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By the time you read this, I should be out of surgery. At least, that was the plan as I wrote this.

Back in June, I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. The plan: Treat it with some chemotherapy to shrink the tumor, then perform surgery to remove the tumor.

The cancer had already rendered my left kidney nonfunctional, so the plan was to remove the kidney, the ureter and my bladder. While in the neighborhood, so to speak, the surgeon planned to remove my lymph nodes and prostate, as preventive measures.

I had surgery in June to remove a fistula that had grown between my bladder and my colon and it was during that surgery that they were able to do a biopsy and confirm my bladder cancer.

I had out-patient surgery in August when a power port was placed just under my left clavicle that would enable easy administration of my chemotherapy chemicals.

Then I was scheduled for cancer surgery on Dec. 28. But I mentioned to my oncologist that I was experiencing some tightening in my chest when I walked or exerted myself. I didn’t think it was a big deal, because it went away as soon as I stopped whatever I was doing.

But my cancer doc insisted I see my cardiologist, who insisted I have a cardiac catheterization, just to be safe. That happened on Dec. 8. That’s when they discovered I had serious blockages in four coronary arteries. So they performed open-heart surgery on me on Dec. 11, bypassing the four arteries.

Which, of course, caused me to cancel the cancer surgery scheduled for Dec. 28.

So now, here I am. I’ve had surgery at Inspira Medical Center in Woodbury, Our Lady of Lourdes in Camden and, now, at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, at the hands of an extremely talented cancer surgeon. (I suppose we could call this my South Jersey Hospital Tour 2015-2016.)

There will be some major changes in my life as a result of this surgery. They will take some getting used to, but I will get used to them, you can believe that.

And, if all goes according to schedule this time, by the time you read this, I will be cancer-free. Your support in all of this has been greatly appreciated.

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