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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cancer's Lucky Strike

The surgery that I was supposed to have today didn’t happen.

Maybe it’s because I listed my religious preference to the hospital clerk as Jedi, maybe it’s because improbability dances with me in the shadows, or maybe, just maybe, it’s “just because”. Scratch that last one, I’ve seen and experienced too much to believe in “just because.”

What bothers me is that, in a very odd way, I feel I let so many people down. All the love and positive energy from people I received to face this day and the coach never let me off the bench.

We went to the hospital and I was admitted, given a fashionable paper gown and sock like things (which I’m still wearing). They took some of my blood; fitted me with some blood-clot preventing, inflatable calf leggings (which I brought home), hooked me up to the IV and sent my wife in to wait with me for the moment that I had , after weeks of anxiety, finally prepared myself for. I was ready for this. I wasn’t afraid.

Then the medical team came in. The doctor said that he had bad news. The robotic equipment that was to be used in my procedure was, for the first time, malfunctioning, and the surgery could not be performed today. I was stunned; I had read that these machines malfunction less than 1% of the time. More than that, I was crestfallen. My dark passenger would continue life inside me for a while longer.
For their part, the staff of the hospital was extremely apologetic, even giving us gift cards for the cafeteria since I’d been on a liquid diet for the last 48 hours preparing for the surgery, and was famished.

Later I learned that the equipment had malfunctioned during the prostatectomy that was taking place before mine, and that my urologist had to finish it up old school, which is much messier and less reliable.

So I guess, I’m sort of lucky.

But damn it, I had this! I was in charge of my feelings in a stressful situation for one of the first times in my life and I didn’t get a chance to win the day. All because a highly improbable malfunction happened *minutes* before I was going to be put under. That’s not bad luck, that’s a challenge from the Universe. I’ll get back to you as soon as I figure out what that challenge is.

The next try at surgery will be mid-December.

So the question that I pose to you dear reader is:

Do I save the narrative of this story by not posting for a few weeks until after the surgery *really* takes place (perhaps with the entry title “Let’s Kill Cancer!”); or do you still love me enough to let me carry on as is?


  1. We love you!! All things happen for a reason. No need to apologize.

  2. Thank goodness it did not break in the middle of your surgery - that is what I have been thinking all day. I do not understand why it will be so long getting it fixed and getting you back on the surgery schedule, but hospitals are mysterious. This is a really tough break, but you must simply carry on as you have been doing. Of course we still love you. Yes it is wonderful that you are positive and in control and feeling free of fear. Now just keep doing that :)

  3. The equipment malfunctioned? I don't believe in chance.I'm glad it didn't malfunction on you.This is the first time I have read your blog.You are quite interesting and a very good writer.

    Brian Grant

  4. Think of this as a "dress rehearsal." And yes, keep up with the blog, it is informative and often entertaining! *hugs* ~ punky

  5. That positive energy & support will be there always Brother. Keep up the dialogue but maybe add a M*A*S*H voice over ;)

  6. I would like to echo Plush Gourmet. Of course you didn't let us down. We love you, we want to hear from you, and we all recognize that YOU were let down today, but thank goodness you were let down pre-Op, not during your surgery. The Universe was taking care of you I think. Showing you that you can do this, you are brave (but you knew that). Next time it'll be easier because you'll know what to expect. After you process this day a bit, I hope you can find some time with Mrs. Wizard - one weekend wasn't enough... Hugs to the family.

  7. I say carry on if thats what you want, the 04's will continue to send good vibes your way!

  8. Keep it goin Shawn! You'll always have positive vibes from us! It's your blog, write what you want. :)

  9. The show must carry on! I say it was a case of the Thursdays, 42 and towels wot ;). Chin up, we're still showering you and your family with all the love and support we can. Hugs and love, CSIL.

  10. I can only share what I would do in this situation. I would continue all emotional/healthful/spiritual work on dis-creating the cancer and seek out another opinion. I have friends who have relieved their self of cancer (one of them 4 times) without surgery or chemo. I am only sharing what I would do, you have my support in every way for what you want to do. And no, you didn't let anyone down, you showed them that anything is possible and what can happen when you are working towards directing your life full awake, conscious, and participating in creating your reality. This is an opportunity. I sincerely hope this doesn't come off as flip or glib...cancer is very serious ... however your body is very serious also, as well as your spirit.

  11. Silly boy...of course you keep up with this blog. It's not dependent on whether you've had the surgery--it's about your life, and how you're coping with "the dark passenger" (a wonderfully evocative phrase, btw).

    We want to know how you're doing, regardless of whenever the surgery takes place, and since I think this does you a great deal of good--both on the 'aesthetic fulfillment' and 'free psychotherapy' levels--you had better keep updating this, buster! Cos that is the ONLY way you'd be letting anyone down.

    PS: I always feel so sorry for the poor Robot Chicken! This is probably taking my tender-heartedness for critters a trifle too far... ;)