WG 2608 Blended
Wednesday — June 19th, 2019

WG 2608 Blended

State of the Artist: UPDATE

Hey Grovers, just wanted to let you know that I’m scheduled to have this old, rotted prostate removed on the 12th of June. Should be in the hospital for 2 days after, coming home that Friday. But not to worry, I’ve produced enough comics and uploaded them for autopublish through Friday, June 21, just in case I can’t sit at the art desk to do them. I’ll be having a robot perform the surgery, so I shouldn’t, according to the doctor, have the same after effects as the old, traditional surgery had on patients. I worked with a guy years ago who had it done the old way and I remember him always having to make sure his inflatable donut had enough air in it for him to sit comfortably. So, fingers crossed, I’ll be up and at ’em and not feeling any pain after the surgery, as my urologist assures me I won’t have any.

On a side (and sad note), our oldest cat Isabel passed some time during the night or early in the morning. She had been sick and refusing to eat, and at nearly 14, we knew her time with us was drawing to an end. I’ve been trying to feed her via syringe for a few weeks, but she really wasn’t having much of that. She attacked me a few times when she saw me approaching her with the syringe, but I kept trying. We had discussed having her put to sleep, but the cost for that has become so outrageously expensive (how DARE you make it so expensive, animal care field?! Not to mention the cost of cremation has gone up, too) and we tried to make her as comfortable as possible in her final days. At least she passed on a soft sleeping bag in the closet (her favorite spot to sleep during her life–well, when she wasn’t cuddled up with my wife in our bed). She may have been a pain in the ass during her life, ruining every new mattress we bought (your litter box is literally 6 feet away in the bathroom!) and getting into trouble, although she would come up to me, curl up in my lap or brush against me to apologize, but I am extremely devastated at her passing…probably because I spent so much effort trying to keep her fed and nourished in her final days. It’s only now that the sobbing has stopped enough for me to function in between tears. Goodbye, Izzy…see you on the other side.

State of the Artist: UPDATE

Hey Grovers! Sorry there isn’t a new strip today, I’ve been out of it for most of the day, walking in a fog. Got the results back from my biopsy, and it wasn’t the news I was hoping for. Cancer. I’ve got a scan tomorrow to see the extent of it, whether it’s confined to the prostate, or if it has spread. I’m sorry, but I have to take another break, while I gather myself. It’s really hard to write comedy when I’ve got this weight on my mind. I hope to be back soon, but depending on the scan results, it may be out of my hands depending on how we’re going to tackle this. I’m so appreciative of the Grovers that have made donations, words cannot express the gratitude I feel towards you all, but I wanted to say thank you for hanging in there with me through this troubling time. Keep this old cartoonist in your thoughts.

See you soon!

State of the Artist – UPDATE

Hey there Grovers! Yes, I’m still alive, but my time these days are spent either in the hospital, being rushed to the hospital, at the hospital getting blood drawn, making appointments with a doctor or in a doctors office. I’m exhausted. It all started last month with the medical emergency of an obstructed bladder, which then grew in size, backing up into my kidneys, making them fail. They drained 5000ml out of my bladder, hooked me up to IVs and I ended up losing 30lbs. Was supposed to have a procedure done to check out the old prostate, do a little cleaning up of it, and then I was supposed to be good to go. However, it didn’t work out that way as I was admitted on a Wednesday & my urologist only did that procedure on Tuesdays, which meant he expected me to stay in the hospital for nearly a week. After a near death experience & the attending physician seeing no reason for me to stay in the hospital for no reason that long, they discharged me. I fully expected to then have the following Tuesday roll around and have the procedure done.

Nope.

Urologist said the insurance company was balking at paying for me to be readmitted. Called the insurance company & they said the urologist never contacted them or submitted the request for the procedure to be done that following week. Many blood drawings later, I was given instructions for prep to have the procedure done on Tuesday, February 5th. I met with the pre-op team at the hospital the Thursday before & waited to start my prep on the 4th, which involved a cleanse with Miralax. That morning, as I was getting ready to start, I was called by my wife to say she was coming to pick me up to rush me to the hospital…something was wrong with my blood…the platelet counts were off, and my coagulation wasn’t where it was supposed to be…it was in critical levels. Which meant, instead of doing the cleanse with the beverage of my choice, I would have to drink a half gallon of the stuff the hospital had (if you’ve never had the pleasure of doing this, all I can compare it to is drinking a half gallon of warm snot, a cup every half hour). So there I am, in a hospital room, drinking cups of warm snot, connected to an IV, with a catheter, trying to rush to the bathroom A LOT. I hoped each time I would make it holding the IV in one hand & the catheter in the other. Fortunately, I didn’t have any accidents.

To address the bleeding issue, they injected me with a dose of Vitamin K. It brought my levels down, but only temporarily. I attempted to sleep, but every hour, either a nurse, or a lab tech, or a PA would come in, flick on the lights, feign surprise that I was trying to sleep, and make my night miserable. At least it would be all over in the morning when I was brought down to the operating room…or so I thought.

One more blood draw to be sent to the lab & I was brought down to the waiting area in the operating room. Was given all the prep, nurses instructing me on the procedure, etc., and in a few minutes I would be wheeled into the operating room…until the urologist showed up. Due to my bleeding issues, it wasn’t going to be done & I would have to meet with a hematologist later in the day. Wonderful. Hours go by & finally, at 3pm, the hematologist comes in, asks me questions, and wonders why this bleeding issue wasn’t detected the first time they were going to do the procedure. Hey, I was wondering the same thing, doc. Of course, this hematologist only worked with patients in the hospital, so he cleared me to be discharged, and later that night, I was on my way home with instructions to find my own hematologist.

The next day, I was on the phone calling hematologist within my network for the health insurance. First one, oh no, we don’t handle those types of cases, second, ditto, third, oh that doctor is no longer with this office, fourth, nope. Finally, through my wife’s boss, we got a number and got a hematologist appointment. Which was today.

He now has ordered MORE blood tests, which he says can take up to two weeks for the results to come back…two…weeks…So off I go, tomorrow, back to the hospital (because my wife works there and the insurance only covers it if we do the blood work there) to get more blood drawn and hope that we can get the results rushed so I am not waiting another two weeks to FINALLY (maybe) get this damn procedure done. Two more weeks of this damn tether (catheter)…but of course, that won’t be the end of THAT…for at LEAST a week after the procedure (should it ever be done), I have to continue with my tether until I heal completely.

Needless to say I’m beat. I did have two nights in a row where I got to sleep, but for the most part, I haven’t really slept for MONTHS…AND with the teaching position (which I’m only paid if I show up) being so early (1st period – 8am, which means waking up at 6:30am to get ready and strap my day bag to my leg) I don’t get much sleep on the night before I have a class. I don’t have the mental energy to even think about writing scripts or producing comics, for which I apologize Grovers. I’m hoping upon hope that this will be over soon and I can return to Willow’s Grove, but until then, keep me in your thoughts, send good energy vibes my way and drop a coin or two in the old tip jar, find my ko-fi, or ship me pallets of cash. Thank you so very much to John for your very generous donation! It is very much appreciated!

Be well, my friends!