 2 accessory ports on the side of that little bad boy (running Thunderbolt, USBv3.2a, and whatever else they could stick in there). It’s supposed to actually run LightRoom Classic & Photoshop since Adobe was in on the CPU change from the start and has done an optimized port. We’ll see.

My desktop Windows machine was not connecting to wireless so 3 weeks ago I had a pair of CAT6 hard lines run from the ISP ingress point downstairs up into my office. I was then able to use the Ethernet to run a full OS reset on the box which ran smoothly and no glitches. Wireless is back but hey I’ve got a full 1GbpS on the line into my 900Gpbs Fiber link so I’m connected both ways but am totally ready to do some heavy lifting later on.

Yes, I’m thinking geeky again. I take this as another sign that I’m slowly getting back to normal.

I think I have to give up something else that’s I’ve fought so hard to keep but have not been able to use for over 3 years now. That’s the Ducati. My pattern over the past 3 years has been to go down for surgery, intensive radiation, or just the sludge and infections of this year. Then I’d recover and by the time I was well enough to both work on the bike to get it roadworthy again let alone ride it, I would go down again for some reason and I am not running out of reasons to go down. I hate seeing that thing just sit in the garage looking pretty, taking up room, and filling me with visions of riding that right now I’m not even strong enough to do. I’m going to dump it cheap just to get it out of my sight. This makes me sad but simplifying for added flexibility is important.

Riding is a fairly solitary sport too. Sure I can ride with friends which is super fun, but I want my time with Melissa and she’s not interested in riding at all, so anything I do on the bike takes away from other stuff I could do and that would be within my ever-changing range of abilities. I also really want to visit friends around the country & in Canada and it’s much simpler to just dump stuff into the van and drive there.

That’s about it for this post. A lot has gone on and a lot is in motion. Hopefully I’ll resume the discipline to post more often. Ciao y’all!