Yesterday we had a follow up appointment with loverman’s (aka Kevin) urology surgeon. I have been asked why he would need to see a urologist when he was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. Well he has two teams of specialists. A team of Hematologists/Oncologists and a team of Urologists.
You see, when loverman was first diagnosed with leukemia, on November 17th, he was also dealing with a severe, awful and serious complication because of his White Blood Cells (WBC count) being so astronomically high. His WBC count was 414 and a normal WBC count is between 4 and 10.
This complication that I speak of is called PRIAPISM. I will not elaborate on exactly what priapism is because it’s a gawd awful thing, but I will say that it affects the “man-business” and it is probably a man’s worse nightmare. Trust me, if you google it, it will give you the chillies. I mentioned this briefly in my previous blog, but I think it’s some important information to share.
MEN! MEN!! Unusual “man shwings” can be a sign of something very serious that requires medical attention! If the soldier stands at attention without being aroused and those episodes occur frequently and last for any length of time, tell your doctor about this. If you have a “man shwing” that will not go away after 4 hours, GO TO THE EMERGENCY IMMEDIATELY. My loverman ignored the episodes, didn’t tell anyone because he was embarrassed and let the last episode last for over 12 HOURS before going to the ER! =(
His priapism was SO BAD that a team of urologists, including a surgeon needed to perform emergency surgery while he was awake in the ER… on a stretcher. His blood was as thick as tomato soup and this is NO exaggeration. I saw a container of it with my own eyes. During the procedure, I tried to stay right outside of the room as much as possible, but the freezing they gave him didn’t block the pressure and nerve pain, so he was crying out constantly. I felt like I was living one of my worst nightmares and I often had to walk away. At the time I smoked casually, but that night I smoked almost an entire pack in less than 4 hours.
After they were done in the ER, the room looked like a murder scene. The surgeon informed me that the procedure was unsuccessful. There were still major clots that had to be removed and they could not stop the blood flow. So the surgeon explained that they would most likely need to do a more invasive surgical procedure involving a cavernous shunt in the operating room that evening. That really sucked, but at least Kevin had some time to breathe. They loaded him up with some morphine and they already started him on blood thinners, organ medicine and high dose chemo.
When we had some time to try and process and get our heads around everything we were just told and experienced, Kevin told me he didn’t think he wanted to tell anyone about any of it because he didn’t want anyone to worry about him. I told him that I didn’t agree with him. I don’t like to hide anything from people. It’s such an awful way to live. I also didn’t think that either one of us should be going through this ordeal alone. We both needed help and support and we had to accept that fact. We needed people to talk to and help us focus on positive outcomes. I also think it’s selfish to not give your loved ones the opportunity to spend extra time with you when you are dealing with a serious life threatening illness. I told him that I was fine with not telling everyone about his priapism, if he was uncomfortable talking about it, but not the leukemia. After this conversation he changed his mind and his attitude. He openly talked to everyone about his leukemia AND the priapism. Not only did he talk about it, he joked about it and we all joked about it. I was so proud of him. His urology team had the BEST sense of humor too and we played on it big time.
So yesterday we were told that his man business is healing, but it is still very sensitive and sore and we should expect it to take at least another 6 months or so to heal to the point where we will even begin to know the extent of the damage. Aside from all of that stuff, Kevin is still dealing with nasty side effects of his chemo treatment. We just gotta keep hoping they will subside with time.
OH, and he is fine with me talking about all of this on my blog, because sharing stories like this can help other people and he agrees.
Thanks for stopping by!