When I started this project, “Paul’s Heart,” I had two motives. The first, I wanted to see if I had what it took to write a book, about what, I was not sure. But I needed to see if I had the ability and the commitment. And second, I wanted my voice to be able to help at least one person who is struggling with something. By documenting the many struggles that I face and have faced, I hope that it gives hope and courage to get beyond the struggle.
I have been very public with some personal stories. I figure that once I made the commitment to “blogging”, transparency is what would make my blog successful. Some of my stories may be difficult to read because they stir up old emotions or memories. Admittedly, the stories can also be quite graphic, and I try to give fair warning when those stories reach that level.
Tomorrow, I will be meeting with yet another doctor to discuss a recurring symtom that was so difficult to deal with just a couple of years ago, as it appears it is returning. I do not want it to return to the level that it had gotten to before. I will be discussing the procedure of an endoscopy, which is basically going to be pictures and biopsies if needed down my throat into my stomach. Care must be taken because of the overexposure to radiation during my treatment days. The doctor will be looking for what is causing an increasing inability to swallow and frequent nausea (with no warning or apparent cause). If possible, this will be done along with a colonoscopy, often referred to as a “man’s worst nightmare.” I have resisted this procedure, in spite again of the radiation history as well as some other unusual symptoms.
But it is time, time to “man up.” But instead of a night out with the guys, or watching a football game, I now have a new excuse for getting out of our anniversary dinner tomorrow, and Valentine’s Day as well. Wendy could not possibly hold it against me that my doctors want to check me out for my own health, could she?
It will be eleven years tomorrow, and Wendy will have been dealing with all of these health issues with me for nearly half of those years. She knew about my cancer history when we started dating, my inability to have children as a result of my treatments, but nothing could have prepared her for the statement, “your husband needs to have emergency bypass heart surgery. We have him set up for first thing tomorrow.” And with that, began a different direction than we had planned for our lives together. But I could not, and I emphasize, would not have been able to do it without her.
So our anniversary tomorrow will not be the most romantic, if at all. Depending on my arrival time home, we might be able to get a quick dinner. As for Valentine’s Day, um… I am not sure what to expect as far as how my belly will be feeling after having cameras going in through each end. While the endoscopy is not usual for the average healthy person, for someone with my health history and radiation exposure, it is common. But a colonoscopy is common. I have tried to avoid it. I know the benefits of detecting colon cancer early. So, for all my reasons in delay, I will dispell those myths following the procedure, after I “man up.”
Happy Anniversary Wen.