You know when you put a costume or a leash on a cat? How it just gets real low?
That was Rich wearing an ostomy bag. He would wear it, but he would not be happy about it and it was the human equivalent of putting little mittens on his paws. He moved slower and much more grumpily.
On December 30th, we took off his ostomy bag and left it off. And with it we also removed a significant dark cloud that had been hanging over him. He's had a lightness in his step that I have long missed.
We also have discontinued his TPN. I conferred with the surgeon and he said as long as Rich is eating at least 75% of his caloric intake, we could skip the intravenous nutrition. Considering he's had the same meals I have since New Year's Eve, we're doing great. If anybody needs to fertilize their roses, I've got 30 liters of TPN which is basically prescription Miracle Gro.
His lower wound is still open and oozing a bit, so we continue to bandage that and his fistula opening for the dime-sized speck he produces daily. We've come a long way, baby.
Sunday was hard for us both after hearing of Stuart Scott's passing. Scott had the same cancer Rich does, was diagnosed in 2007 at age 42 just like Rich and after many surgeries and drugs died at age 49.
His ESPYS speech from last July made me cry. He was a great sportscaster, a clever guy and a devoted father.
But Scott didn't have the Chancellor of Optimism. He didn't have the angels in Nashville with their fashion sense and cutting edge tech. And he didn't have Team Stryker.
I'm happy for Rich and our family. We've had a hell of a year, but things are looking up. We're in good hands at Sarah Cannon. Flights are only $250 each now. Rich was saying he's looking forward to eating airport food that he's not been able to have in a long time (just let that statement sink in). Our little home is lovely and stable right now.