Sunday, June 15, 2014

D day approaches

So, I had my fistula and dialysis port installed on Tues morning..... first on the list, no waiting. Got there at 5:15, and left at 3:30. First fistula attempt, at my left wrist, failed for reasons that I don’t quite understand.... bad veins or something. I was not quite awake when the doc told me. I am, however, the proud owner of a baby fistula at my upper arm, at the inside of the elbow. It should take 2-4 month to mature to useful size. Until then, dialysis will be accomplished using the catheter/port near my right collar bone that goes through my jugular vein within an inch of my heart. It is almost the same as my picc line, but able to flow a higher volume of blood. Altogether not too bad, just no showers until the port is removed. Oh yeah, no lifting more that 20 lbs, with the left arm ..... ever.....

So, it is Mon. morning, and D day is Wed. at 10:30..... Time is getting short, and I am trying to eat all of my favorite foods at all of my favorite restaurants, and catching up on the honey-do list here at Karens. I have nearly completed “getting my affairs in order”..... living trust, vehicles titled as TOD (Transfer On Death), bank accounts the same, etc..... I have placed all of the important information regarding keys, passwords, bank accounts, credit cards, and so on, into an “open in case of death” letter.

They say people don’t want to do these things because they feel that death will come as soon as they are ready. I know that it sounds morbid, but I did not find it to be so. Once I started, I felt that if I didn’t complete the process, I would surely die in the up coming surgery. I now feel a great sense of accomplishment, not just for the volume and variety of food that I have eaten, but for the entire process.

These past few days I have also been thinking about “luck”..... Now, we all would would concede that getting cancer can not be considered lucky by any metric, but outside of that, I am a very lucky guy. Many people that get sick do not have the friends, family, and resources that are abundant in my life. I am blessed with a great family, both in the East, and my adopted family out here in the west. Karen and her son Mike have made it their business to see that I get good care, (and food). Many people lost houses in the last crash, but I was able to gain two houses. I should add, that the rent from these houses has kept me out of the poor house, and allowed me to keep my head above water. I should pause to thank my friend Carl, who has always supported and helped me through my real estate adventures.

I have lived a life full of excitement, success, and, adventure, and, LOL, misadventure...... I guess that I could say that there are not many things left on my “bucket list”. I am indeed one of the lucky ones. There is no way that I have deserved all of the joy, good people, and good things that have come my way.

Now, don’t take this as a “good by” letter, it is not meant to be..... I know, ending a sentence with a preposition...... I mean this to be a “life is good” letter, I still have things to do, and plan to do them. I am also a realist, and realize that life is short, and none of us is guaranteed another week of life, and that high milage guys my age may drop over any time. When this happens for me, it will not be a tragedy.... a short life, a misspent life, a life filled with anger and fear..... tragedies all, but none of those things apply to me.

I need to wrap this up, and get back to my pre-surgery activities..... If you want information regarding the surgery, in the east, call my sister Peg, or my brother Bill, Karen will keep them informed. In the west, call Karen (661 313 8158) or Terri Lynn ((951 306 9586). I will, of course, post a blog as soon as I am able.


pdurant said...

Beautifully written. I am not ready to say "good-bye" so I'm very happy it is not a good-bye letter! After all, you are the one who made me a sister and have been with me the longest other than mom and dad.

I think about you a lot with much angst and sorrow over what you have been through. Tim and I are praying for you and for those caring for you....both the medical team and Karen and her son.

May God go with you through the valley - I am looking forward to your next post on the other side of the surgery. I love you, John.

Judy said...

May God will be with you and with those caring for you. I pray for skilled surgeons, caring and competent nurses, warm and loving friends to surround you. Love you so much, brother.

Anonymous said...

We love you too John! Julie the boys and I pray for and talk about you at the least twice a day. We are all looking forward to seeing you again at states next year. You can do this.
Jim, Julie and the boys

Nancy Holmes said...

You are in my thoughts, John. You seem to have such a great attitude about everything. Looking forward to seeing you again soon.

JC said...

Thanks all for the comments. Anxiety level is rising, but I suppose that is normal. A couple of days, and I start a new chapter..... I will let you know how it goes.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happens John, I want you to know that I am proud to be one of your friends. Thank you for all of your help and support thru the hard times. Thank you for all of the pack trips and trail rides and good times. I am praying that wwe get to see each other again after you recover. Be well, be safe, be happy. Love Mary