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Yes I've been neglectful. The hour of surgery approacheth and I have been working hard at landing the job with CCV. Had an interview with the I.T. Director Jon Edmiston on Thursday. I thought it went very well. He gave me a Photoshop skills test to do and I e-mailed that to him this morning.

Friday night Janet, Sarah, Emily and myself went to see "Finding Nemo", a cute little 3D animation by Pixar.

Yesterday was Briana's birthday party at KOKO's house (KOKO is my mom). Had a great time swimming and visiting. Took a few pics. Did a back flip and a back dive. A first attempt at a back dive flopped and everyone had a good time laughing at me, so I got right back up on the board and did it right and followed that with a back flip. Hadn't done any kind of diving for a couple of years. Got Briana a copy of Gray's anatomy for her Birthday. She will be attending Arizona State University this fall and majoring in Art Education. You go Briana!

Thursday I went in for some pre-op tests at Medical Specialists and had the opportunity to tell Doctor Dubnow how much I appreciated the manner in which he monitors my health. It was a very stressful day at work that day.

2003-06-17 Only a day and a half to go. Janet and my mom got me some pajamas and stuff today.

The Arizona Hikers Group is hiking Humphreys this weekend. I'm going to miss hiking for a couple of months. I think. We'll see how fast I recouperate.

I have to drink a a bottle of magnesium citrate tomorrow at noon. Think I'll ask Del if I can have the afternoon off as well. Don't want to be spending a lot of time in the bathroom and don't know how the forty mile drive home would be.

2003-06-18 Well tomorrow is the big day. Lots of folks praying for me. I left work at 11:30 AM and drank the bottle of magneseum citrate. Did not want to be at work with the results of that. I'm about half way through the Patrick Walsh book. Had a good talk with Dana just before I left work. He told me that he was giving his notice on the 30th. He also told me that he and Suzanne would be in to see me on Friday. Dana cares about me. My brother called and talked for quite awhile about all kinds of things including cancer and our family. Max called from work with a technical question about one of the image setters; involved cleaning the spin motor during a film change. He also made a joke about the magnesium citrate. Ha Ha Ha Max! I'M READY!

OK! The surgery has been over for a week and all is well. Hopefully in a week I will get this catheter out and be able to pee. Doctor Kletscher said that the surgery went very good and he spared both of the nerve bundles. That made Janet happy.

The following is the hospital story:

Woke up about 3:45 AM on June 19, 2003. I laid awake in bed for awhile and thought about a lot of things that would happen that day. I thought of Doctor Kletscher and prayed for him. Got Janet up and we got ready and left for St. Joseph's Hospital in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. Both us were born in this hospital and four of our children as well. The irony of course, is my father died in this hospital of complications due to prostate cancer. We arrived at the hospital a little after 5:00 AM and the folks there in admitting gave some paper to fill out and a pager to call me when they were ready to admit me. The obnoxious thing went off and we made our way back to the counter. They guided us to a cube where an admitting clerk did the final paperwork. Of course they demanded my $250 deductible right then and there. I had to use my emergency VISA. Off to surgical prep we went.

The nurse there had me slip into a gown and lay on a gurney. Then they took my vitals, took blood and gave me a few strength tests. One thing that struck me as odd was one of the nurses told me I would be in the hospital five or six days. Every thing I had read or been told was two to three days is the average for this surgery today. My mother joined us there in prep about 7:00 or so and gave me a framed prayer that brought tears to my eyes. Here it is:


I said a prayer for
you today, and I know
God must have Heard.
I felt the answer
in my heart, although He
spoke no word.
I didn't ask for wealth
or fame...
I knew you wouldn't mind.
I asked Him to send treasures
of a far more lasting kind.
I asked that He'd be near you
in all things great and
But it was for His
loving care
I prayed for most
of all.

A nurse started an I.V. and I remember the cold going up my arm and he adjusted the temperature. When he first stuck the needle in it went through the vein and nothing happened until he pulled it back and the flow started. Around 7:30 AM the anesthesiologist arrived and a nurse named Tihany put some leg devices on me that keep the blood circulating properly and prevent blood clots. Doctor Kletscher arrived and we talked briefly about his vacation. Enough chit chat. I asked him if we could pray and he said sure, would I like to lead. I prayed, he prayed, patted me on the back and rubbed my shoulder a bit. I said my good-byes and was off down the hall to surgery. Janet stuck her head out the door and hollered for me to look back and said she loved me. The last thing I remember before recovery was talking to the anesthesiologist and two of the scrubs. They put a nice warm blanket on me and that was it. Off to la la land. My first recollection in recovery was a nurse talking and then listening to Doctor Kletscher say something. I can't remember what he said, but I do remember him standing at the edge of the curtain. During the entire time of recovery that day I had a great sense of God's presence and prayer delivery and answer. I had praise on my lips. The recovery room nurse told Janet that I had a huge smile on my face when I first came to in the recovery area. I remember thanking God much that day and had much praise in my heart. I don't remember being wheeled up to my room on the eighth floor of the Towers. I do remember waking up to the general noise of that floor of the hospital. I saw some familiar people walk by the room. Sure enough, soon my mom Billie, brother Steve, his wife Debbie, my son Steve, Janet, Candice, Sarah and Emily walked in. We talked a lot and everyone seemed happy about the success of the surgery. I think they let me have some broth that night. I did get out of bed and walk some that evening. I was kind of dizzy. I was under the team care of medical assistant Norma and Nurse Mary. Norma was excellent. She came here from El Salvador in the seventies. She was very kind and helpful. Mary was from New York and although she had spent some time here in the past, she has only been here a month and a half. She is a big Seinfeld fan and just saw him recently at the Dodge Theater. She watched part of a Seinfeld episode with me. It was the one where George gives Elaine a cashmere sweater that has a red flaw on it. We laughed hard and I discovered that laughing causes the sutures (staples, 27 of them) to hurt.

