Six or Eight weeks ago, my son was at his urologist for a routine set of tests to check how his mitrofanoff was functioning. For years his bladder never completely drained because of nerve damage. To address the issue, he started cathing years ago. But as my son put it, “my urethra is like a labyrinth. So for many years, he cathed but it was still not draining because the catheter did not go all the way to his bladder. So a year and a half ago, he got external port put in (mitrofanoff). It worked like a charm!
This brings us to a couple of weeks ago. They did a routine ultrasound to see how his bladder was doing. For years it had been stretched out because it never fully drained. This test was supposed to be no big deal…just checking the size. But during the test, they saw “a spot.” The urologist told us it was probably debris, but that he needed a cystoscopy and biopsy to check it out.
I know what you are thinking because I thought it too, the C word. But I have become a master of pushing things out of my mind. When you are waiting on test results, there is nothing you can do. Worry is pointless. It has taken a decade, but now I can shove that kind of stuff into a hidden chamber of my mind.
But every once in a while, it sneaks its head out and dumps a ton of adrenaline into my bloodstream. I panic, take a deep breath and move on. That happened on Sunday when my son asked me what I thought “it” was. I didn’t lie, but I gave him the best case scenario I could think of: scar tissue. But the boogie monster was yelling the C word.
So yesterday was the big day. We went in and he had a minor surgery. It went really quickly. He was in and out of the OR in only an hour. While he was still coming out of anesthesia, the doctor took us to a consulting room to tell us how it went. The first words out of his mouth were, “It is not cancer.”
He used the word and suddenly it was powerless. It turns out it was just “goo” (probably puss from a previous surgery). By the time he got into the bladder, it was already gone. He passed it sometime after the ultrasound.
We got home from the hospital about 1pm. I zonked out, slept till 5, ate dinner, watch TV till 7 and then slept the whole night. I may have tricked my mind into not obsessing about the procedure, but my body was not fooled. The stress was whirling around in its little corner, whether I was conscious of it or not. Today I am exhausted. I am extremely short with people about the little details of work. I just want to scream, “None of this matters!”
Personal growth is a tricky business. I did not consciously worry myself sick…but my body was not fooled. I just need to focus on the fact that the news this time was good. In this moment, all is well. In this moment, we are whole.