A Surgery Scheduled

Denise

A Surgery Scheduled

Denise
candles-492171_640On March 24, my dad will have surgery to remove his bladder, left kidney and prostate.

My parents, two sisters and I met with his surgeon on Feb. 23. We like his surgeon and feel confident in the care he's receiving. My dad just completed all his pre-op tests, which included a CT scan, bone scan, stress test and carotid ultrasound. He passed his last test--the stress test--this morning with flying colors. My dad, for 83, is in excellent health.

I'm reminded, because of your stories, of how lucky we are to face a serious medical condition only during my dad's 83rd year. So many face much worse decades earlier. My dad has been blessed with good health and is wise to protect his good health with regular exercise.

My parents and I met with the anesthesiologist and ostomy nurse last week. My dad brought the results of his CT scan so I read the results and then shared them with my parents. His bladder cancer did spread to his left kidney but not to his lungs or liver. We'll have a much better idea of his cure rate after his surgery.

The surgeon, anesthesiologist and nurses have all emphasized that he is undergoing major surgery. We're aware of the risks, which could be a heart attack, stroke or death. My parents just updated their advance directives and my parents and I will discuss specifics of my dad's wishes on Sunday. On the slight chance something goes wrong, I want to make sure we understand and implement my dad's wishes.

For the most part, we've been very composed and calm. My dad did speak with this favorite priest yesterday after Mass and, according to my mom, became very emotional. The priest will give my father the "Anointing of the Sick" at some point before the surgery. The anointing is one of sacraments in the Catholic church; the ritual will bring comfort to my dad. When we met with the ostomy nurse, my dad asked asked just a few questions; one of them was if he would be able to kneel during Mass as he recovers from surgery.

As a Catholic family, we have crosses in our home; in the cross, we keep candles and Holy oil ready to use if a family member needs to be anointed at home. I remember pulling apart the cross regularly when I was kid; I was fascinated by the holding chamber for the candles and oil.

Being prepared doesn't mean you're ready.

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