Wednesday, September 3, 2008

TOTALLY Radical!

Pablo is sleeping in the post-op. Like, nighty-night sleep, not chemically-induced snoozing. Four surgeries in 16 days gives us a reliable data pool from which we can draw reliable conclusions about how P will react and recover to the drugs, the procedure, the physical re-upping, and the psycho-emotional aspect of surgery. We know he'll probably be laughing by Friday, walking strongly on Saturday, and eating pancakes on Sunday.

He was quite relaxed about it all today. Which made us relaxed. He had a smile on his face as we crossed the candy cane line. He kissed us goodbye and looked into our eyes. No fear. No tears. Just an I-got-it look. He was talking to the nurses and anesthesia techs as they escorted his bed down the hall.

The removal of a kidney is called a radical nephrectomy. In the '80s the parlance for the removal of all uncoolness and lameness was, simply, 'radical.' In both medi-speak and Spicoli-speak, Pablo is now a radical dude. At least the right side of him is. No kidney. No uncool, lame cancer. Totalllly!

The right kidney is now a pathology specimen. It will be tested thoroughly and we'll find out if there was any live cancer in it. If there is, I would feel vindicated-that we made the correct decision to resect it, to put Pablo through another surgery. If there isn't, I will still feel that we made the correct move.

Pablo is in his room now. His eyes are closed. He has just gotten home from the war. He is sleeping. What else would he do? I wrote yesterday about acceptance. Sleep is a sign of acceptance. The daily surrender to humanness. Machines don't sleep. Rust never sleeps. But living things all must sleep—to recreate, to reconstitute, to reconfirm the quiet covenant between the human body and the human mind. Even the most willful and contrary among us could never argue the beauty of sleep.

And most of those people ain't pint-sized, emaciated, bald 'n totally radical! little cancer fightin' bodies are they?