Black Friday

I am writing this from my hospital room at Blodgett Hospital in East Grand Rapids. Hopefully, this is my last day at this facility, and I can travel home tomorrow. But that’s the end of the story. Let me take you back to the beginning.

Wednesday, November 23 started out not that much different than any other day. I have a tendency to drink a lot of water lately. One of the reasons for that is I get some blood in my urine from time to time and I don’t want the blood to clot and cause an impasse. I had gotten up a few times that particular night, without incident, and my urine was clear.

However, later that morning, I went into the bathroom for the other transaction that can take place in a toilet, and noticed some bright red blood in the toilet when I finished. Once again, this wasn’t really out of the ordinary, I’ve had this happen before. My urologist tells me that when this happens to keep drinking water and try to pass the clot.

So that’s what I did. The problem was, even after drinking a bunch of water, I wasn’t able to pass the clot. After consulting my doc, he advised I go down to the ER and get it checked out. So I called Holly, and she came home and picked me up and brought me to the Butterworth Hospital ER.

Imagine this, if you will. You drink a bunch of water and then not being able to pee at all. If you’re thinking that that sounds pretty horrible and excruciating and painful, well, you would be right. Sitting in the waiting room at the ER was becoming more and more awful, and I let the people there know that my pain had peaked to about 11. They’re looking at a scale of 0-10, but I needed help fast.

After much carrying on and becoming increasingly belligerent, they got me into a room and put in a catheter to drain the urine. Ahhhhh. Sweet Jesus, sweet relief. In my euphoria, I’m thinking, okay, that’s taken care of, let’s get outta here. Silly me.

The catheter provided temporary relief to an immediate problem, but didn’t really do anything to address the real problem, the blood clots in my bladder.

A little history. When I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer, I opted for a prostatectomy, a complete removal of the prostate. However, after having my prostate removed, my PSA continued to rise, so it was determined that I would need radiation therapy of the prostate bed. I had 38 sessions of radiation, and my PSA temporarily went to zero.

Over the years, there has been some bleeding. If I workout hard and take ibuprofen, sometimes I get blood in my urine. This has been ongoing for quite some time. I have to be very careful not to take too many anti-inflammatories.

With my Pluvicto treatments, I’ve had some pretty significant bone pain. I’ve been careful to take stuff like Tramadol and other pain killers, such as Tylenol, but I’ve also taken a few advil. Not much, but it has helped.

Anyhoo, back in the ER, it was determined that I should stay the night as they tried to figure out what the source of the bleeding was. I wasn’t very happy with that decision, but certainly understood it.

Eventually, my rather small catheter was replaced with a larger one in hopes that the blood clots would pass through it more easily. But the clots just kept coming and eventually they clogged up even the bigger catheter.

After a real horrible Thanksgiving morning of having clots removed in a process called irrigation, eventually my urine ran clear again, and some semblance of relief was provided. But because I was still getting clots, I spent a second night in the hospital.

At around 1 a.m. Friday morning, I was pretty uncomfortable laying in my hospital bed, trying to sleep. If you’ve ever spent anytime in a hospital bed, you know what I’m talking about. So, in an effort to get more comfortable in bed, I pushed up with my legs to try to lay on my side.

When I pushed up with my right leg, my femur broke. It sounded like a gunshot, and I just stared at my leg, which now had a grotesque hump in the middle of where was usually a smooth thigh.

The pain was immediate and excruciating. I screamed very loud. I mean, if it were summer and the windows were open, dogs would’ve been howling a few counties away. And when you make that much noise in a hospital at 1 in the morning, people come running.

Things get a little fuzzy after that. People telling me to breathe, people telling me it was going to be alright, people telling me they needed to take x-rays, and a lot of other stuff. All I remember is just pure pain, as bad as I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

(The one thing I did have going for me is that I’ve had experience with pain like that before because I’ve dislocated both my knee and shoulder multiple times. I’ve learned that the more you can relax, which on its face seems rather ridiculous, the more the pain eases off. So, laying there while they tried to get X-rays with a portable X-ray machine, I concentrated on relaxing the muscles around the break. Thank god, it worked.)

