I’ve been racing for the last four weeks; close to home, but that’s okay too. However, now it may be time to address the “elephant in the room,” which may cause this to get a little bit away from drag racing, but…
If you haven’t been following my Blogs, I had a “little” medical procedure done back in June. Actually, it wasn’t very little and involved eight hours on the operating room table. They called the Whipple procedure and I can honestly say it has nothing to do with a Whipple supercharger or even Steve Whipple who works for JEGS.
In any event; and I mentioned this all in a Blog back in June so I won’t go into too much gory detail, but surgeons claim they got it all. However, they suggested some chemotherapy to make sure they didn’t miss anything. So, what does one do? Follow their orders. And here’s the “elephant in the room.”
Being at the races has always been my “happy place.” Of course, now as a grandfather, I’m also pretty happy when I get to play with my grandson. Maybe even a little more now. But being at the races, I had a number of people come up and ask me how I’m doing. Some telling me I look good. I don’t agree as I’ve lost a bunch of weight because of the surgery, but thankful for people to at least say what they will. Blessed is actually more like it. And I don’t mind talking about it.
Anyway, for those who have asked and those who may not have… I think I’m doing okay. However, this has caused me to observe certain things over the course of the several months under medical treatment.
First is… Being in a hospital is a very humbling and maybe at time humiliating experience. We go through life pretty much “covered up.” We wear clothes, hats, dresses in the case of women, etc. Then when you go into a hospital, they pretty much strip you naked for all the world; or at least doctors and nurses; to see. There ain’t much to hide and I believe in most cases, it ain’t pretty. This is definitely not a supermodel showcase. Maybe there is nothing wrong with nudist colonies except I’m not sure that’s all that pretty either. Oohhh!
Second is… It amazes me how protective and caring the doctors and nurses are in a hospital, nurses especially because they’re the ones you see more than anyone else. They truly care for your needs, making sure you’re comfortable almost every minute of the day. What amazes me is the fact that at some point, you’re going to leave that environment and with God’s help, you probably will never see these nurses again. It has to go through their minds at some point, “I wonder how that person is making out?” But in most cases, they’ll never know. They simply move onto to caring for the next person. Truly, an amazing profession.
And last… I am now going through the regiment ordered by my doctor. So far… as I type this, I was sitting in the “chair” for four hours. They give you a regiment of steroids which make me feel jittery like a drank a gallon of coffee. It wears off but in the meantime.
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that a chemo regiment has a tendency to wreak havoc on your body. The only thing I may be able to liken it too would be; and of course I’ve never gone through this; is a women’s pregnancy where the body is making changes to protect both the baby and the mother. Nonetheless, it would change your bodily functions. Whereas chemo is trying to “kill” your body’s bad cells, not so much protect it. But what do I know?
I do know that if anyone is going through something similar and ever wants to talk, please feel free to contact me.
Best of luck and good health to you, John.
BTW: it's 'regimen', not regiment.
Good luck. Very serious procedure. Best wishes on a full recovery.
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Dead on with 2 zeroes, about docs and most especially the nurses. We've had hospital stays in my family for various reasons, and the nurses have always been incredible.
Take care of yourselves out there. Do what needs to be done and invest in your health.
Wishing you the best, John.
'81 Cutlass, KX05, Keystone Raceway Park
Millerstown Pic-A-Part, Tarentum, PA
Wholesale Transmission, New Kensington, PA
Thinking of Nikki and Mark - forever 53
I wish you a full recovery. The car is still waiting for you. I hope you heal well.
A great friend of mine that i race with went through some issues 3 years ago. I know he was giving up hope. They got it all out. His main concern was being on a bag for the rest of his life. Pretty sad situation. What bothered him the most was aside from his family, was How the heck am i going to compete with a bag. It really bothered him. 40 years of racing. All worked out in the end.. Clean bill of health 2 months ago.
In the past 10 months I've been in the hospital 3 times. The last being April for a 7 hour surgery that almost kicked my arse. The doctors (surgeon) did a fantastic job of getting rid of a lot of bad colon. The surgeon earned every darn penny he was paid, KUDOS. However, the nurses were saints, every single one of them where kind, considerate and compassionate. Could not have gotten through the first week after surgery without these folks. At times I felt guilty about the attention I was receiving and felt I did nothing to deserve such attention until one of the night shift nurse told me that she loved helping and seeing those in need receive the assistance necessary. What a saint. I will always be indebted to their service and cannot thank them enough. Love them all.
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