The next morning they brought me clear broth for breakfast and I had them check out my chart. I was hungry and didn't want broth. Sure enough my chart said regular menu was OK. So I had scrambled eggs, toast, cereal, orange juice, milk and coffee. Horrible coffee! Everything else was fine. For lunch I had chicken, potatoes, roll, corn, pie, coffee and milk. For dinner I had tuna salad, broccoli, peaches, roll, corn, pie and coffee.

Some people called me that day. They were: Todd and Greg. I was really glad to hear from both. Todd was apologetic because he hadn't been in touch with me since we hiked Reavis Ranch together with John. I told Greg how things went and he said he would come by to see my on Saturday when I got out. He actually came on Sunday and brought Krispy Kremes. Mmmmmm! Visitors that day in the hospital included: Ron and Glenda, Dave Olander and Dana and Suzzane Ball.

It was good to visit with Ron and Glenda. They host and teach the CCV small group that Janet and I attend. They arranged for ten dinners for my family. They are super and great servants of the Lord.

I filled Dave in on the whole ordeal; from the first signs of change in my PSA through the surgery. I told him that he and his wife were strong on my mind the day of the surgery and that they must have been praying hard for me. I know many were. It is simply amazing when you have this confidence that is only brought about by faith and grace through the Lord. You know you have exactly what you need and the Lord is with you.

I have known Dana since the day I started at EFM group nine years ago. The irony of our meeting is that shortly after I started at EFM, he had to leave for Chicago because his father had passed away from prostate cancer. Dana has become a close friend and confidant. I have seen him go through some changes including meeting and getting married to Suzanne. That was a great wedding and reception and I still have the candle from my place setting. I pick it up now and then and give it a good sniff. It's nutmeg, cedarwood and ylang ylang. Dana has been very encouraging to me and at the same time curious about what different things I'm going through. He informed me that he was giving his notice at EFM on the 30th. He'll be missed at work. I have the feeling that I'll still be seeing him in the future.

My nurse for the day was Angie. She was very nice and very helpful. She instructed me on all the procedures for the catheter[the Foley catheter is inserted in the penis and threaded through the urethra to the bladder, where it's anchored in place with a tiny, inflated balloon. It removes urine from the body] and the bags (day bag and night bag).

Friday night I cut back on the pain meds by half the dose and took a half dose of Benydryl. I slept all night, unlike the night before of in and out slumber; waking up when someone walked in or a light went on or a speaker sounded off.

The next day they told me I had to do at least five laps around the floor if I wanted to be released on Saturday. Not a problem. I got my camera and set out to record some of my visit. Stupid camera! Batteries expired. Oh well, not a whole lot to document. Go a few pics anyway.

Did not do any pain meds Saturday morning until I left at a little after 11:00 AM. Only did a half dose. Janet picked me up and drove me home. She also got me a big cup of Starbucks. The hospital coffee was really bad. We arrived home and Briana came out to greet us and was a little mad at me because I was checking the oil in the car. Kathy across the street was a little perturbed as well. Big deal, lifting the hood and pulling the dip stick out didn't seem so strenuous to me.

Everyone has been taking good care of me and I have been taking good care of myself. I have been a little upset when the kids don't get along.

It's nice to be able to take a shower. The self inflicted sponge bath I took in the hospital just didn't cut the mustard.

2003-06-26 I mentioned to Dr Kletscher the day the staples were removed that I was doing this journal on this data base and would probably keep it running on a Men's forum that I plan on hosting on the Web sometime in the not-to-distant future. He was very positive and said if I did that I would probably get a lot of hits from his and other urologist's patients. I thought that was cool. I did start a forum, but it never really took off and I was messing around doing some site maintenance and accidently deleted the data base for it. I could have restored it but just decided to drop it. There are many good forums out there including the "Protate Pointers" mailing lists found here at US TOO! Sign up for a couple of them. They are very informative. Here is another good one: Shared Experience

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