So, on Black Friday, when most people were running around looking for good deals on Christmas presents, I waited all day for surgery. Around 4 pm, I was taken into surgery to have a titanium rod put in my femur. But just before I was wheeled into surgery, Holly got a call that my dad had just died. Just another guy punch on the worst day of my life. Black Friday has a different meaning for me now.

I plan on writing a series of blogs that will explain the consequences and ramifications from that day. Decisions have been made regarding further treatments and where my life goes from here.

Because this particular blog is just a play by play of things that happened over a few days around thanksgiving, and all the trauma associated with it, I’m gonna stop here.

My next blog will be about how all this has effected me mentally and spiritually, and what we’ve decided to do moving forward.

Thanks for reading.


14 thoughts on “Black Friday

  1. Dan, my mind can’t begin to fathom the amount of continuous horrific pain you endured for numerous days. How a man could endure such torture is mine blowing. I have the deepest empathy for you and my thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue on the road for a perfect healing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh Dan I just can’t even imagine the pain you must have went through and continue to go through. My heart goes out to you and Holly both as you continue on this unbelievably rough journey you are on. You have had to endure so much and yet you still keep fighting. I am in awe of your strength. Anything I have going on seems so trivial compared to you. Please stay strong and know we are all praying for you. You are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An awful experience. Up to and including the bleeding this sounds like my story. The bleeding was diagnosed as radiation cystitis . I had surgery by my urologist to cauterize several areas in the bladder . Then I had 30 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen which for now seems to have taken care of the issue by helping the problem areas heal. Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so sorry Dan that you,Holly and your family are going through all these years! I hope that the surgery and everything you experienced on blackfriday will not happen again!! Also sorry to hear about your dad passing away. Praying for better days ahead and news off the bouncing baby boy ariving soon!! Love you and your family!🙏🏻🙏🏻😘

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Dan. Have not written any comments on your blog, but now that I am retired I have had some time to read it and respond. It has been heartbreaking to read about your long battle and the prolonged, intense pain you are enduring. You are an amazing writer – and incredibly transparent. The spattering of humor is amazing too. You are one tough dude.

    Broken femur while laying in bed!!

    As I hope you already know, Amy & I have been and will continue to pray for God’s healing, and that He may wrap a blanket of peace and relief from pain over you. We know you are a believer and deep inside know you have the amazing gift of Gods love and peace, despite all the continued struggles. Holly has also been in our thoughts as we know it has been a struggle for her to see you in such pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan
    I just joined the group and read blog. I want you to know that I’m praying for you and your family. I hope that you are finding comfort and peace after a horrible Black Friday. Cancer sucks! Just know you have people who care and are praying.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well this blog entry made my jaw drop a couple of times! Dan, I am so sad that you had to experience all of this, and my condolences on the passing of your dad. Hopefully your leg heals swiftly. Sending prayers and a hug.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Im so sorry to hear of your ordeal but greatly appreciate your honest sharing. I was wondering about your remark of bone pain from pluvito treatments. Lu-177 i believe. Im moving towards getting that approved for that myself. I just had the pmsa scan done. Based on the report im a walking miracle (it reads so bad). By God’s amazing grace im feeling well. On schedule for stents to both kidneys because both ureters are being obstructed and getting radiation to try and help that and pressure on my redeem by the cancerous prostate tumor. BE BLESSED my brother. Stay strong knowing when we are weak then God is strong on our behalf. Keep the faith. MIRACLES ARE REAL, ONLY BELIEVE. 🕊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think my bone pain is caused my a number of things. I’ve been on Lupron for the past 7 years, which I’m sure has contributed to my osteoporosis bone pain. Between the Lupron, 38 radiation sessions back in 2011, and now Pluvicto, my bones are pretty brittle. Good luck and God bless with your future treatments.


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