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Thursday, January 31, 2008

A 'celebration' of sorts

In about 10 hours, daughter Jennifer and I will pull up at Winter Park Hospital for what a nurse described to me today as a "celebration" of my victory over cancer. Doctors will remove my medical port -- now implanted in my upper right chest near my shoulder. It is a sign that I'm closer to being cured than to the contrary.

Guess I am a CancerVivor -- at least for now.

For this, I have thanks for my docs -- Z, Diamond, Boyer and the cast of thousands at Florida Hospital South and Winter Park Hospital -- my lovely wife Catherine, my family, my friends and colleagues and others who I haven't yet met but have corresponded with.

The fight isn't over, as Dr. Boyer put my chance of survival overall at 70 percent. Not bad, but not 100 percent. There's still a 3 in 1o chance things could go south in the coming two years. So, I'll be checked over every few months for the next couple of years. Then my doctors and I will share a celebratory drink one evening, when I will be able to officially thank them for saving my life. Until then, I have to thank them little by little each day and each time I see them. Thanks guys!!! Really!

I see Dr. Boyer next. My visit with him is Feb. 6 and hopefully he'll agree that I can return to work the following week.

But at hand right now is the minor surgery to remove the port. It's connected to my jugular vein, and the tube going from the port to the vein wends under the skin and over a bone to link up. My big dilemma is this: Local pain killer or the good stuff to knock me out? I'll decide in the morning, but I gave the nurse who phoned today a chuckle when we discussed this decision. Like I've said before, the only allergy I am aware of is pain. It's very bad for me.

Once the surgery is over, I'll probably be at the hospital a couple of hours before my release. I'll let ya know how it went Friday afternoon or evening, depending on my state of awareness.

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