Zero Hour is approaching. Ever since Dr. Shih gave me the news I've been anticipating surgery to get the tumor removed. All we've been going through has been leading up to this week. I feel a little naive having thought back then that I'd check into the hospital really fast and get things taken care of. The reality has been scary at times but I thank God for answering my and your prayers to carry me up to these days, several months later.
I have a gate to go through over the next month. Technically, my large intestine is going to be offline while the resection heals. It is amazing how far medicine has come. Yes, I'm going to experience some pain as well as some weird sensations, but I know this time to heal is temporary and necessary. To that end, I'm refreshing my call for visitors!
Visiting hours are 9:30am until 8:30pm every day. I've been advised to tell everyone to wait until Saturday or Sunday before coming because I will be pretty loopy on Thursday and Friday. That should be fun. I will also most likely be in the hospital until Wednesday next week so some weekday visitors would be great! Beyond that, I would ask you to give Jody a call to see where I'm at and if I'm in shape to have visitors. If you need her number, email me this week before I check in. :)
Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) is located on its own campus inside the beltway, just off of N. Charles Street in Towson. From the beltway (I-695), take exit 24 and then go south toward Baltimore city. You'll climb a large hill then wind your way down the other side to the light at Malvern Avenue.
Turn left at Malvern into the GBMC campus and nab a parking slip (max is $5/day). After the parking pavilion, head up the hill and to the right passing a road on the left and a daycare on the right. As you reach the Daffodil parking garage on the right, look for the main hospital parking lot on the left. The main entrance is tucked into the buildings close to the road. The reception desk inside can tell you the room I'm checked into and clear you for a visit.
Here is a link to Google Maps highlighting GBMC.
And here is a link to GBMC's own map and directions page.
I'm doubtful I will have Internet access while admitted and I'm also doubtful I will want it very much. In the meantime, I've invited Jody to post updates here for those of you whom cannot make the trip. I'd love to see all of you, but I understand the trek may be tough to make in those limited visiting hours. No worries though... I'll just not visit you in the hospital when you get laid up. :P
My specific prayers this week are for continued defenses against my old friend Fear. He's had me chewing my fingernails off though I know I really get the bargain end of the whole deal; all I have to do is show up and fall asleep. LOL!
Additionally, both my parents have been very very sick with what may be this virulent cold that's cropped up and is resisting antibiotics. Dad has been especially down because he cannot take the full dose of his drug for the negative consequences to his kidneys. I had to miss Thanksgiving with them because they were afraid to pass it along to me before surgery. :'(
Please pray that they are healed.
Also on my heart is Greg out in Wisconsin. As you may have read, he's going in for the exact same procedure the same day I am and I know he's had to have been feeling something similar these days just beforehand.
Finally, I just want to give thanks for all of the doctors and nurses, specialists and support staff whom have expertly done their jobs in helping me get to this step. We're not done yet, but I am very glad for the talents and skills these men and women have been given and shared with me to make sure I can do goofy things like blog about my treatment. They've made this as easy as it could be no matter how much I may have already complained.
See you all soon!
 Jeez... I can see the bump from my port... and yes, those are new eyeglasses.
[semi-important warning] No citrus for Christmas this year, please. Well, maybe some, but it will be for Jody and not for me. I have to avoid heavy fiber foods while me and Th' Bag are partnered up so oranges and fruitgrapes and those awesome honeybells are off my plate this year. No one is more disappointed than me. :(
Shelled nuts are out too. I'll be getting a full list after surgery.