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Surviving Once More
By
Survivor

Surviving Once More

Another spin of the wheel of life.

What are the odds, I wonder. Two different cancers in less than a year. Doesn't seem fair, but I learned long ago that it ain't always fair.

I had the prostatectomy done on February 23rd of this year. The year 2015 was on its way to becoming memorable. I seemed to have overcome the prostate cancer. At least, my urologist/surgeon found nothing untoward when we had our check up in June. So it seemed that we might have fair sailing.

Too bad, so sad. I started having blood in my urine in mid-July. I called my urologist. He was on vacation. I got an appointment to see him in a week's time. I went to see him at the appointed time and was immediately sent to have an X-ray and a CT scan. The results were unfortunate. I apparently had cancer on my left kidney.

The biopsy was scheduled and performed. The results confirmed his initial diagnosis. Cancer. The good news was that it was not the prostate cancer metastasizing to a new location. I was just the lucky guy to get two separate cancers in the same year. Surgery to remove the kidney was then scheduled for August 31st.

So, I was in the hospital for two whole days, and went home on the third. Minus that pesky cancerous kidney. Weak, of course. But feeling pretty good, all in all. My sister was good enough to come up and spend the week with my wife and me. It helped my wife who has her own health issues. And gave me a chance to visit with my sister. We don't see each other often enough.

Since I got out of the hospital I have been fortunate enough to be in three plays.

Right after the operation I was asked to take part in a dramatic reading of a newly completed play by a professor here in town. It was called Showing Charlotte. The director had seen me in an audition last year and remembered me. Along with several other actors, we were able to entertain and enlighten a room full of people about the life of Charlotte Salomon. She was a victim of the holocaust, but she was able to leave an astounding legacy of gouache paintings about her life. It was a privilege to be a part of that.

Another director was kind enough to give me a small part in Hands on a Hardbody. That was fun. I didn't have to be at most of the rehearsals. I was only on stage for two or three minutes, at the most. So it was not overly tiring. But we had a wonderful ensemble of actors, and the play itself received a grand response from the people who were able to see it.

The day before my surgery to remove the kidney I auditioned for a part in a play called The Boy Who Left Home to Find Out About the Shivers. Long title, but, short story, I got a role in the show. Actually, two roles. I played the Sexton and the Innkeeper. It's a play based upon a Grimm fairy tale. I started rehearsals for it during the run of Hands on a Hardbody.

I only missed a couple of rehearsals due to conflicts, but was able to become part of another lovely group of actors, having lots of fun with this play. We just completed the ten performance run last week. Both of the last two shows were sold out. It was in a black box, so our audience was small. But it was a blast, and having to fall down stairs for each show didn't seem to affect me physically.

I seem to be back, but I'll need much more time. I need to regain some lost weight, and my exercising has been remiss. I really must get back into better shape.

Our new rescue dog will help me, I'm sure. We picked up Victor at the shelter two weeks ago. He'll be a treasure once he's house trained. He was a stray, about one year old. He does love his new home.

Next month, in December, I see my urologist/surgeon for my three month checkup. I'll go to him with new results from a CT scan, an x-ray, and blood tests. Let's hope I don't win the trifecta and have a third cancer to deal with. If I do I'll handle it as I have done in the past. With help from family and friends, and good, trained medical personnel.

I'll continue to survive, once more.

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