It’s been one week since I had my surgery and I went back to the urologist today for a follow-up visit. All things considered, I feel pretty good. I’m starting to get some of my old energy back and, though I’m still working on building up my stamina post-surgery, I don’t feel that extreme fatigue that I suffered before the operation. I’m itching to get back out and do things like tennis and even mowing the yard that I’ve been unable to do during my recovery. Also, thanks to the hair growing back in the area they had to shave for the surgery, I’m just itching. Worse, as the hair grows back around the incision, my bandages are sticking to the hairs, making my nightly wound care feel like someone pouring napalm on my lower abdomen.
Still, it’s better than having cancer.
Today, the urologist came in, checked that the incision was healing properly, and gave me the news I had been hoping for—I can take a shower again. A week of sponge baths is more than enough for me. He confirmed that what he took out was a seminoma, a rare, but highly treatable, form of testicular cancer. I was then scheduled to have a CT next week to make sure the cancer has not spread anywhere else and to see a oncologist the week after to discuss radiation treatment. Seminomas, I have read online, respond very well to radiation, so hopefully the duration of such treatment will be kept short and the side effects will be minimal. I was also cleared to go back to work tomorrow, although I’ll be on light duty—no more than fifteen pounds—for about three weeks, which may prove to be a problem in a retail environment where nearly everything I do requires lifting more than fifteen pounds. Part of me is anxious to get back to work, back to a routine that feels like a normal life. I visited my store yesterday and told the staff members there what I had surgery for—only the other managers knew before—and I’m sure everyone there will know by the time I get back tomorrow afternoon.
In other news, I thought up a new idea for a novel last night that I may start working on this evening. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve had the idea for some time, but I didn’t start fleshing it out until last night, running it by my wife while she changed out my bandages. I’ve been at a complete stop on the writing front for the past few weeks while I try to figure out how to fix the first part of Wielder and wonder about what project I want to work on the most. Most of all, I think I’m having a lapse in confidence, a little voice in my head that tells me no matter what I write or how good it is, it will be impossible to sell it in this economic environment. I find myself looking for the most commerically viable option, when what I should be doing is listening to whichever story speaks to me the strongest and writing that, no matter what happens after it is done. Still, as an unpublished writer today, I must take into account how sellable a manuscript is nearly before all other factors and keep an eye on what trends are out there. The most important thing I can do right now, though, is to force my ass into a chair for a thousand words a day, regardless of what I’m working on, so long as I’m working. I think returning to the day job, reclaiming that schedule, however irregular, will help me commit to more productivity on the writing front.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I will continue to post updates on my ongoing treatments and my hopefully triumphant return to the writing life. In the meantime, I thank everyone who has sent good wishes my way.