By Leonard William Zajicek
As I drove along the highway, my thoughts again drifted back to that time, three years ago. After the doctor found my bladder filled with the malignant tumors, I realized why I had to urinate so many times each day. They now scheduled my operation date and explained the procedure to me. They would go through my penis and break up the tumors for removal. What happened next was of total disappointment. Again as I lay in post op, the doctor and my son explained that although they did everything they could, the tumors were too large to remove. I was to rest in the hospital, receive blood to build me up for the more serious operation where the scalpel and skill would slice through my unscarred body to remove the bladder and prostate. This meant I would be chained to a catheter strapped to my leg for the rest of my life. The only thing I could think of is that damn thing is sure going to slow me down on the dance floor!
My sense of humor has always been an asset to me, and in times of trouble it has always helped. When I told Dan and the doctor, we all smiled and plans were made for the second operation to take place in four days.
Dan talked to another doctor who said he could build an artificial bladder by taking a piece of my large intestine. This was agreed to and now I would only have a valve on my side to remove the urine.
As I thought of my good fortune on finding this doctor, my spirits rose, knowing I wouldn't have to lug a catheter on my leg. My quality of life had been given back to me. Things were looking up and I changed my thinking to be positive. What the hell, I could have them put the valve right below my belly button and then when I danced close to the ladies, I would leave an impression on them!
While waiting for the second operation, a good friend in the insurance business came to visit me. His normal cheery self was absent this day as he sat by my bedside. I told him to lighten up, we would both be out on the town in a couple of weeks. He looked down and said, "Len, I don't know if I should tell you this or not....". I jumped in and assured him if I could handle this cancer, I sure could hear what he had to say. He fumbled with his wet hands, looked at me, and said, "Your health insurance company went bankrupt yesterday". Damn, I thought, where in hell is this positive thinking and my sense of humor when I need it.
As I gathered up my emotions, I thought, "six months from now I'll look back at this and laugh. Wait a minute, who in hell said I even had six months"? The positive thinking jumped back into my mind and I thought, "all will work out, no matter what". It was all I had. I looked at my friend and said, "Hey guy, remember the night we were out and went into the men's room? He looked at me grinning knowing what I was going to say, One night, when we were out on the town, before I knew I had cancer, my friend and I were using the urinal in a public rest room and I began passing blood. The stranger standing next to me happened to glance over with eyes wide, his mouth gaping and a screwy look on his face, saying in a silent voice "you're passing blood"! Reading his thoughts, I said, "not to worry, just too much Kool Aid!" My friend and I laughed, zipped up and as we left, I looked back and this poor man, holding his pecker and dripping all over his shoes, stood there with the damnedest look I ever saw.
We were both laughing when the nurse came into my room with a new IV to hang on me.
Back to reality, my friend got up to leave and, reading his lips as he stood at the door, he whispered, "You are a crazy bastard and I love you"!